How to Tell Someone You Are Upset

Updated February 21, 2017

When you are upset or angry with someone, it is common to let the feelings dwell inside you until they become too much to bear. Unfortunately, when this outburst occurs, you risk ruining your friendships and relationships with an unintentional explosion of feelings. To avoid this, it is always best to communicate your feelings is a calm, productive way that will improve the situation rather than worsening it. If you want to tell someone that you are upset with them, take into consideration the personality of the other person. If they are someone who avoids confrontations, write an e-mail or get the message across in another non-personal way.

Determine exactly what the other person has done to make you feel upset. If it helps, organise these thoughts on paper so you can remember them later. Consider how their actions have affected you and think of concrete examples to back up why you feel the way you do. In order for the other person to understand where you are coming from, you must have your thoughts organised so they can empathise with you.

Meet with the person who has wronged you. This is the preferred method of communication because it is the most authentic way to deal with problems. The other person will read your body language and be able to hear the sincerity in your voice. However, if you very angry about the situation and you think you might have an outburst, another method might be preferred.

E-mail the person who has made you feel upset. E-mails are a good method if you are someone who gets flustered during a face-to-face confrontation, or if your level of upset will affect the outcome of a personal conversation. Writing an e-mail allows you to carefully consider what you are saying and get your point across in a clear manner.

Call the person on the telephone. The telephone is a method of communication that allows the other person to hear the sincerity of your voice, without placing you in direct contact with them. Choose this method if your spoken word is more effective than your written voice.


When you are telling someone you are upset, always choose the method that works best for both parties. If someone does not answer their e-mails regularly, try alternative methods to initiate contact.

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About the Author

Elyse James began writing professionally in 2006 after deciding to pursue a career in journalism. She has written for "The Algonquin Times" as a general assignment reporter and published blogs and articles on Webcitybeat. James holds a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Ottawa.