31. I use this trick all the time when someone is yelling at me over the phone.
Stay completely silent.
Don’t ignore them and speak when spoken to but when they are talking, nothing. No “uh-huh”s, no “mmm”s, no “I see”. Nothing. Deprive them of all subconscious feedback.
You really have to work at it because humans naturally try to feed off one another verbally in conversation. The other person will quickly sense that something is wrong in the conversation and it usually throws them off track enough that they stop ranting or yelling and tell you what they actually want.
Best way to shut someone up without being rude. Semiotics professor taught it to me.
It works just as well in person but, face-to-face, you have to also avoid nodding, moving your hands and you have to look them directly in the eyes.