I admit that I have a tendency to freak out. Unless it's a situation that triggers my fairly severe Mama Bear instincts, I turn into a hyperventilating pile of goo in an emergency. This is why I am a writer and not say, a fireman, or political tax attorney. Thankfully, there are millions of Americans each day whose job it is to be steady in a storm, and we can learn a lot from their experience. For instance, if you find yourself in a tough situation with someone like me, you'll want to learn how to calm someone down quickly and efficiently.
There's a lot more that goes into calming someone down other than telling them to "calm down." I know that in my case, this tends to make the situation worse. I become almost hysterical. Helping someone calm down is a combination of how you approach the person, how you speak, what you project, and what you can learn by observing them, according to Symmetry Counseling, who wrote on their blog, "There is no way you are going to be able to help someone or understand them if you aren’t fully listening to what they are saying and trying to express."
I asked Mary Ryan, a retired 911 operator for the Iowa State Highway Patrol, how she de-escalated situations and calmed people down quickly.