I thought of this today.
All of us who has been raised in a dysfunctional society, with varying degrees of dysfunction at home, are like old houses with really bad wiring. When interacting with such a house, there are going to be fires (by using the wrong outlet or turning on the wrong light let's say). The important thing to remember is that the first thing to do, is to put the fire out or let it burn out on its own. Do NOT try to fix the wiring, or figure out exactly how it started, while the fire is burning! You can figure out what started it and how to fix it later.
Telling the person who is freaking out that they shouldn't be freaking out, is like standing in your burning house saying: "Hey, this shouldn't be burning! Why is it burning?!" Just get out until the fire is done, and THEN go back and fix the problem.
And of course sometimes it's necessary to decide if the rewiring job is just a bit more than you're willing to take on. :)
The simple way to remember it is: "Don't try to rewire during a fire."