7 Simple Strategies for Controlling Your Unwanted Guest
Anger strikes everyone, without exception. What will differentiate you from others is how you deal with it. If you find yourself become angry more often than you'd like, or letting anger dominate your behavior, there are some easy steps you can start following right now that will begin the process of getting your anger under control.
Research reveals several common characteristics among the chronically angry. The primary ones being a heightened emotional sensitivity, a greater than normal likelihood of being emotionally hurt, and a tendency to abruptly feel insulted where others would not.
We are surround by opportunities to invite anger into our lives on a daily basis. A child's temper tantrum, getting cut off by an inconsiderate driver, or a simple disagreement with a loved one or partner. As we travel through our daily lives and notice each of these incidents we become aware that anger is as much a part of those days as any other feeling. It's how we deal with it that counts.
The key to dealing with those moments is flexibility. Being able to adapt to unfamiliar and unpredictable circumstances allows us to manage our stress levels. Another way to manage stress, and therefore anger, is integrating the necessary skills to cope with stressful situations before they escalate. Again, to cope with them, not to control the situation, or try to manage and guide it to the outcome you desire.
Here are some things to consider the next time you invite anger into your life:
- When you are angry you need to accept and acknowledge your anger. Recognize that you are the person with the problem.
- Sincerely promise yourself that you will change, and that you will learn ways to deal with your feelings. This is a long term commitment.
- Remember to give yourself some time to think when you're angry instead of reacting immediately. Go for a walk, take a bike ride, do some quick grocery shopping or low-stress errands. Anything that will give you some time away from directly interacting with the external trigger of your anger.
- Stop trying to control others, and the situations that you find yourself in.
- Accept that there are differences between how you may be perceiving a situation, and how someone else might. It is not about who is right or wrong. It is about finding a way to accept the other person for who they are, while simultaneously accepting that you may simply be different than them.
- Always use “I” statements when you're angry or when you're trying to communicate your feelings to another person. Instead of saying, “You made me angry when you . . .” use an “I” statement like, “I feel angry . . .” or “I feel sad when I hear you say . . . .” When you use “I” statements you are already taking responsibility for your feelings, and the situation so that the person you are speaking to does not have a reason to become defensive. If they don't have a need to defend their actions or what they said, the likelihood of confrontation is immediately lowered.
- Last but not least, you need to clearly express what's bothering you. Be specific and direct about what's making you upset (With a touch of tact and politeness, of course!). Remember, it's not what you say, it's how you say it!