Everyone gets angry. It’s a fact of life. But what’s also a fact is that anger is bad for us. It’s bad for one’s health, raising cortisol levels unnecessarily. And it’s bad for interpersonal relationships. We can probably all agree on that. This is why anger management is key. I’m sharing four strategies to help control anger when you feel it start to boil in your veins.
Let’s get after it.
Ok, so the first anger management strategy is recognizing the onus is on you. You decide how you want to react to what someone said or did. You are the cause of your own anger because you decided to show the emotion of anger to your adversary. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” So William didn’t cause your anger, you caused it. Twisty right? But it’s true, you are only going to be as calm as your worst reaction. So William said something and you got angry. Anger is the consequence. The only way around this is to change your reaction and how you react is predicated on what you believe to be true. So if you believe that William did not say something that would upset you, you won’t get angry at him in the first place. It comes down to giving people the benefit of the doubt and trusting that they have your best interest at heart.
Next time to cede control over things you don’t have power over. Meaning, we have to eradicate irrational beliefs because they are limiting. For instance, one irrational belief is to expect everyone to behave how you want them to behave and expect that people will react the way you want them to react. In a nutshell, we should not expect things to go our way all of the time. And what perpetuates these irrational beliefs are words. Of course, right?! Language and communication shape our thoughts and our worlds. So avoid using words like “must” “never” and “always.” To put it in perspective, if you get angry and say that things never go your way even though you try with all your might or you reprimand someone for always doing the thing that you don’t like and they never do the thing that you want them to, guess what? That’s fueling the fire of anger. So it’s gotta go. Ciao irrational beliefs.
Then I want you to resist the urge to say “it’s unfair.” We’ve got to fight that irrational feeling. How do you do that? Dispute it! Instead of a must make it a “would be nice.” For example, Joe must be nice all the time is different from it would be nice if Joe were nice, subtext being some of the time. This way you’re eliminating the false expectation. So we basically transform the musts to a preference and change a demand into a desire. This way you are not filled with anger and have a clear head on your shoulders when you need to make game time decisions. It also allows you to interact calmly, negotiate or problem solve to get a better outcome instead of an outcome you’d get after bursting into anger.
Lastly, practice is imperative. We can have all the anger management tools we want, but if we don't put them into practice then what good are they? So open that tool box and take out your anger management tools. One way to practice is to think about something that made you angry recently. If it still makes you angry, that’s good because we can work with it. Alright, now you’re going to workshop it. So feel the feels. How does the feeling of anger move through you? Let it course through your veins and as it does, it’s time to take action. Get out those tools. Go through the strategies discussed in this lesson and one by one coax that anger out of you.
So we discussed four ways to help you control your anger. Recognize that you have power over your reaction and no one caused the feeling of anger but you. No one can make you angry without your consent, remember. Turn irrational beliefs into rational ones. Change “musts” into “would be nices” and finally practice so you are prepared to act when real anger strikes.
Alright Explearners that’s it from me today. If you liked this lesson be sure to give it a big thumbs up. If you prefer to listen to this lesson, check out our podcast. And head on over to our blog for the full transcript of this lesson. And if you want to help our channel continue to grow, share this lesson and our channel with anyone who wants to improve their communication skills and social skills. I’ll see you in the next one!
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