Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Art of Managing Situations that Anger You

How can you handle angry situations better? And positively. Anger is an emotion that nature gave us to fight threatening situations. So all anger is not bad. The anger that CONTROLS YOU and makes you frustrated or unhappy is the anger we’re talking about.

So let’s take a few situations that make you angry and learn how to manage it.

1. People pointing out even small mistakes you make
If you’ve a high sense of self esteem or are a perfectionist, you’re likely to seethe in anger when mistakes are pointed out. Forget for a moment whether it is right or wrong to point mistakes in you. Let’s look at a better way of managing this situation and salvaging your pride and respect. What if you just listened to what the other person says? Just listen. No comments. No criticisms. No judgements. No reactions.

Take everything they say at face value. Listen to them as if they were pointing out the mistakes of an unknown person. Now, after you heard the story, think of the truth in it. Were they saying the truth or were they mistaken. If they had misunderstood, tell them so as a matter of fact. Or were they making a mountain out of a mole hill? If so, don’t get upset. Just smile and get on with work. You have more important things to do.

2. Jumping to conclusions
Research points out very strongly that angry people tend to jump to conclusions rather easily. So if you found yourself in a situation where something related to you or co-workers is being discussed, just calm yourself. Don’t cloud your thoughts with negative things – that’s not fair, he needs a knock on his head, why the hell is everyone targeting me and my boys – all these thoughts might come up, but don’t utter them.

Just stay cool. Think of what exactly is being said. Understand the intent. Don’t shoot off the first few words that crop up in your mind. In short, don’t fly off the handle. By listening and not saying anything negative, you can turn a potentially explosive situation into a positive one.

3. Not being appreciated by partner for something nice you did

People who generally tip over the edge very fast, can’t tolerate not being appreciated for good things they do. So if you’re partner has forgotten (or ignored) an appreciable work you did, don’t withdraw or fly into a rage. Do not question or draw attention to your work by saying something negative. Instead find out what is troubling the partner so much that you’re being ignored. Perhaps, the partner’s problem is tougher to handle than your own.

By communicating openly, you may just get closer than before. Be understanding and your partner will soon turn understanding too.

4. Handling a situation that threatens to spin out of control

Let’s assume that in these tough times, there’s a discussion over forgoing some luxuries to tide over the bad times. And your kids say they won’t drop off from the gym or music classes, which could save you a fair bit of money on your monthly budget. And your partner is not being very supportive too.

Getting away from the irritating surroundings is a way of saving a lot of trouble. Step out for a walk or get into your room, plug into the ipod or switch on the tv and watch your favorite program. Smoke if you want and relax. Don’t speak to them till you are sure you are under control. When you’re a bit calmer and your verves are under control, you must air your views.

I suppose these anger management tips help you think and act better to control your anger the next time it threatens to control you.

Positive Anger Management Solutions

Anger reactions have been likened to a train running out of control and about to derail. A little anger can motivate us to take action in positive ways. A lot of anger will make us "red with rage." The price for anger that is out of control will drive away those whom we love the most and endanger our employment.
Constance McKenzie, M.Ed.,

Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom.
Victor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

Anger can be a very powerful way of getting what you want, especially in the short term. Indeed, this is one of the key reasons why it exists. When a chimpanzee displays anger, it is signalling to others that the subject in hand is very important to it, and it is ready to fight for it. Unless other chimpanzees are prepared to duel, maybe to the death, then they are more likely to back down.
Lazarus, R. and Lazarus, B. (1994), Passion and Reason,

It’s the assumption that people deliberately annoy us that really gets us going. Reminding yourself that people who annoy you – by stalling when the lights turn green, say – hardly ever have that as their purpose can reduce your anger level immediately.
Padraig O'Morain

If you choose to decrease your anger at someone, the first step is to make every effort to see the situation from their point-of-view. You might begin by asking them to explain their point of view. Encourage them to talk about underlying assumptions, beliefs, or background factors that may have led them to the point- of-view or behavior you are upset about. Summarize what they say and their emotions from their point of view (so that they agree you understand their point of view). Understanding their situation, point of view, and the causes of their beliefs and behavior is usually the major hurdle to get control of anger. Forgiving is not forgetting, t is remembering and letting go.
Dr Stevens

Change happens because we give ourselves permission to make different choices. We take responsibility for how we respond, and choose different responses. And life changes. Threats cease, obstacles disappear, paths open, people are kind, things happen.
Darshan F Jessop