Everyone on planet Earth shares many experiences. Anger is one of these many shared experiences. No one is an exception to this unless you are a three minute old newborn. There are good ways to deal with being anger and then there are ways that end with being found guilty and court appointed anger management classes. I would love to say that I have always dealt with anger in a good way, but I would be lying. I have yelled, taken swings at people, thrown a drink in someone’s face, and I have even thrown a taco against the wall. I am glad to say, I no longer deal with anger that way, although the drink and the taco are two of very funny stories. Everyone has a Susan Lucci moment from time to time, but keep in mind, you may be found guilty by a jury of your peers if you act on those moments. I felt this article was needed with recent events.
When you are angry:
- Wait an appropriate amount of time to say something. If you jump right when you first feel angry, chances are you will say or do something you will regret. Acting on emotions before you have a chance to reflect is not recommended. But, so is waiting toooooooooooooooooooooooo long. Once you wait too long, you may start acting out in passive aggressive ways. Personally, I would rather someone punch me in the nose than be passive aggressive with me. No guesswork, no walking on egg shells. Just some pain relievers and a tampon up your nose. Some people wait toooooooooooo long and they may feel as though they were silly for feeling angry and you are able to tell yourself your feelings of angry are not valid. Yes, you may be angry for a silly reason, but that doesn’t mean your feelings are not valid. There is a sweet spot in addressing anger. It’s after the urge to punch subsides, but before start with the silent treatment. This will be exactly five hours after you first become angry. Just kidding. It’s different for everyone. When you get an apology, you don’t have to accept, but you can say, “Thank you for your apology. What you (did, said, etc…) was not OK, but thank you”.
- I learned in school that journalists are to answer the questions who, what, where, when, and why. First, identify whom your anger is directed towards. Then look at the “what” of your anger. Did this person say something that mad you made? Did they do or not do something that got under your skin? When did this happen? Well, I guess this one is obvious. Omit if needed. Why? Why did you get angry? Your answer may range from pet peeve or something much deeper. Be honest.
- Address the person. Stay calm, speak clearly, and focus on facts and your emotions. Again, do not try to take swing at anyone or throw ethnic foods. This will get you nowhere. Or in jail. Or banned from Taco Bell. Let the other party know if there is something you need from them like an apology or an action that will make you less angry. Just make sure you stay respectful.
- Let them have their say. You have the right to speak your peace, but so does the other person. This part can suck at times, but it has to be done. Listen and try to understand. Do not accept anyone not being respectful towards you. Not cool. If the person apologizes, great. If not, don’t force it. You cannot control anyone else except for you.
- Once everyone has had their say, apologies have been given or not, amends are made or not the last step is to LET IT GO! Don’t hang onto feelings of anger. Anger is akin to acid (and not the fun acid). It will eat at you, and only you. Carbon based life forms have an amazing ability to let things go. We let go of debt we owe, responsibilities, and human decency (just check out people of Walmart for that gem). Why not try something healthy. Why not try… negative crap. How about anger. If you have spoken your peace, why not let it go and try something new. Pick up a new hobby. Try a new sport. Put together a freakin’ puzzle. Just focus your attention on something other than anger that has been processed and expressed. Just a thought.
As said earlier, I have been a prisoner of anger towards others. I have plenty of things that have happened that were spurred on feelings of intense anger. But something I have realized is that I have more in my life to be happy about and to be grateful for today.
Make the conscience decision to spend your energy on gratitude. Trust me, it will help you in the long run.
This is not a full list that will cure all of your anger management issues. If you’re not young and under the influence of a few screwdrivers, maybe throwing a taco against the wall is unhealthy. You and I are not on a daytime soap opera. Throwing a drink in someone’s face makes you a jackass. If you feel you have anger management issues, try seeking some PROFESSIONAL HELP. By no means am I trying to pass myself on as “PROFESSIONAL”. I’m just someone with some experience passing on my thoughts.
That’s it for me for today. Check in with me for another lesson, or rant, or sage advice. Whatever you want to call it.