How Can I Control My Anger?
How often do you get angry?
Every hour Everyday Every month Never
Who or what is most likely to fuel your anger?
Pet Parents Siblings Friends No one
3. Can you describe a situation that drives you to anger?
If your answers to the questions above are ‘Never’ ‘no one’ and ‘no’, let me congratulate you. You’re an expert in anger control!
Anger is an emotional energy that runs riot inside our body. If we surrender to anger, it will have us dancing on the balls of our feet. Challenge it with a smile and it will vanish like darkness when light hits a darkroom.
“I can’t control my anger, my dad’s the same.” This statement is just an excuse to lay the blame on others for our behaviour. It’s a possibility that we’ve exposed ourselves to the rage of anger through socialisation, whereby we learned the behaviour but how we choose to control that ‘rage’ is entirely in our own thoughts.
“I like to suppress my anger then explode.” Bottling anger is known to be bad for our system but letting it out can be equally dangerous. It is factual that we need to release our anger sometimes but it would be unfair to walk around with the characteristic of an atomic bomb, revving to destroy everything in our path including other people’s emotions.
“If I’m too soft, people will take advantage of me.” People are clever enough to detect that it requires real courage to demonstrate self-discipline. Furthermore, we’ll gain more respect for self-control than that of an outrage one.
So what do we do with anger, if we don’t behave like a time bomb? We can master the technique of expressing our strongest emotion without (lighting up the sky as if it’s 1999) making a huge explosion.
CONTROLLING OUR ANGER.
Many times we use the cliché “She/he drives me to anger.” This shows that other people have control over our emotions. We might as well be puppets and dance to the hands jerking the strings. Not to worry, we can get back into the navigating seat and take control by following 6 simple steps.
We need to recognise that only we (ourselves) have the power to make us angry. The way forward is to erase blame, admit and accept that we are responsible for our own actions. Anger is what makes us strong when handle with care. It is a key to life growth and improvement. As human, we will not move on to better challenges until we accept anger.
There are many factors that will engage us in turmoil. However, it’s important to recognise them and identify the one that causes us to be angry.Some of the common factors are: Tiredness, Road Rage and Premenstrual Tension (PMT).
Whether through lack of sleep or long hours at the office, tiredness can create short attention span. As a result, we become irritable and will snap at everything in sight.
- Road Rage
When we experience difficult predicament, we will react differently. Some of us might find it hard to control our anger and often lash out at other people. The following story below highlights the behaviour of a ‘Road Rager’ in action.
You’re driving down the road. You maintain a distant from the driver in front because you like your own space. Another driver overtakes and closed the gap. You yell every male abusive language and scream at the driver. Realising that he can’t hear, you wind down your car window to finish him off. Then you look into his wing mirror and realises that he is not a man, she’s a female driver. A friend you haven’t seen for years. Anger disappears and shame emerges. You look around to see if anyone notices. You start to smile and flash your light to get her attention. This time, with a better intention.
- Premenstrual Tension (PMT).
Some women go through physical and emotional changes a week or two before their period. As a result they might experience tiredness, tearfulness or aggressiveness. In truth, this is a time when anger hatches. With our hormone all over the show, anger will take charge and completely wipe out our emotional connections like a tsunami. This is a time when everything and everyone’s faults magnified. At home, a shoe in the wrong place will get us going even though days before we tripped over the shoe many times without even noticing it. The housework becomes an instant burden. Our partner and friends are beyond recognition. They’re in the wrong place at the wrong time, in the wrong bodies and they’re coming at us with weapons of destruction. Our head is exploding and nobody cares and the only word on the tip of our tongue is ‘hate’. Breathe! Nothing changed. Anger is on vacation and is using our body as a vessel to go on holiday crews.
Remember not to react on an impulse. In other words, don’t wriggle when anger tickles. It’s best to respond to the situation by demonstrating how the situation makes you feel. “Divorce the message from the messenger.” For example, instead of saying, “I hate you because you burst into my room and stole my money.” You could say, “I feel rather unhappy that my privacy was invaded and my money was barrowed without my permission.” In this case you’re not accusing anyone.
To every action there is a reaction. Here is another illustration: A woman tries to turn her car around in the middle of a T-junction. Another car forces its way past hers, nearly hitting her car. She gives the driver the ‘one finger solute.’ (Holds up her middle finger.)The driver stops and four men of muscular built, jump out and rush towards the woman’s car. She realises her mistake and after a momentary pause, her body begins to shake. Anger withdraws leaving fear to clean up the mess. (Anger is fear inside out)It was time for retribution. The threat and abusive language from the men defuses her anger and a big smile creases her face. Slowly, she drives along wearing the smile like a clown. Her anger places her in danger but it is the smile that saves her from harm. Sometimes when someone upsets us, it pays to take a deep breath and smile, instead of striking back. Be conscious of your reaction at all time. This incident could have turned out to be very nasty.
It’s good to talk about our anger to friends and families. Find out the type of methods they use to overcome their outburst. Get the feel of what will work for you and test it in threatening situations.
6. The final straw
Lashing out at someone can affect your relationship with others. The best thing to do is think of the consequences before you speak or act. When we feel that we’re losing our composure in the time of anger, we should try not to speak out. Repeat the words of our intended reaction in our mind and no one will know what we’re thinking. We mustn’t lash back. If someone having ago at you, just ask, “Why are you having such a hard time?” Apologise if necessary and say, “I’m not here to hurt you.” Or “I didn’t mean to hurt you.” Exposing anger to these questions is like sunlight to a vampire.
In the case of PMT, we need to recognise what is happening to our body and tell ourselves that it will past. A good remedy is to tell others that we’re having a hard time keeping our composure and we need to take timeout to rest. It’s not a bad start to expose anger and take the first step to change the way we react in threatening situations. The way forward is to become conscious of anger and don’t be afraid to talk about it. ‘Push your own button.’ This will allow us to grow as better people and others will see the change and respect us for our strength, courage and calmness.