Do you find yourself overcome with anger? Perhaps it is perpetual or perhaps it only happens once in a while. Maybe it only happens when you are exposed to a certain person or situation. However it happens, the fact remains anger happens and sometimes it is difficult to control.
I recently posted an article about how Anger is Poison.
Anger at a person is often our displeasure that a person is not behaving as we believe they should.
1. Don’t “Stuff & Blow”.
One of my biggest anger triggers is my ex-husband. This is not something new that developed after we split up. This was just as true when we were still married as it is today. Simply put, my ex has a tendency to bring out the worst in me.
When we were married, there were often little things he would do that would irritate me. I have always hated confrontation and because many of the things he did that irritated me were relatively small, I would “stuff”.
Imagine a full soda bottle. If you place the soda bottle in a grocery bag and carry it to your car and then into your house, this gentle shaking often does not affect the contents very much. You may see a few bubbles or fizz, but everything stays contained. Now imagine that same soda bottle in a college co-ed party where someone grabs the bottle and violently shakes the bottle. At first, nothing happens except an increase in fizz. However, after several violent shakes, eventually the top of the bottle flies off and the contents explode everywhere. That was me.
I would explode, often for something seemingly insignificant and relatively small.
I remember one of our biggest arguments as a married couple started because my ex had emptied the dishwasher and had put several dishes that had not come clean in the cabinets which I discovered when I was making dinner. I exploded and raged, and my reaction was completely disproportionate to the situation. I wasn’t really that upset over the dishes. However, I was upset about a bunch of other things and that just happened to be the final straw that tipped me over the edge.
Instead of stuffing and blowing like I did, instead try taking a deep breath and talking to the individual. After talking to that person, if you compromise or believe the situation to be resolved and then the person continues to repeat the same behaviors and you are unable to look past the behaviors, it may be time to walk away. I probably could have saved myself years of grief if I had realized sooner that my ex would never be able to meet my needs. That is not to say that he is a bad person, but simply that he and I were and still are completely incompatible.
2. Detach and Observe.
This is sometimes difficult to do in the heat of the moment, however, try to make an effort to detach yourself from the situation or person that has made you so angry and try to examine the situation as an outsider who doesn’t know you would view it. Would an outsider get super angry like you do about getting cut off in traffic? Would they follow that person, driving erratically? Would they honk or “flip ‘em the bird”? Often just the simple act of detaching can make a world of difference in our anger levels.
This is similar to simply taking a step back, a deep breath, and counting to ten.
When you feel the grip of anger begin to overtake you, take control of it instead. Accept the person or situation for what and whom they are. If you cannot control the situation, simply take a deep breath and accept it. You will be amazed at how much easier it is to move on with your emotions in check.
3. Create and maintain healthy boundaries.
One thing I have discovered is that when I become the angriest, it is often because one of my boundaries has been violated. Or perhaps I did not have a firm boundary but someone did something to me that just didn’t feel right deep down inside. Because of this, it is important to create and maintain healthy boundaries.
How will you allow others to talk to you and treat you? Do you mind if someone expects you to drop everything in your life for some perceived emergency in their own life? How will you handle it if your partner cheats? These are all things that are important to define.
If don’t know how you should be treated, how do you expect others to figure it out?
Anger is a powerful emotion and if we are not careful, it can easily take over our lives. However, by following these three steps you will be well on your way to regaining control of your life and your emotions.