You are seeing red, like scarlet rivers of blood red, and you’re shaking because you are so angry. We’ve all been there. In the moment, you couldn't care less about the consequences of your actions. You are pissed and the person(s) that caused this are going to hear about it no matter if you lose your job, friend, or relationship. You are filled with righteous indignation. The very last thing you want to do is get a handle on your anger.
Your pulse races, our hands clench into fists, maybe you break out into nervous laughter or maybe you sit in silence, seething. Your blood pressure is spiking and you suddenly have hawk like tunnel vision. There is no noise over the pounding of your pulse against your eardrum, a rapid thumping driving you forward like your very own marching band.
What do you do in this situation? Where do you direct all this anger in a way that won’t come back to bite you in the ass when this wave passes? Sometimes, you don’t. Sometimes you rage and rage until you are spent and deal with the fall out afterwards feeling vindicated. The other times though, when calmer and more rational minds prevail, here are some tips on how to get a handle on your anger.
Those Boots Were Made for Walking
It may go against your better nature, but walking away is often the best decision you can make in this situation. Get a handle on your anger before you do anything. Acting out in anger rarely works in your favor when in the heat of the moment you are unable to see the big picture. Whether it’s a boss, a lover, or a friend; walk away and address the situation when you’ve had time to calm down a little bit. Walking away (for now) may just save your relationship or job.
It’s All about Perspective
You don’t have to agree with where the other person is coming from to understand it. Even in anger, every story has two sides. In the heat of an argument, it is impossible to see the other person’s point of view, which is why distance is necessary before you act. Even if you still think the other person is bat shit crazy or dead wrong, finding out where they are coming from is a must.
Hash It Out
Don’t let your anger fester! Once you get a handle on your anger, go back and address the situation. People who bottle their anger and never discuss what bothers them are not doing themselves any favors; it’s just not healthy. You can still get loud; you can still disagree, but talk it out. Be active in finding a solution and resolving the problem. Your friend, family member, or employer will (hopefully) appreciate your efforts to problem solve.
Once you have talked things over with your foe, establish rules and boundaries. The best way to avoid future misunderstandings, arguments, and blowouts is to be clear about how you expect to be treated. Maybe a friend ditched you, or a lover failed to follow through on a promise, let them know that you aren’t okay with being treated that way. Setting expectations is the best way to avoid future fights, or at least be justified in your anger next time they over step boundaries.
It's not easy to get a handle on your anger and see things in a rational light. In fact, sometimes you won't be able to. When possible though, being calm and thinking things through before speaking is your best plan of action. How do you get a handle on your anger?
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