9 Dos and Don’ts to Deal with Anger
Feeling an emotion is important, but expressing it in an appropriate manner is equally – if not more -important. This is true especially for negative emotions like anger, as your expression could risk your reputation in people’s eyes and weaken your relationships.
Therefore, you must remember to keep the dos and don’ts to deal with your anger. Some of these are difficult to act upon in moments of fury, but acting smartly and taking a sip of patience in these moments saves a lot of regret and broken ties.
Continue reading to learn the dos and don’ts of managing anger and try incorporating these into your life for achieving a healthy relationship with anger.
9 Dos and Don’ts you should know to Manage your Anger
Experts recommend some dos and don’ts of dealing with anger. A few of them are listed below:
- Important to Speak up about the Issue
- Don’t strike until the iron goes cold
- Take Time to Understand the Problem
- Use “I” statements
- Keep it short, simple, and polite
- Appreciate Diverse Perspective
- Don’t convince someone with strong arguments
- Change doesn’t happen straight after a confrontation
- Recognize that an individual is responsible for their behavior
1. Important to Speak up about the Issue
Often, people tend to think that they are being silly by feeling hurt and angry over something. Or that talking about the issue would make them petty or some who “can’t take a joke,” so they keep their emotions bottled up. This doesn’t help anyone and only makes matters worse. Therefore, you must speak up about the issue. Though, make sure that it is done in a polite yet assertive manner.
When you talk respectfully yet assertively, you let the other person know that you felt wronged by their action. At the same time, doing so politely helps them listen to you calmly and be more accepting of their faults.
For instance, both you and your partner think that the other person was wrong in a situation. Will keeping things to themselves and showing aggression passively help anyone? No, right. You will be able to deal with the situation correctly when you communicate the issue in a sensible manner, without letting emotions take the better of you.
2. Don’t strike until the iron goes cold
While we recommend that you talk about the issue, don’t do it when you are fuming with fury. You are more likely to say mean things when you can’t think straight.
Say something like “we will talk about it when both of us have cooled down,” or “I would like to discuss this issue at a greater length after some time,” and then do it after you have taken time to calm down and collect yourself.
You will see what world of a difference this makes and saves you of the regret that spewing venom while enraged makes you feel. Often, spousal arguments blow out of proportion because both parties say things in a moment of anger and push each other to further extents of anger. Anything that the person says in these moments reeks of fury and is likely to cause hurt to the other person.
3. Take Time to Understand the Problem
This is something most of us don’t do. We respond immediately. We feel this urge to react and defend ourselves as soon as we feel attacked. In times of conflict, remember that both of you are each other’s well-wishers and would not want to hurt intentionally.
So, try to listen and understand the problem. Ask each other if you understand the problem and then respond.
Notice that this often happens at workplaces. Employees feel wronged, but the communication gap or hesitation does not allow them to talk about the problem and they simply let the resentment grow in their hearts. A meaningful conversation where the involved parties talk and listen to understand can save such happenings.
4. Use “I” statements
It is easy to start the blame game and say things like “you hurt me,” “you always favour xyz over me” and “you humiliated me in front of others” in conflicts. Instead of doing this, try sticking with statements like “I feel hurt” and “I felt humiliated” so the other person does not feel attacked and is more willing to rectify whatever they did to make you feel this way.
So, the next time you have an argument with your partner, don’t say something like “you made me a joke in front of your friends and family.” Instead, say that “I felt embarrassed and a mockery in front of your friends and family” and then gently explain why you felt that way and how your partner can ensure not to do something that makes you feel this way.
5. Keep it short, simple, and polite
Often, when we are expressing our anger, we tend to start with other things and then gradually build-up to the point of contention. Don’t do that. It diverts attention from the pain point.
Get straight to the point. Tell what the issue is in simple words. Keep it short. Make sure to be polite and respectful.
6. Appreciate a Diverse Perspective
Understand that humans are different with different mindsets and approaches to things. It is not necessary that the two parties involved will look eye to eye on the matter.
So, if it’s a domestic conflict, understand that your spouse may look at things differently and feel that what you did was wrong instead of what they did. In such matters, be open to accepting diverse perspectives.
7. Don’t convince someone with strong arguments
Remember, the point is to express your hurt and anger, and not to forcefully make the other person accept your opinion. Don’t pressurize them into apologizing by giving them strong arguments. Rather, gently tell them what you think and feel about the issue and whether they think that they unintentionally hurt you. If they do, their apology would be genuine and guarantee a positive change.
8. Change doesn’t happen straight after a confrontation
We expect overnight change from people when we can’t do that ourselves. So, allow the people you love some space and time to think about the confrontation and whatever you said, and hopefully you will see a gradual yet steady change in their behavior.
9. Recognize that an individual is responsible for their behavior
If you have waited long enough and yet you don’t see any effort to rectify their behavior, it is up to you to decide what you want to do. You can keep allowing them to wrong you and treat you like a doormat, but it is only a matter of time until you will blow up.
So, always remember that an individual is responsible for their action. You must not allow the other person to keep belittling you. You don’t owe them forgiveness. However, you owe yourself respect. So, don’t allow anyone to intentionally and repeatedly hurt you.
At the same time, also know that even if you feel wronged, you can’t lash out at someone. Don’t lower yourselves down to verbal and physical abuse. Walk away if you can’t control your anger. Seek help if you can’t control your anger. Do something before it’s too late. After all, it is not your spouse’s, children’s, or employees’, responsibility to bear the brunt of your wrath just because you don’t know how to manage your anger.
Hopefully, these dos and don’ts to deal with anger will help you tackle anger smartly. However, if you are stuck in a situation where these things don’t help, you can seek online help, such as opting for anger management classes.
For instance, if you experience constant fury at your workplace and you are afraid that your temper will get out of hand, then you can try taking this online course specially designed for employees and employers to help them learn the dos and don’ts of dealing with anger.
Or if you think that your teenage child needs help for anger issues, then you can ask him to enroll in a teen anger management class that has shown visible results in helping teenage girls and boys to control their rage.