Anger is not an easy emotion. It’s one of our primal instincts and it is so difficult to keep in control that lives are lost over bad anger management. In the field of business, it’s bad for your reputation, in life it might ruin relations and friendships. And, the hard truth is that this is not an easy emotion to manage, in spite of the plethora of advice articles like this.
1. Set boundaries
It’s easier to set a boundary between you and the source of anger than trying to control it, and it’s the best form of prevention possible against those that push your buttons. So, avoid people that are particularly apt at annoying you, because whatever you do, in their presence and in certain instances, your anger will surface.
2. Know what angers you
Try to understand your anger. What makes you angry is important, and sometimes you’ll find that the real cause is surprisingly simple to eliminate. 90% of what happens in our life is how we react, and knowing what angers as and why helps improve our reactions. So, get some perspective, listen without judgement and think for a moment how would you like to react next time in a certain context.
3. Respond, don’t react
Let’s be honest. Even the best of us sometime react out of anger. It’s difficult to resist if you don’t have enough training. But, the good news is that your response can be trained and inn time you’ll get better. Avoid drama and be rational in trying to understand the situation and considering the costs of losing control in a potential argument.
4. Take a six second pause
I cannot quote the actual study, but I remember reading that it takes about six seconds for the chemicals of anger to dissipate. It’s not that long but it helps you clear your mind and get back on track. So, if you see that you tend to lose control try taking it back using a six second pause. The other will probably not even note your trick and while he or she shouts you’ll be back on the right track of rationality.
5. Reach out after an argument
Post-conflict situations are difficult to manage. There is a lot of resentment and it takes some time for people to forget about an argument. Except when one party makes the gesture of reaching out, recognizing its part of mistake in the argument. Yes, I know. This is also difficult. But let’s be honest! In an argument usually parties share the blame for what happened.
6. Shift to positive
You see something angers you, and maybe the argument happened, but it’s not useful to keep it this way. It’s up to you and only you to change your approach and try to recover what was lost in the battle. The magic is that it’a actually possible, because even the most difficult people want to be at peace with themselves after an argument.