You don’t wake up in the morning thinking “I am going to get mad today”. But it happens. There are moments in life where you get so annoyed, that you lose your temper and say and do things you might regret.
The following excerpt from the book It’s ok to ask them to work sums it up pretty well.
The madder you get, the dumber you are
I never met a person who could make better decisions when angry than when calm. We even have a word for this:Irrational. Not rational. Not thinking.
Who among us has not-in the heat of an argument-said and done things that we would have moved heaven and earth to un-say and un-do when we finally returned to out rational state. Our observations and our lived experience validate it. The madder we get, the dumber we are. Our challenge, then, is to manage ourselves in a way that we can avoid anger-at least the trembling anger that leaves us sputtering rather than speaking. Anger creates situations that rupture relationships, ruptured relationships lead to enemies, and enemies accumulate.
With or without your knowledge, your outbursts negatively affect your relationships. Ranging from your family to friends to co-works or may be even totally unknown people you meet on the road! Yes, I know, controlling your temper is not as easy as it sounds. However, try... you will get there..
1. Will it matter?
I went to a friend’s place one morning, to help her out with her baby’s first birthday party. She had nicely cleaned the main dining table when her eldest son( 4 yr old) Mark came and sat down for breakfast. The dog, who was sitting by our side, saw Mark and ran to greet him. Mark shifted his hand to pat the dog's head and accidentally split the milk on the table and then it dripped into the carpet. My friend was furious. She lost her temper and if I wasn’t there I think she probably would have even hit him. Later on of course she felt very guilty about her outburst and apologized profusely to Mark.
When confronted with such situations, ask your self “Will it matter in x years time?” Sometimes we just “lose it” over things that don’t really matter in the long run
2. Take a break
If you are trying to negotiate something you want, but you are not getting your way…. your emotions start to boil and you tend to lose your cool. Take a break.
Yes, count down to 10(heard it before huh?), take deep breaths. It all helps. If you have some paper around you, its also a nice feeling to tear the papers apart!
3. Give the other person a break!
Countless times I hear my father yell to drivers passing by, for various wrong doings. In fact, sometimes people yell at him too, for his maniac driving!
Have a bit of patient and visualize yourself doing the same thing. Come on now, give the other person a break!
4. Physical exercise
When I am annoyed or angry I like to take long walks, run or even swim. I even played badminton once, picturing the face of the person I was mad with on the shuttle cock! Seriously, It works.
5. Write it down
Sometimes, when people make us mad, you have so many things we want to tell them but out of courtesy you can’t. So write those thoughts. Of course make sure that they don’t get into the wrong hands ;-)
6. Monitor your progress
Keep an anger log. Note down the situations you got really mad and how you reacted.
What techniques do you use to control your anger?
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