7 Things Anger Management Pros Always Do
You want to flip a table. A literal table. Right here. Right now. You don’t care who sees you because you’re so flippin’ (no pun intended) angry!
But before you do that, though, give it five minutes. Is it really worth it to “let off some steam” now, and regret the consequences later? If people seem to walk on eggshells around you or if you’re often described as “hotheaded,” “touchy” or “The real-life Incredible Hulk,” you might want to take a leaf out of an anger management professional’s book.
Here are seven things anger management pros do to prevent their rage from overwhelming them:
1. They Acknowledge They Have a Problem
Really? I’m the problem? Can’t they see that Mr. Know-It-All is so incompetent? Why don’t they talk to that person instead?
Yes, it’s possible your co-worker is to blame. However, if everyone around you seems to not be cutting it, it’s time to take a step back. Take a long, hard look at the person in the mirror and think about adjusting how you view the people around you. It’s likely they’re not all incompetent.
2. They Get to the Root of the Problem
Does your anger seem to happen “randomly”? Chances are it’s not that random. Anger can be triggered by anything, like impatience, traumatic experiences or even your brain chemistry.
To find out what your anger triggers are (because it’s different for everyone), keep a hostility log worksheet. This will help you track patterns in your outbursts and possibly whittle them down to their root causes. If you know what sets you off, it’ll be easier to avoid and deal with your triggers.
3. They Channel Their Anger in a Constructive Way
Yes, anger can be destructive — but only if you allow it to be. Instead of treating it like a rabid animal that should be kept under lock and key, why not think of it as your brain’s way of telling you, “Houston, we have a problem”?
When you have a problem, the last thing you want is to focus too much on what went wrong. If you actively reframe thoughts like “How could Mr. Know-It-All let this happen?” to “What can we do now?”, you can turn your anger into an asset.
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4. They Empathize With Others
It’s easy to think that everyone’s out to get you. After all, humans have committed terrible acts throughout history just because they can.
If you always assume the worst of everyone, though, you’ll end up hurting even those who mean well — and you’ll never have peace of mind.
Try to give Mr. Know-It-All the benefit of the doubt. For all you know, his constant blathering is a mask for his deep-seated insecurity. To quote Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: “Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them to become what they are capable of being.”
On the other hand, Mr. Know-It-All might actually be what he seems — a complete jerk with no redeeming features whatsoever. If that is the case, don’t beat yourself up for making the effort to be nice to him. You’ve already done what you can. Now, it’s time to do what you can for yourself by walking away.
5. They Don’t Take Themselves Too Seriously
Try to find the good — or, better yet, the humor — in everything life throws at you. Stuck in traffic? At least you have an excuse to listen to that audiobook you’ve been putting off. Your son broke the figurine Aunt Muriel sent you last Christmas? At least you have an excuse to not display that ghastly object in your living room. It’s okay to take your work, your family and your health seriously — just not yourself.
6. They’re Not Afraid to Seek Help When Necessary
Sometimes, your outbursts can get so out of control, no amount of self-help can ease them. In that case, you’ll probably benefit from psychotherapy and anger management classes. Alternatively, you can look up anger management specialists in your area using databases like Psychology Today’s.
7. They Accept That Anger Is Natural
As mentioned earlier, anger shouldn’t be treated like a rabid animal. It’s hardwired into our brains for a reason: to help resolve conflicts of interest. If you acknowledge anger as a natural response to certain situations, it won’t be as debilitating to you as before.
So, how do you feel right now? Still want to flip that table?
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