For many of us, learning to control our tempers is one of the hardest things in the world to do. Our societies have become places where people now feel comfortable to say, do or act towards you in any way they please, and whether right or wrong, your reaction to this can be devastating if you just let your anger fly.
Homicide and assault rates are up, and the prisons are full of people who just in the blink of anger reacted in a way to some offense that changed their life and someone else's forever. How can one hold their composure in the face of extreme adversity without completely losing it and possibly killing someone?
People do seem to try you more and more often these days. Even though they may be wrong, you have to be the one that stays firmly in control. Saying it is far easier than doing it in real life, though! As humans it is natural for us to react defensively or go into an extreme offensive mode when we feel threatened or attacked. Those of you with a hair trigger temper have it the worst. The smallest offense, word or look can make you go off the deep end. So....how to get a hold on those destructive emotions that can get us into an even worse situation? Some anger managment techniques are definitely in order!
I'm no anger management expert, trust me, and I do have a quick to react temper at times. However, as I'm gaining some wisdom along with my years, I'm realizing that some of those sayings regarding this issue are definitely worth practising:
"Pick your battles". "Take the path of least resistance". "Be the bigger person". And my favorite "Ya gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, know when to run". (thanks, Kenny Rogers!)
One technique that I use a lot of the time when someone pisses me off is to
A) take a deep breath
B) walk away
C) start counting backwards from 10.
Then I remind myself of how good my life is, how much I have to offer the world, how blessed I am and how easy it would be for me to lose it all by going to jail.
I then tell myself that this person who is offending me by being overtly rude is an idiot and maybe has some deep problems. Also, their life must be pretty miserable to be out in public like they are, trying make other people as miserable as they are by being mean and nasty. Their life must suck! This makes me feel much, much better! ;)
Sometimes walking away is really hard, but you have to think like Ghandi in these moments! My hardest task is backing off when someone gets physical. After all, one does have to defend oneself. However, upon looking back, and unless you're dealing with a total psycho, you can usually see where in that situation there was an opportunity to de-escalate it before it even got to that point.
I am noticing that people are hyper aggressive nowadays, and if I reacted and responded to all of them the way I really want to, I'd just be out here fighting all damn day. Well, there's no time for that!
I have a life! ;)
Got a quick temper? Well, now is a good time to begin working on that. It IS something that you can change, but it will take hard work and also the use of a few techniques. Remember, you can't control what other people do; you can only control the way you decide to react to it.
Here are some cool anger management techniques I found on the Mayo Clinic's website:
Anger management tips: 10 ways to tame your temper
10 tips to help get your anger under control
1. Take a 'timeout.' Although it may seem cliche, counting to 10 before reacting really can defuse your temper.
2. Get some space. Take a break from the person you're angry with until your frustrations subside a bit.
3. Once you're calm, express your anger. It's healthy to express your frustration in a non confrontational way. Stewing about it can make the situation worse.
4. Get some exercise. Physical activity can provide an outlet for your emotions, especially if you're about to erupt. Go for a brisk walk or a run, swim, lift weights or shoot baskets.
5. Think carefully before you say anything. Otherwise, you're likely to say something you'll regret. It can be helpful to write down what you want to say so that you can stick to the issues. When you're angry, it's easy to get sidetracked.
6. Identify solutions to the situation. Instead of focusing on what made you mad, work with the person who angered you to resolve the issue at hand.
7. Use 'I' statements when describing the problem. This will help you to avoid criticizing or placing blame, which can make the other person angry or resentful — and increase tension. For instance, say, "I'm upset you didn't help with the housework this evening," instead of, "You should have helped with the housework."
8. Don't hold a grudge. If you can forgive the other person, it will help you both. It's unrealistic to expect everyone to behave exactly as you want.
9. Use humor to release tensions. Lightening up can help diffuse tension. Don't use sarcasm, though — it's can hurt feelings and make things worse.
10. Practice relaxation skills. Learning skills to relax and de-stress can also help control your temper when it may flare up. Practice deep-breathing exercises, visualize a relaxing scene, or repeat a calming word or phrase to yourself, such as "Take it easy." Other proven ways to ease anger include listening to music, writing in a journal and doing yoga.
Try a few of them out! If one doesn't work, move on to the next! You, your family and your life are definitely worth it!