Anger Management

I am the blog owner and I struggle daily with managing my anger. The good news is I win the struggle more often than I lose. It has been nearly one year since I had a blow up with someone. For context let me add that my anger manifests itself in harsh words delivered in a manner which puts people into an adrenaline dump / fight or flight mode. I don’t yell. I don’t throw or break things. I don’t hit people.

Many of the strategies that I use are from the book “Anger Kills: Seventeen Strategies for Controlling the Hostility That Can Harm Your Health” by Redford Williams which can be bought here:

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The below three points help me in my daily struggle with anger. Please note that I am going to walk you through them from an avoid-detect-counter point of view.

1. Eliminate preconceived notions.

Whether we want to or not we develop preconceived notions as to how a situation should to play out. When reality does not meet our expectations we get angry. Try to eliminate preconceived notions. Instead, focus on enjoying the moment or the process rather than being a slave to the end result.

2. Acronym “SMART”

S: Stop! — Something happened. You are angry. Before speaking or acting in a harmful way you need to stop. Whatever happened most likely does not require immediate attention. If you respond immediately and impulsively you will likely regret it.

M: Move! — Move away from the anger-related stimulus. If you can, physically separate yourself. If you cannot physically separate yourself then do so in your mind. Go to your happy place. Think of a time or event where you were ultimately relaxed and full of joy.

AR: Analyze Ramifications! — I know you want act out in anger. What are the ramifications if you do? Will you make your wife cry? Will your children be scared of you for weeks to come? What are the ramifications if you do nothing? After time you will likely discover that the ramifications of acting out in anger are not worth the effort. The juice is rarely worth the squeeze.

T: Talk! — Once you bought yourself time, space, and determined the ramifications you can then assemble the words you need to address the situation.

3. Utilize “simple I” statements as much as possible.

Take ownership of your anger. Don’t push it off on the stimulus. Rather than saying “If person X didn’t do action Y than I wouldn’t be mad” use “I” as much as possible.  A better statement would be “I get angry when person X does action Y because (insert reason here).”  You will need to rehearse using the “simply I” technique without a stimulus present to get it right.  Think back to your last blow-up and determine how you could have used a “simple I” statement to describe the way you were feeling.

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