Deciding to get control of your anger — rather than letting it control you — means taking a good hard look at the ways you’ve been reacting when you get mad.
- Do you tend to yell and scream or say hurtful, mean, disrespectful things?
- Do you throw things, kick or punch walls, break stuff? Hit someone, hurt yourself, or push and shove others around?
- Do you withdrawal and give others the silent treatment?
- Do you write hatful hurtful things in text messages or on social media?
For most people who have trouble harnessing a hot temper, reacting like this is not what they intend. They feel ashamed by their behavior and don’t think it reflects the real them, however it some ways it does. Whether or not it’s fair people tend to pass judgements on our personal character based more heavily on negative experiences than positive ones. Often people are defined by attitudes they exhibit less than 1% of the time.
Everyone can change — but only when they want to. If you want to make a big change in how you’re handling your anger, think about what you’ll gain from that change.
- More self-respect?
- More respect from other people?
- Less time feeling annoyed and frustrated?
- A more relaxed approach to life?
Remembering why you want to make the change can help.
It can also help to remind yourself that making a change takes time, practice, and patience. It won’t happen all at once. Managing anger is about developing new skills and new responses. As with any skill, like playing basketball or learning the piano, it helps to practice over and over again.
TOMMOROW WE’LL TAKE A LOOK AT “THE FIVE STEP APPROACH TO HANDLING ANGER.”