We all get angry at some point or the other. And it’s always good to let it out instead of accumulating it. The real Zen masters don’t get angry. But we are simple and humble beings who do get angry once in a while.
When you do get angry, what’s the style of your anger? Here are some common ways people vent out their angry emotions.
Explosive: You yell out loud. Why did someone eat the last pizza slice I’ve been saving?? Why? Yell, yell, yell…
The bad thing about such an outburst is that you’re more likely to say some rude words that you’ll regret later. In that intense moment of heat, you might even hit something or someone.
What to do instead: Wait a bit. Count back from 10 to 1 before exploding. By that time, some of the steam would have cooled off. And if you’re still on the verge of yelling by the time you reach 1, start over again. And go slow with the count.
Self-Abuse: It can range from putting yourself in guilt to actually harming yourself. I’ve seen people who bang their fists on a hard surface when they’re angry. This type of self-abuse will harm you in many ways. You will not just build up a negative self-image, but also hurt yourself physically.
What to do instead: Whenever you feel like blaming yourself, look at the problem from the perspective of a third person. Should you really be the one to be blamed? And if you feel like hitting the table with your fists (or your head), stop for a minute and have a cool glass of water. You would just regret the pain later, so why do it?
Getting irritated: If someone gets on your nerves all the time, you will certainly get irritated. But all that time that you spend annoyed, you’ll be ruining your peace of mind. And if the irritation keeps building up, you might just snap into an explosive outburst.
What to do instead: Sit back, take a deep breath, and think. Is the thing really worth it? It might just be a stupid online fight, or maybe your friends aren’t listening to you. Maybe the “annoying factor” isn’t really worth it. Try to think logically, and you’ll find that there’s nothing to be irritated after all!
Avoidance: “I’m okay. Nothing has happened.” Put on a calm face, and you’ll be able to fool everyone. They will think you’re okay. But what about your own heart? With the avoidance technique, you’ll be burning from the inside. There’s no point in just hushing down the matter without constructively dealing with it.
What to do instead: If someone’s actions are ticking you off, it’s best to sit them down and talk to them. Maybe if you reason well with them, the problem will be solved. However, if you put a calm face, they will think nothing is wrong and the problem will go unsolved. Clear communication solves many problems. Just be honest to others, and most importantly, to yourself.
Sarcasm: “Oh, you can’t meet me today? It’s okay, I understand. You must be having dinner with the president.” Sure, it will show your wit, but will also fill you with negative emotions. And the person who faces your sarcasm is also bound to get angry. They may retaliate in their own style of anger, and it’s not going to go down well.
What to do instead: Talk to them honestly. “I don’t like the way you keep making excuses every time. I really wanted to meet you today.” Don’t you think this sentence is more likely to solve the problem than the earlier one? Talk things without sarcasm, and the problem will get solved in no time.
I understand that it is difficult to mellow it down, especially when it’s about a strong and powerful feeling like anger. But you can tone it down one notch by following some anger management tips and finding ways to manage stress, and then continue working on it to win over anger in no time.