Andrei Alexandrescu, Performance Coach in the ATLAS community, spoke to us about anger management, how to manage anger when we feel that it is taking over us and how to cope with it when we meet it in the people around us. By learning to control anger and express it adequately, it will help us build better relationships, achieve our goals, and lead a healthier and more satisfying life.
Anger Management. This theme is so beautiful that it ended up being the subject of some movies (even series). Unfortunately, the films are not Romanian, but I have the feeling that they are inspired by our lands, considering that we have casuistic as it covers.
This anger we’re talking about is something widespread
Better said, it’s an excellent emotion! Why? Because anger, this second-degree emotion (which comes after another feeling that makes us feel vulnerable), shows us and helps us realize that:
- We are (still) living beings (and that we have the opportunity to remind ourselves to be thankful for that);
- We can react in another way – from a multitude of choices, sometimes we choose to be angry (scream, strike, etc.), and sometimes we choose to be in a “different way” – we observe, and again, that there are other possibilities;
- Anger is an indicator of other states – identifying what stays at the origin of it (and it’s quite simple, we will see), we will be able to grow further;
- Anger can also be an indicator of the environment – we will also catch this ‘habit ‘ourselves if we live next to people that master this emotion, who do not want to talk, at least for a little while, with themselves.
I don’t want to get into too much theory, but it’s fascinating that anger suppression is positively triggering diseases, with a focus including cancer (you can read Gabor Mate – “When the body says no”).
Why does anger appear?
Shortly, because we interact with a situation or person, whose content or reaction is contrary to our subjective image of the world and life, we, at such a time, do nothing but judge what appears to us in the face, on desirable and subjective criteria, and to react accordingly, and if we can be as volcanic as possible.
In other words, anger is the struggle to impose some values, doubled by weak awareness and weak self-control.
The important thing here is what we feel. When we get angry, we feel like “the universe has something with us”, that a “piece of us” has been targeted and violently affected.
That is why anger is a second-degree emotion because behind this feeling hides a lot more, like for example:
- sense of betrayal,
- pain, etc.
It is essential to understand that it is good to express our negative emotions, but with certain shades. We also need to open our eyes and realize that we need time and exercise for the mourning of Wrath. Fear management can’t be just ready on the go, and there are no Sorcerer’s incantations. It’s almost like at the gym.
So, how to get to proper anger management?
1. Talk about moments of rage with other people
Talk with friends, relatives, preferably in who you trust and whose company you like. It’s a “human” feeling, so there’s nothing to be afraid of. It is a scientific fact that human relations/interaction heal you before anything, so it’s a pity not to try.
2. Talk confidently with a specialist!
Any specialist (coach, psychotherapist, counselor) can help you discover new perspectives and ways of action or anger management methods. No doubt; it is perhaps the fastest and most effective anger control strategy.
3. The “Why?” investigation.
When you feel anger, ask yourself, “Why do I get angry?” and answer honestly. Try to determine what is your fury base.
You never get angry “that you get angry. “There is a primary reason. For example, if your loved person doesn’t answer your phone and YOU get mad, the cause may be jealousy, translated into self-uncertainty.
Important! Do not ask yourself in public spaces out loud. It may seem strange sometimes.
4. The fury block-notes (I missed that word)
The recipe is simple – personal notebook and pen, and when you go through such a moment, you write absolutely everything that goes through your mind! Even all moments, names, people, décor, injuries, curses can go on your list. The method will create you almost instantly a sense of well-being and relief.
Of course, you usually happen to have already manifested your anger openly towards a person/situation or intend to do so, and this exercise will be done after/before, given the conditions.
The important thing is to create a habit; in this case, a positive one that leads to change (to anger management). If, while a situation is about to cause you an angry reaction and you act by taking out the notebook or at least by thinking about it, I think you have created enough self-awareness.
5. Do not block anger, but show it, not so simple, but observe yourself actively
What does that mean? Simple! Suppose something wrong – a colleague curses you at the office in front of everyone (including bosses; suppose your parents are there too).
You want to fight back! Well, right now, you have to propose to observe yourself very carefully on the following path: How do I feel when he swears to me? Why do I want to react? What’s the context? How does the person who bothers me now usually behave? What does this behavior say about her? If I ‘fight back,‘ what will my reaction say about me?
You will notice that being conscious at the time of anger, you will no longer react, but you will learn about yourself and shape your thinking and behavior, the final goal being the anger management.
6. Change your perception right now while reading!
Let’s go on the logical wire. We have established that when you get angry, you feel, briefly, harmed. Do not get mad by yourself but by exposure to “something” or “someone.” The one who knows best “who you are” is “you.” Perfect! “Something” or “someone” generates your anger because you perceive that it attacks your person.
Here, I include :
- values systems,
- perceptions, through your actions.
If you go to the beginning of the paragraph, you will notice that we are in a subtle error of logic. No one knows who and how we are if we do not tell parts of our conscious and unconscious (we mentioned specifically unconscious, because that is why we have gaps looking “Who we are,” another typical “human” aspect). Thus, “something” or “someone” can only judge our actions, but not the essence.
When someone cuts our way into traffic, and we get angry, and we almost break the flag and the bulbs on the board to throw them at the driver’s head, we feel that we have not respected our own rules and values regarding: our importance as an individual on this earth (“who is he to cut off my path without leaving him”? We feel somehow inferior.), how to drive correctly, order and discipline in traffic, etc.
Important is to remember is that when someone offends us, criticizes or behaves hostile towards us, the person in the spotlight is paradoxically the one with hostile behavior and not us.
Consider when you last offended someone (exercise only for sincerity), what did you feel? That you’re right? That you defended yourselves (for whatever reason?) That you’re just creating the ascendant towards the person? Not? It was actually about you guys. At one point no longer mattered to the person in the front, it could just be a hologram.
7. Stop judging!
Here it is all about creating a positive life habit. The more we judge, the more we impose our vision of the world and life without taking into account other perspectives and that we are still living in communion with nature. When we get angry at the same time, we judge. Let us not do it again and observe actively (section 3).
8. Come on. It’s popular lately! Meditate!
Twenty minutes a day, in the morning, in the evening, from anywhere. It’s not a shame, though, there is some stigmatization on this side. If you are spiritually wrong, meditation is for freaks. Buddhist monks have started this because nobody hired them on LinkedIn. – stigmatization, I repeat myself, is a trademark of the lack of education, understanding, and marks limited faith, usually oriented towards “holy nothing.”
To meditate correctly you must sit on a chair (the logic is to replicate an “active” and not “lying” posture, with which the body is used to bedtime/sleep times), with the right-back, lightly dressed, best without stockings and footwear, with closed eyes. If you want, you can stay in Lotus, but the technical details are not so important, and I advise you, dear reader, not to get lost in the details. Please do not put an alarm that imitated the city’s alarm for calamities, but something soft, which goes up in intensity (especially if you’re a cardiac).
The idea of meditation is not to think about “something” (the “thing” you heard about”; challenging, but feasible), and for starters price of 20 minutes the focus should be on breathing (consciousness of inspiration/expiration, swelling of the diaphragm, entry of air through nostrils, etc.).
You will come to different thoughts:
- problem-solving, etc.
Do not block them, but accept them and let them “go by” (as a trick, you can call in mind a few times the feeling that the thought awakens, and it will disappear.
If not, let him pass, it’s not hard. And here, there is a need for exercise and the establishment of a healthy habit, but it is enjoyable. Who does not want to have 20 minutes to stop thinking about problems, plans, money, bills, and not be annoyed (speaking about perception change)?
As a small anecdote-anger is not baggage received from someone, but one pulled to the car by ourselves-. I let you meditate with a gentle alarm at the said.
On the other hand, what do we do when we have an angry person in front of our eyes?
1. What does the matador do when he sees a bull who pulls out flames in front of him? Well, it’s kinda getting out of the way
So with the angry people, we need to show clarity in thinking and “move” with grace out of their way, and if anger manifests violently, even to get out of their way literally. A calm and wise attitude on our part is the winning one, also if we are the object of anger. It’s difficult, but not impossible.
2. Don’t deny the furious ones their anger but give them the perception that they are fully understood
It is best to use “I understand your point of view, and ‘you are right,’ but from my point of view X, Y or Z” – in these moments, the positive effects of a well-made conversation-art are observed. At the time of access to anger, you do not send the angry to a “psychologist” (according to the national habit) – it is counterproductive and can deepen the foundation of his anger.
3. The angry must, however, be confronted, but not at the time of at the “boiling point” of their anger
After the “nerves” period, it is necessary to present ourselves and support our point of view, focusing on setting the boundaries of the relationship, regardless of its nature. Sometimes the furious will never cease from its accesses, at which point we have to choose between the two paths (or pills, as in the Matrix) – I Stay, or I leave. Staying in a rage-filled environment is not healthy for our mental health. Remember!
4. Identify things that cause anger and replace them with others
If you are working under the command of a person with a difficult personality (and here are many points to tackle) and you like the job so much that you want to stay there, you will need to identify things that cause anger and replace them with others. It is a fine and detail work, but every person has needs and patterns of behavior.
An extreme example – there are martyr bosses, who believe they are suffering alone for the good of the company, think that employees “are good for nothing, unproductive or loiterers.” Of course it is a paradox, so it is necessary to identify the signals by which the boss appreciates that “the ants do their job” – staying overtime (even without sense), send emails to him in excess (e.g., with the stage of the projects, also if it does not bring value) or adopting an attitudes of the type “I’m up to my head on business.”
I do not want to disappoint, but what I presented at this point are techniques of avoidance for the sake of a job (in this case) – to defend our fundamental needs. After all, being treated by those around without the use of anger is a necessity in itself, primary by the way.
5. Do not take personally challenging behaviors, with exercise and patience you can learn to detach
When someone manifests their anger towards us or in our face (in which case we are not the target of negative feelings) it is essential that we focus and look from another perspective and understand that whatever the person’s words or behaviors, not our essence is attacked, but our image in the mind of the furious.
It is difficult to “not take personal” challenging behaviors, but with exercise and patience, we can learn to detach. Let’s assume that the boss enters your office, slams the door (and drops your hooked up dead nature painting ) and tells you one day that “you’re good for nothing, you have no results, you don’t know how to do anything, you’re practically useless.”
Judging the words, yes, you can decide to take it personally because expressed itself in II person, but, in order not to fall into the trap, you have to see as clearly as possible that: the boss doesn’t know who you are (think, in your case, “How much of you” really knows?), if you were useless you would not be there so it’s impossible to be “good for nothing” (if you mind his words means you’re for something, you are good in “taking them personally”, if you had no results you could not hire, etc.
6. When we have an angry face in front of us, the image of his behavior and talk must be “flexibility” in our minds
In other words, we should translate from “has something to do with us”, in the possible situation ” perhaps, this is his way of functioning, devoid of respect and moral boundaries.”
That’s right, it’s not easy working in an environment with angry people or having someone near you with such behavior, but we can feel better around them, and we can learn to set boundaries.
If you like comparisons (and metapits, that I sure do), the relationship with an angry must be like in Aikido – the more you let him manifest his force without putting resistance, like a wall, the more control over the situation you have.
Schedule an individual meeting with Andrei Alexandrescu, Performance Coach in the ATLAS community.