Dealing With Anger In A Kind Way
There is a lot of negativity in the world today, where people are freaking out, pointing fingers, spreading hate, taking everything personally, etc. and when we’re not careful, we let it take over our days and our lives.
I want to preface this post with the fact that anger is normal. Everyone experiences anger. No amount of mindfulness practices, exercises in compassion, or life experiences will make us immune to getting angry every once in awhile.
While it’s inevitable to experience anger, it’s your choice for how long you want to experience it. For 5 seconds, 20 minutes, 7 hours, one week, months, years? 5 seconds and 20 minutes sounds much better to me than the latters.
I’m going to walk you through how to deal with anger in a kind and sustainable way so that you can develop the skill to only experience anger for the shortest amount of time it takes you to go through these steps in the moment that the emotion of anger hits you. First . . .
1. What kind of anger do you experience?
In order to deal with or overcome anger in a healthy and sustainable way, it’s important to first know what anger tend to experience. It may be one of these or all of them on some level. It doesn’t matter how many, it just matters that you work through it.
Here are 13 types of anger we may experience (note that some may overlap a little):
Internet or technology anger. Getting angry at technology.
Road anger. Better known as road rage.
Stand still anger. When someone is so paralyzed by anger that they won’t let go.
Addictive anger. When someone is addicted to the adrenaline rush of being angry.
Compressed anger. When someone holds everything in and is a walking time bomb.
Jealousy anger. When someone is so green with jealousy and envy that they get angry either at themselves or someone else.
Conflictual anger. When someone looks to create conflicts or problems in situations because they are angry.
Habitual or regular occurring anger. When being angry is normal so they experience it on a regular basis just to feel the normalcy.
Empathetic anger. When someone gets angry because something bad is happening to someone else. (This anger is still not healthy.)
Resistant or passive anger. When someone tries so hard to ignore that they are angry because they know it’s bad but then it doesn’t go away.
Moralistic anger. When someone gets angry when others don’t agree or abide by their moral standards and beliefs.
Manipulative anger. When someone uses anger to get what they want and manipulate the situation.
Vengeful anger. When someone intentionally is angry and vengeful towards someone and wants to get even.
2. Update your beliefs on anger.
Deeply and truly understand that anger is normal. It is something we all experience from time to time. You are not a bad person for experiencing anger.
Remember that most anger is rooted in misunderstanding.
It’s also often rooted from a mismanaged mind when we let ego take over.
When anger comes over you, don’t judge yourself.
Your anger is not in control, you are. We point fingers by saying or thinking “You made me feel ___”, but no one makes you feel anything without your permission. Know that it is not something you have to hold on to and that you can let it go at any time. It is your choice. You hold the power.
Before you react impulsively and freak out or say that mean thing or write that terrible Facebook comment, just wait for a second. Train yourself to just wait.
We are living in a place of impulse actions, words and reacting to things. Just take a beat.
Respond don’t react.
4. Try your hardest to understand.
Try your best to understand the situation and look at it from all angles. That person that cut you off in the lane, maybe they looked and they truly didn’t see you, maybe they are rushing home to an emergency.
5. Ask yourself, “What am I truly feeling?”.
Is this jealousy, stress, frustration, overwhelm, sadness, hurt, etc.? Anger is usually an umbrella emotion that can encompass one or more emotions. Figure out what it is that you are truly feeling that is causing that anger.
6. Ask yourself, “Why am I feeling this way? What is the true source of this anger?”.
Instead of focusing on what made you angry in the first place, take some time to really dig deep to find the source of the anger.Uncover what the thought processes, actions, or triggers are that making you feel this way. Are you taking something too personally? Where is this coming from?
7. Own your feelings.
Take ownership and responsibility for what you are feeling. It is your choice to feel this way. Don’t point fingers or place blame on any external forces. When you do this, no one can control you or make you feel something you don't’ want.
8. Unconnect yourself from that anger.
Once you have done your due diligence to figure out what’s really going on, release the anger. And yes, it helps to say it out loud.
9. Prioritize well-being.
How can you respond to this situation that enhances your well being and maybe even the wellbeing of others in the situation? How can you make that happen?
Ask yourself “How would my highest-self respond?” Have the expectation from now on that you are going to respond to situations with grace, empathy, understanding, peace, etc.
11. Shake it off and move on.
When you implement this the next time you experience anger, you are well on your way to a more emotionally intelligent journey and life.
YOU have the power and I am so proud of you.