When people come to me for anger management coaching and classes, they often say:
"I don't like who I am when I let my anger fly!"
They are disappointed, embarrassed, humiliated, and/or, having to mop up a big spill of emotions that didn't need to happen. You might say, "Yes, it did! I just couldn't stand that for another minute." You know that's not true. You could have waited until you calmed down before opening your mouth. You are making a choice to speak out.
Did you notice that, often, the thing you were angry about didn't change as a result of your letting fly. So, now there is still that issue, PLUS mopping up after the outburst! The relationship is doubly torched now.
If this sounds about right to you, then, you want a few tips to manage anger to put in place right this minute, and here they are:
- Notice as early as possible that you are beginning to be upset, irritated, or annoyed. Small things begin to happen in your body.
- When you notice, focus on yourself, not on the person, behavior, or situation that is bothering you. What's going on in within you right now?
- Use your breath to keep the focus on yourself. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth slowly a few times to relax your body, and keep yourself from going into anger arousal.
- Ask yourself, "Where do I want to be with this relationship ten minutes from now?" and behave accordingly.
- Keep your mouth closed, and go away from the situation to regroup. This is the tough thing to do for many folks. They just want to get their anger out. Unfortunately, it spills and spews in hurtful, unhelpful ways, and nothing good comes from it.
- Wise people wait until the anger in their bodies has fully subsided before they try to discuss what is bothering them with anyone. They know they cannot communicate effectively with a head of steam up.
You may think you know these steps to manage anger, but the trick is doing them!
If you don't manage your anger, your anger will manage you. You are hurting yourself. Trying to get rid of your upset, irritation, or frustration by yelling, swearing, discounting, belittling, and/or demanding leaves you alone, with your regrets. There are better ways.
If you don't like yourself much after an angry outburst, you need some anger management essentials. To help you, I wrote an ebook, Ten Absolute Essentials To Keep Anger From Managing You. If you need more help, let's talk.