Recently, we posted on how to deal with angry customers. In this post, we continuing our series on dealing with anger. – This time, how to reduce our own anger
In this post, I would like to consider some more suggestions for resolving problems of anger
Anger is a sudden emotion that can flare up and take us by surprise. In this immediate time period it is most powerful. When we feel overpowered by anger it is important to try and delay our response. If we try to remain detached, even for a moment, the force of the anger will start to dissipate. Then it becomes easier to view the issue objectively.
- When anger takes us by surprise, it is helpful to do some deliberate exercises that take our mind away from the anger. If we breathe calmly, slowly and deliberately, this will definitely help reduce the impact of the anger. Even just counting can help. All that happens is that we are forced to think of something else and this on its own reduces the power of our anger.
In the Long Term, if we can’t get rid of underlying anger and resentment, we can try these techniques.
Don’t Take Life Too Seriously
“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,”
- William Shakespeare
In life, people will do stupid, irritating things, if we expect perfection from others, if we expect our life to be free of problems we will always be doomed to disappointment. Life is too short to harbour grudges and anger against people.
What is Gained, What is Lost?
Nursing anger towards others is a guaranteed to make us depressed. But, does it help change the situation? The point is we need to be wise, if we are angry and miserable we gain nothing. If we nurse anger and are unable to get rid of it, it will be ourselves who lose out. If we can detach from anger, if we can move on, then we can regain our inner happiness. Wanting to be peaceful, is the most important step in actually achieving it. If we realise the benefits of dealing with our anger, we will make persistent efforts to get rid of it.
If we make a desire to detach from our anger, we may get frustrated because our first efforts fail. Despite a wish to be free from anger and frustration, we find it keeps coming back. It is like a bad habit we need to get out of. We may not succeed with our first, second or third effort but, if we persistently ignore our anger, eventually we will be successful. Never be dispirited if we feel anger for no good reason. It is a passing emotion that we can choose to ignore.
This might appear difficult, but, if we are angry with a person / group of persons we can try to see the problem from their perspective. This doesn’t mean we need to agree with them, but what we are trying to do is to appreciate why they behave like they do. Sometimes the behaviour of others appears incomprehensible. But, maybe if we had the same upbringing, we might have a similar perspective on life. If we can do this we blur the edges between absolute right and wrong. This empathy and sympathy is the first step to appreciating that they be just trying their best. When we try to understand and sympathise with others it will definitely lessen our anger and feeling of separation. Anger is a problem because it gives us a very partial understanding to any problem.
If you can smile at your enemy / problem, half the power disappears at once.
Maybe these things will not work for all situations. But, if we are honest often we can become angry for relative trivial offences. Perhaps someone said a sharp word, drove badly or was generally inconsiderate. But, it is not the end of the world. Some people feel anger can help, but, I don’t agree. Anger gives us an unbalanced outlook, we become blind to a neutral perspective.
Photo Unmesh Swanson, Sri Chinmoy Centre Galleries