Anger is a difficult emotion to gain control over. Oftentimes, the red-eyed monster takes control of our entire being within seconds, and we can only helplessly watch as things spiral out of control. However, anger is one of the most volatile and dangerous emotions, and letting it take control can be the ruin of many relationships. So we have to learn Step by Step Anger Management Techniques.
What Triggers Anger as an Emotional Response
Knowingly or unknowingly, as humans, we all succumb to external or internal trigger factors and get angry. Depending on the level of self-awareness, the frequency of anger outbursts will vary from person to person, based on tolerance level, clearness of thoughts, and many other biological and psychological factors.
When we understand our triggers, we can manage our anger and provide a more well thought out response, rather than letting the brain’s emotional center override the rational side of it. If we are attuned and aware of our triggers, we will be able to predict our own responses and make changes for the better.
Anger: Good or Bad?
This, however, does not mean anger is an all-negative emotion. It was actually designed as a protective emotion that helps people defend themselves from physical and psychological threats. Anger can be a powerful ally. As one of the most cathartic emotions, it can be an effective cleanser of the psyche. However, when anger becomes your primary response, it turns into an obstacle against self-control.
Hence Anger Management techniques become essential. In the simplest of terms, anger management techniques consist of deploying these feelings of anger successfully and towards your advantage, rather than lashing out at people and inducing chaos in your life.
Effective Anger Management Begins with You
1. Regular your Responses
Taking responsibility for your feelings makes you the driver rather than a putter on strings. It gives your rational brain dominant control over the emotional part of it. Thus, you start functioning from your internal locus of control. You then hold the rationality to evaluate, regulate and control your anger before making decisions.
Pro tip: Use the three R’s: Relax, Reassess, Respond, to regulate your anger responses better.
2. Taking Complete Responsibility for Your Emotions
Rather than blaming external reasons, first, look within to see the root cause of anger as an emotional response. This empowers you to acknowledge your internal emotions and external behaviour in society. You are not accepting responsibility for the other person’s choices and feelings nor admitting that the conflict is your fault. All you are doing is shifting the centre of focus from the external environment to the internal emotional necessities.
3. Developing Empathy
An important aspect to consider during arising conflicts is to try and understand your opponent’s point of view. Developing a feeling of empathy for the person you think has wronged you can help slow down hasty anger reactions. It allows you to understand fully that your opponent may be experiencing certain difficult emotions as well, and may not have been in complete control of their actions.
4. Using Compassion
Everyone is fighting their own internal battles every single day that others are not aware of. One should understand that the person who has triggered your anger is human after all, and to err is entirely natural. Once you accept that making mistakes is part of the journey, forgiveness comes easy, and anger reaches your brain slower.
5. Conduct a Reality Check
You will be in a better position to monitor your anger if you conduct a reality check of the situation you are facing. Take a complete, three-sixty degree view of the problem and look clearly at what went down from all angles and perspectives. It would be best if you let go of your initial judgments and gather a better outlook to be able to take a rational decision or chart out your course of action.
Effective ways to Respond to Conflicts
An excellent skill to imbibe is to use your anger as a motivation to change. Anger, as an emotion is basically your psyche telling you that something is going wrong. The next step after self-evaluation is to re-engage with the other party to try and resolve the conflict.
1. Consulting a Person you Trust
Bring in a friend or a family member that you trust and admire for their take on the situation. Their views can be incredibly helpful to you and can help you see things in a much more precise way. Getting another perspective involved is always smart, provided the said perspective is neutral and rational. Sometimes we are so stuck in our head; we don’t see situations as they are and overthink about simple situations. A secondary view can significantly help with this.
2. Engage Talks with the Other Party
This approach requires a lot of mindfulness. It would help if you became polite and respectful at all times. Maintaining good and welcoming facial gestures helps to alleviate tension. Show that you are willing to talk and resolve the issue rather than playing an incessant blame game or trying to insult the other.
3. Be a Good Listener
Before you articulate your needs, concerns, and perspectives, you must give the person a platform to express their point of view too. Being an active listener helps to communicate and resolve the problem more effectively. Remember that the conflict is a two-way street and may have occurred due to faults of your own too. Allow yourself to agree that you can make mistakes too, and reach a common consensus. Avoid allowing the conflict to reach a worse point than it already is at.
4. Speak Assertively
Stand up for your feelings and emotions while exhibiting the same for the other person. This is precisely the right kind of approach and attitude to adopt as it is a positive communication style, practical and derives meaningful and satisfactory results for both parties. Do not allow yourself to get belittled or accept that your feelings were unwarranted. Letting the other person dismiss your emotions will only add to the simmering resentment, and even though it may avoid further conflict, there will not be a substantial resolution.
5. Cage your Rage
Guard your psyche against the escalation of your own anger. When you are angry, the desire to hurt the other person is extreme. Instead of provoking the other person’s anger, work towards moderating your own and let the other vent out their fair share of emotional turmoil. Do not respond in the heat of the moment and try to measure out your responses appropriately. It is important to establish clear grounds about how you want to be treated by others. Reflect the same in your behavior and call out something that triggers you in a calculated and calm manner.
Anger Management techniques are skills that can only be acquired through constant practice. There might be bumps along the way, but slowly and steadily, these steps will become second nature to your body. With enough practice, they will even override your natural anger instincts. Give your mind the time to adjust, and within no time, you’ll see yourself become the cool and calm goddess you always wanted to be!