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Dealing with anger is essential if we are to get away from this disease that hurts both the angry person and everyone in her or his orbit.
The tingling starts somewhere deep in your stomach and rises right through your throat. You can feel the heat of it in your ear drums, the burning in your eyes and the spasm somewhere in your head.
The muscles of your limbs stiffen and so does the back of your neck making you feel as if a single movement will crack it in two, and before you know it, the words start gushing down your tongue and out of your mouth in a rush that is both uncontrollable and extremely satisfying because the uncontrolled vomiting of these words then smoothens your stiff limbs, brings your vision back and releases the pressure in your ear drums. Like when the addict gets his fix.
That’s how anger works through our body releasing its venom and controlling the thought process, the action and communication, bringing the person to his knees; making him believe that if doesn’t follow what is needed to get the normality back, the venom will implode the nervous system.
It is not correct to tag a certain demography of people while talking about anger management. This is a condition (yes, a condition) which every second person suffers from today. The sheer lack of patience, the rush to get our point out first, the inability to understand others’ point of view or simply being ignorant of the most taken for granted emotion – ‘sensitivity’, results in the victory of this condition in conquering our body and mind.
The continued submission of our mind to this condition then results in the blending of this condition with our natural behaviour hence converting us into human beings who are more often than not tagged as “short – tempered”.
There are a few (a lucky few) who have mastered the art of conquering anger. But the unlucky rest are still struggling to get themselves back from the grip of this evil. Hence, I write about this extremely selfish, uncontrollable, rationality-eating and peace-killing emotion, Anger. Because I feel that anger and managing anger needs as much attention from us as things like managing weight, managing our safety, or attention we give to being independent, or attention we give to being a perfect manager/mom/writer/person.
When I look around either in my professional circle or at people in my network, I see how their life is governed by this emotion. It impacts the decisions they make, the time they spend in vendetta on petty issues, and gradually, the way they become with their colleagues, friends or family.
Here are a few things I have to share which I have collected over the months, speaking with those who had empowered themselves enough to fight this bug.
First, this is a one-of-a-kind disease, the damages of which can only be seen once it has passed out of your body. When you suffer from it, everything clicks into place, every word feels right and we in our mind become the winner in a non-existent battle. But once anger leaves us, the damage it has caused is thrown in our face and some damages can be irrevocable.
Once the fix of this drug is over, you will be able to feel how emotionally drained you are, you will be able to see the pain in the faces of people who matter to you; you will have to face the ties which are broken, people who will stop approaching you, and you will be able to see your reputation preceding you, with nothing positive in it.
Since the aftermath of Anger is filled with guilt and depression, it becomes all the more prudent to manage it more than you manage the rest of your life. So, decide what is more important – winning the battle or maintaining peace in your life and with your loved ones, decide!
Secondly, what is amusing to see is that we do not need to be in a difficult situation or a contaminated environment for this disease to grip us. Very little is required for anger to attach itself to our being and eat up all that is good and bright.
The smallest of triggers will make anger swallow up the part of your brain which can think rationally in out the situation, be it your children not listening to you when you have already told them twice to pick up their plates, or clean their room, when you can’t find a difference in the tone of your colleague when he talks to you and when he talks to the office boy, when you have spoken your heart out in front of your spouse and he or she replies,“Sorry, I didn’t listen what were you saying”, when your parents force you to behave and act in a certain way, when your goddamn sibling doesn’t know how to identify situations which could be made fun of and when he/she should just back off, or simply dealing with an incompetent boss or one who keeps asking you to cancel your leave because he is unable to catch up with the work.
Ask yourself: Are any of these a life threatening situations, which if ignored, will blow you up, or your family? If the answer is ‘No’, (which it will be), then you can tell every freaking person and situation to wait.
This is the first step to overcome this terrible condition. Ask yourself how important your reaction towards the situation is. Is it really needed, do you need to react right away, can you tell the person in front of you, that let’s discuss this after wards, can you wait for at least fifteen minutes before replying to that mail which is screaming at your face, can you get up from your work desk, go to the pantry or the loo and take some minutes to reply to that mail?
I know you can; I know I can, every single time I am faced with my own anger colliding with me head-on, I know that if I could have just asked myself how important it was for me to react and waited just a few minutes, my reaction towards the situation would have changed. It will change for you too. Will your anger dissipate in those minutes? May be not, but your reaction will definitely turn from an immature rant pouring your grudge out to a mature conversation keeping intact your respect and forcing others to maintain that level of respect and maturity as well. Ask & Wait!
Thirdly, you can kill one emotion with another. Kill the emotion of anger with the emotion of detachment. The reason I keep calling Anger as a ‘condition’ or ‘disease’ when the dictionary describes it as an ’emotion’, is because the times I was able to manager my anger and also through interacting with others, I came to understand that the times we were able to win against the anger are when we see anger as a third party, an antigen, who is ready to invade our mind and thoughts without our permission.
When we think of it as something which only comes when you are faced with the triggers, it becomes easier for us to deal with it; then, we will not be dealing with one of our own flaws, we will be dealing with something which makes us flawed, something that we can escape from and something from which we can take a step back and tell it to stop right there. Detachment!
Fourth, make an anger buddy. We all have confidantes in our life, one person we can share anything with, even the number of times we farted in the middle of the meeting. Whenever you cannot get a grip on your temper, call your confidante; do not call them to rant to them; instead, call them or text them and confess that you are getting angry, as confession always ends up making us stronger and gives us enough strength to make things right. Sometimes, while explaining the situation to others, we end up getting better clarity on it. Have an anger buddy – it can be your friend, your spouse, your sibling or simply your notepad.
We need to understand that this emotion does good to no one; like the unwanted third molar in our mouths, it is painful; it has no use, even your loved ones wouldn’t want you suffering from it.
Human being are slaves to their emotions and nothing is going to change that – they drive us, inspire us, rule us and make us what we are. So look at it as you look at weight management; managing weight does not mean cutting the food out of your life, you simply cut out the unhealthy food and surround yourself with good and healthy food. Simply surround yourself with emotions which are healthy and good. In the end, every change in life needs working out and putting in efforts and there is no escape from it, so the fifth and the last thing I share with you is, if you do want to overcome your anger you need to start managing it.
Explorer, Wanderer and a Feminist. HR Professional with a passion of writing and blogging. Avid
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