Take Control Over the Way You Handle Anger
Five things you should never do when angry
by Joanne Troppello
Anger is a powerful emotion.
Aristotle knew the power of anger and how dangerous it can be.
“Anybody can become angry. That is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way—that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.”
When you handle anger the right way, it can be turned around for positive purposes.
However, if you react rather than respond when you’re angry, that can make a bad situation worse.
Consider the following five things you should not do when angry.
1. Don’t vent publicly
Venting is good when angry. However, make sure that you’re venting in a responsible way without making any scenes in public that can come back to haunt you.
For example, maybe you’re experiencing difficulties in your new environment working from home due to quarantine life from the coronavirus pandemic. Make sure that you vent responsibly to your manager and don’t explode in a rage during your next Zoom meeting where your team members will see you come undone.
Temper your frustrations when posting on social media. You should always think before you tweet or post on any of the other platforms. Sure, you can delete a tweet or post. However, people have already seen your frustrated post. Maybe someone already took a screen shot of it before you hit delete. Of course, you may argue that you don’t have a huge following. Just remember, that anything you post online can have a much larger reach than you realize.
Don’t vent in an email either. It’s fine to be angry over something that happened whether in your personal or professional life. Type your feelings if you have to, just don’t hit the send button on that email. If you need to vent through writing, it would be better to express your feelings in a Word document that gets deleted after you write it.
Most of the time, after cooling down, you’ll realize that you really didn’t want to say all those things you typed out. Consider journaling as a way to vent your feelings of anger or frustration.
2. Don’t argue when angry
It can be extremely difficult to refrain from arguing when you’re angry. However, if you want to develop your emotional intelligence IQ, you need to learn how to walk away from confrontation. Don’t argue when you’re angry. It won’t lead to any positive results. Remove negative thoughts from your mind.
If you operate in anger, you quickly become irrational. You don’t want to listen to the other person involved in the discussion that quickly escalates to an argument or worse.
A huge factor in personal growth involves the ability to step back when you’re angry and being able to curtail discussions until you can return to the conversation as a rational adult who is in control of their emotions.
3. Stop your analytical thinking
Some people over-analyze everything when they’re in the middle of a heated discussion. They assume things that are not true. Sometimes they over-analyze everything the other person says and easily take offense. That can lead to huge miscommunications and distance between those involved. If not quickly dealt with, that can lead to rifts in the personal or professional relationship.
Don’t fixate on the “wrongs” that this person has done to you. Of course, in the heat of the moment it will be extremely difficult to focus on anything positive. However, if all you’re doing is over-analyzing the situation, you won’t come to any positive resolutions regarding the issue or relationship.
4. Stay out of your vehicle
I admit, there have been times in my younger days when I was a hot head and drove off in a huff after a heated discussion with someone. That was irresponsible of me and very immature. Distracted driving can get you or someone else killed.
If you need to get out of the room or area where you’re having this heated discussion, excuse yourself and take a walk. Just don’t get in your vehicle and drive off. You don’t want to risk getting into an accident and harming yourself or an innocent driver or pedestrian.
5. Stay away from alcohol
Ok, sure you may want to have a drink to take the edge off. Just remember your limits and how you usually act when drinking. Alcohol can impair your judgment. When you’re extremely angry about something, don’t automatically turn to alcohol—and allow your judgment to get even more impaired.
You may not look at it this way, but anger can impair your judgement as well. Mixing the two can cause more problems for you—especially if you’ll be interacting with other people like your family members or others outside the home.
The key takeaway
Emotionally mature adults know how to handle their anger and channel it toward becoming a better person. I can say this with confidence because I used to have anger issues years ago and was not the most emotionally mature young adult.
Don’t allow anger to overtake your mind and ruin your life by causing you to make some huge mistake in your personal or professional life. Learn how to vent the right way, steer clear of arguing, don’t over-analyze, and never drink or drive when angry.
About the Author
Joanne Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel.