Advertising
Advertising

10 Anger Management Lessons No One Should Miss

10 Anger Management Lessons No One Should Miss

Sometimes we all get a little grumpy. Whether it’s school, work, friends, family, or ourselves, there’s reason to just lose it every so often. We just have to blow our tops, I suppose. I’ve been told plenty of times to seek therapy or deal with my anger problems, so I gathered some experts to weigh in and judge my practical tips to eradicate anger. Here are some Anger Management tips we devised in the process.

10. Admit It

Anger_by_Tyshea lifehack versability

    WHAT DO YOU MEAN THE DEBIT MACHINE ISN’T WORKING?!?!

    Just admit you’re angry; if to no one else, at least admit it to yourself. Hiding behind other adjectives, such as bothered, agitated, irritated, upset, mad, frustrated etc.—they all mean the same thing. Whatever you call the emotion, it’s the same thing—you’re not happy. It’s okay to be down every so often (depression is a real thing), but if negative feelings are motivating you rather than de-motivating you, you’re angry. It’s okay—we’ve all been there. In fact, we see it nearly every day in the most public place we visit each day: the road.

    Advertising

    “Studies have shown the aggression on the road is usually, like bullying, misplaced aggression,” says Walter Meyer, a public speaker who focuses on bullying. “Drivers get behind the wheel already upset about a fight with their spouse or boss and someone cutting them off in traffic is the final straw, but not the casus belli.” The quicker you admit your anger, the quicker you can dissipate frustration by accepting your anger before going out into public.

    9. Accept It

    Accepting that you’re angry puts you in a powerful position—by accepting your anger, you’re essentially identifying as your angry self and taking responsibility for your choices and actions with that anger. When you accept your anger, you look in the mirror and understand that you’re the person that’s acting angry, and everyone else is responding to your anger. You are your own god and the creator of your own world, so your anger really is your own problem to deal with, no matter what you’ve convinced yourself of otherwise.

    8. Make a Decision

    It’s important to make a decision. According to Dr. Steven B. Gordon, Ph.D., the Executive Director of Behavior Therapy Associates, the best way to do this is to “sort the action as away/toward what you care about.” In doing this, we force ourselves to make our decisions (even when angry) base on a healthy goal.

    What is it you truly care about? Do you care more about hurting that other person or improving yourself or helping people you actually care about? Which is it? Because you can’t dedicate your time and energy to both.

    Advertising

    7. Keep Your Mind Moving

    “Perhaps recite a nursery rhyme (Not out loud unless you really want to weird out the person you’re dealing with). Or name the Seven Dwarfs,” offers Barry Maher, author of Filling the Glass: The Skeptic’s Guide to Positive Thinking in Business. “It doesn’t matter if you remember correctly. Just the act of dredging up something from memory will tend to short circuit that rush of anger and make it much easier to control yourself.”

    Yogis and meditation experts agree—keeping your mind off your problems is the key to creatively avoiding negative feelings such as anger. If you want to learn more about putting your mind over matters, here’s a great Lifehack about meditation for beginners.

    6. Walk It off

    Speaking of yoga, walking and other exercises (especially stretches and bends) are a great way to unlock your core and relieve the stresses causing anger. Whatever it is you choose to do, go burn off some steam.

    “My kids constantly leave their shoes on the floor when they walk in the door so everyone trips on them,” offers yogi Danielle Diamond, the founder of Xen Strength. “This used to drive me crazy, and set me off into a rant about how irresponsible they are, blah blah blah…Meditation and yoga teach us to stop and pause—to mind the gap, per se—between action and reaction before we say or do something stupid.

    Advertising

    5. Remove Yourself from the Situation

    Paula Anderson, LPC, LCPC at PACE Consulting offers a different point of view. “Change scenery,” she says. “Go to a different room to remove yourself from the person that you’re angry towards.”

    Removing yourself from the source of anger is useful in both a short-term and long-term resolution. If a particular person is constantly creating anger, it may be necessary for you to permanently relocate yourself to dissipate the anger. Otherwise, you can also have the other person removed.

    4. Reduce, Recycle, Reuse

    Anger is energy; you need to recycle that energy into something more productive. Remember those mottos from the recycling PSAs? Reduce your anger, recycle it into something more positive, and reuse it for something more productive. As for the situation that caused the anger?

    “When you’ve cooled down enough to maintain your self-control, re-engage the situation—if you now think it’s worth it,” suggests Gina Binder, M.A., a Resident in Counseling.

    Advertising

    3. Smile—If for No Other Reason than Annoying Haters

    If you’re angry at a specific person, the best thing to do is to smile, especially at them. People who hate you will hate to see you smiling, and everyone else will look up to you. Either way, a smile a day does more to keep doctors away than a sugary-sweet apple ever could. Smile like you mean it, if not to make yourself happy, then to annoy everyone else.

    2. Scream!

    Although it’s common to think immediately of calming down, Michelle Morton offers my favorite take on the subject of dealing with anger: a temper tantrum.

    “Sometimes we all need to give ourselves permission to do the things we are ‘not supposed to do,'” screams Morton. “No one said you should go to the store, throw yourself down on the floor and kick and scream, but it is okay to go somewhere and give yourself a few minutes to come unglued!”

    1. Stick to It

    The Mayo Clinic has a great guide online to managing your temper; in it, you’ll find tips to rapidly reducing anger in the middle of highly tense situations. There are two types of anger, and both must be addressed and dealt with separately.

    Short-term anger is the collection of all those trigger moments that started you on the path toward being angry. Long-term anger refers to all the actions you take (and happy moments you reject) because you’re being driven by anger.

    Calming techniques work well when addressing anger triggers, but for long term anger issues, you’ll need to adjust your ways of thinking.

    More by this author

    7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone Say Goodbye to a Skinny Body: How to Gain Weight Fast 24 Easy Ways To Make Money On The Internet What 500 Calories Really Looks Like in Different Foods 20 Awesome Screensavers that Make your Desktop Delightful

    Trending in Communication

    1 7 Hardest Languages to Learn For English Speakers 2 8 Simple Ways to Be a Better Listener 3 11 Tips for Maintaining a Positive Attitude Every Day 4 What Is the Meaning of Life? A Guide to Living With Meaning 5 How to Stop Being a Perfectionist (Step-by-Step Guide)

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on October 22, 2020

    8 Simple Ways to Be a Better Listener

    8 Simple Ways to Be a Better Listener

    How would you feel if you were sharing a personal story and noticed that the person to whom you were speaking wasn’t really listening? You probably wouldn’t be too thrilled.

    Unfortunately, that is the case for many people. Most individuals are not good listeners. They are good pretenders. The thing is, true listening requires work—more work than people are willing to invest. Quality conversation is about “give and take.” Most people, however, want to just give—their words, that is. Being on the receiving end as the listener may seem boring, but it’s essential.

    When you are attending to someone and paying attention to what they’re saying, it’s a sign of caring and respect. The hitch is that attending requires an act of will, which sometimes goes against what our minds naturally do—roaming around aimlessly and thinking about whatnot, instead of listening—the greatest act of thoughtfulness.

    Without active listening, people often feel unheard and unacknowledged. That’s why it’s important for everyone to learn how to be a better listener.

    What Makes People Poor Listeners?

    Good listening skills can be learned, but first, let’s take a look at some of the things that you might be doing that makes you a poor listener.

    1. You Want to Talk to Yourself

    Well, who doesn’t? We all have something to say, right? But when you are looking at someone pretending to be listening while, all along, they’re mentally planning all the amazing things they’re going to say, it is a disservice to the speaker.

    Yes, maybe what the other person is saying is not the most exciting thing in the world. Still, they deserve to be heard. You always have the ability to steer the conversation in another direction by asking questions.

    It’s okay to want to talk. It’s normal, even. Keep in mind, however, that when your turn does come around, you’ll want someone to listen to you.

    2. You Disagree With What Is Being Said

    This is another thing that makes you an inadequate listener—hearing something with which you disagree with and immediately tuning out. Then, you lie in wait so you can tell the speaker how wrong they are. You’re eager to make your point and prove the speaker wrong. You think that once you speak your “truth,” others will know how mistaken the speaker is, thank you for setting them straight, and encourage you to elaborate on what you have to say. Dream on.

    Disagreeing with your speaker, however frustrating that might be, is no reason to tune them out and ready yourself to spew your staggering rebuttal. By listening, you might actually glean an interesting nugget of information that you were previously unaware of.

    3. You Are Doing Five Other Things While You’re “Listening”

    It is impossible to listen to someone while you’re texting, reading, playing Sudoku, etc. But people do it all the time—I know I have.

    Advertising

    I’ve actually tried to balance my checkbook while pretending to listen to the person on the other line. It didn’t work. I had to keep asking, “what did you say?” I can only admit this now because I rarely do it anymore. With work, I’ve succeeded in becoming a better listener. It takes a great deal of concentration, but it’s certainly worth it.

    If you’re truly going to listen, then you must: listen! M. Scott Peck, M.D., in his book The Road Less Travel, says, “you cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.” If you are too busy to actually listen, let the speaker know, and arrange for another time to talk. It’s simple as that!

    4. You Appoint Yourself as Judge

    While you’re “listening,” you decide that the speaker doesn’t know what they’re talking about. As the “expert,” you know more. So, what’s the point of even listening?

    To you, the only sound you hear once you decide they’re wrong is, “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!” But before you bang that gavel, just know you may not have all the necessary information. To do that, you’d have to really listen, wouldn’t you? Also, make sure you don’t judge someone by their accent, the way they sound, or the structure of their sentences.

    My dad is nearly 91. His English is sometimes a little broken and hard to understand. People wrongly assume that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about—they’re quite mistaken. My dad is a highly intelligent man who has English as his second language. He knows what he’s saying and understands the language perfectly.

    Keep that in mind when listening to a foreigner, or someone who perhaps has a difficult time putting their thoughts into words.

    Now, you know some of the things that make for an inferior listener. If none of the items above resonate with you, great! You’re a better listener than most.

    How To Be a Better Listener

    For conversation’s sake, though, let’s just say that maybe you need some work in the listening department, and after reading this article, you make the decision to improve. What, then, are some of the things you need to do to make that happen? How can you be a better listener?

    1. Pay Attention

    A good listener is attentive. They’re not looking at their watch, phone, or thinking about their dinner plans. They’re focused and paying attention to what the other person is saying. This is called active listening.

    According to Skills You Need, “active listening involves listening with all senses. As well as giving full attention to the speaker, it is important that the ‘active listener’ is also ‘seen’ to be listening—otherwise, the speaker may conclude that what they are talking about is uninteresting to the listener.”[1]

    As I mentioned, it’s normal for the mind to wander. We’re human, after all. But a good listener will rein those thoughts back in as soon as they notice their attention waning.

    Advertising

    I want to note here that you can also “listen” to bodily cues. You can assume that if someone keeps looking at their watch or over their shoulder, their focus isn’t on the conversation. The key is to just pay attention.

    2. Use Positive Body Language

    You can infer a lot from a person’s body language. Are they interested, bored, or anxious?

    A good listener’s body language is open. They lean forward and express curiosity in what is being said. Their facial expression is either smiling, showing concern, conveying empathy, etc. They’re letting the speaker know that they’re being heard.

    People say things for a reason—they want some type of feedback. For example, you tell your spouse, “I had a really rough day!” and your husband continues to check his newsfeed while nodding his head. Not a good response.

    But what if your husband were to look up with questioning eyes, put his phone down, and say, “Oh, no. What happened?” How would feel, then? The answer is obvious.

    According to Alan Gurney,[2]

    “An active listener pays full attention to the speaker and ensures they understand the information being delivered. You can’t be distracted by an incoming call or a Facebook status update. You have to be present and in the moment.

    Body language is an important tool to ensure you do this. The correct body language makes you a better active listener and therefore more ‘open’ and receptive to what the speaker is saying. At the same time, it indicates that you are listening to them.”

    3. Avoid Interrupting the Speaker

    I am certain you wouldn’t want to be in the middle of a sentence only to see the other person holding up a finger or their mouth open, ready to step into your unfinished verbiage. It’s rude and causes anxiety. You would, more than likely, feel a need to rush what you’re saying just to finish your sentence.

    Interrupting is a sign of disrespect. It is essentially saying, “what I have to say is much more important than what you’re saying.” When you interrupt the speaker, they feel frustrated, hurried, and unimportant.

    Interrupting a speaker to agree, disagree, argue, etc., causes the speaker to lose track of what they are saying. It’s extremely frustrating. Whatever you have to say can wait until the other person is done.

    Advertising

    Be polite and wait your turn!

    4. Ask Questions

    Asking questions is one of the best ways to show you’re interested. If someone is telling you about their ski trip to Mammoth, don’t respond with, “that’s nice.” That would show a lack of interest and disrespect. Instead, you can ask, “how long have you been skiing?” “Did you find it difficult to learn?” “What was your favorite part of the trip?” etc. The person will think highly of you and consider you a great conversationalist just by you asking a few questions.

    5. Just Listen

    This may seem counterintuitive. When you’re conversing with someone, it’s usually back and forth. On occasion, all that is required of you is to listen, smile, or nod your head, and your speaker will feel like they’re really being heard and understood.

    I once sat with a client for 45 minutes without saying a word. She came into my office in distress. I had her sit down, and then she started crying softly. I sat with her—that’s all I did. At the end of the session, she stood, told me she felt much better, and then left.

    I have to admit that 45 minutes without saying a word was tough. But she didn’t need me to say anything. She needed a safe space in which she could emote without interruption, judgment, or me trying to “fix” something.

    6. Remember and Follow Up

    Part of being a great listener is remembering what the speaker has said to you, then following up with them.

    For example, in a recent conversation you had with your co-worker Jacob, he told you that his wife had gotten a promotion and that they were contemplating moving to New York. The next time you run into Jacob, you may want to say, “Hey, Jacob! Whatever happened with your wife’s promotion?” At this point, Jacob will know you really heard what he said and that you’re interested to see how things turned out. What a gift!

    According to new research, “people who ask questions, particularly follow-up questions, may become better managers, land better jobs, and even win second dates.”[3]

    It’s so simple to show you care. Just remember a few facts and follow up on them. If you do this regularly, you will make more friends.

    7. Keep Confidential Information Confidential

    If you really want to be a better listener, listen with care. If what you’re hearing is confidential, keep it that way, no matter how tempting it might be to tell someone else, especially if you have friends in common. Being a good listener means being trustworthy and sensitive with shared information.

    Whatever is told to you in confidence is not to be revealed. Assure your speaker that their information is safe with you. They will feel relieved that they have someone with whom they can share their burden without fear of it getting out.

    Advertising

    Keeping someone’s confidence helps to deepen your relationship. Also, “one of the most important elements of confidentiality is that it helps to build and develop trust. It potentially allows for the free flow of information between the client and worker and acknowledges that a client’s personal life and all the issues and problems that they have belong to them.”[4]

    Be like a therapist: listen and withhold judgment.

    NOTE: I must add here that while therapists keep everything in a session confidential, there are exceptions:

    1. If the client may be an immediate danger to himself or others.
    2. If the client is endangering a population that cannot protect itself, such as in the case of a child or elder abuse.

    8. Maintain Eye Contact

    When someone is talking, they are usually saying something they consider meaningful. They don’t want their listener reading a text, looking at their fingernails, or bending down to pet a pooch on the street. A speaker wants all eyes on them. It lets them know that what they’re saying has value.

    Eye contact is very powerful. It can relay many things without anything being said. Currently, it’s more important than ever with the Covid-19 Pandemic. People can’t see your whole face, but they can definitely read your eyes.

    By eye contact, I don’t mean a hard, creepy stare—just a gaze in the speaker’s direction will do. Make it a point the next time you’re in a conversation to maintain eye contact with your speaker. Avoid the temptation to look anywhere but at their face. I know it’s not easy, especially if you’re not interested in what they’re talking about. But as I said, you can redirect the conversation in a different direction or just let the person know you’ve got to get going.

    Final Thoughts

    Listening attentively will add to your connection with anyone in your life. Now, more than ever, when people are so disconnected due to smartphones and social media, listening skills are critical.

    You can build better, more honest, and deeper relationships by simply being there, paying attention, and asking questions that make the speaker feel like what they have to say matters.

    And isn’t that a great goal? To make people feel as if they matter? So, go out and start honing those listening skills. You’ve got two great ears. Now use them!

    More Tips on How to Be a Better Listener

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Rodriguez via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Skills You Need: Active Listening
    [2] Filtered: Body language for active listening
    [3] Forbes: People Will Like You More If You Start Asking Follow-up Questions
    [4] TAFE NSW Sydney eLearning Moodle: Confidentiality

    Read Next