We all experience anger from time to time. It’s a normal human emotion that plays a much bigger role in our lives than we realize. And one of the common issues I have experienced personally when angry, is not controlling the words that spew out of my mouth when I express that anger.
I’ve always been the type of person to say exactly what I want to say. I believe that sugar coating topics, especially the important ones, is the worst thing a person can possibly do. If something needs to be said, the best option is to simply say it. Anything less would be unbecoming.
But of course, we humans are fragile beings, and sometimes that approach seems to complicate things more than it helps. A great example that I think many of us can relate to is arguing with your signicant other. I’m currently single as I write this blog post, but in my past relationships, speaking in anger was just one of the many reasons that fights would continue. If we feel wronged by another person, especially the people closest to us, there’s a natural tendency to unleash the Kraken, so to speak. A no holds barred, full frontal assault with all the reasons why we feel we are correct and dignified in our response. And when this happens, bad things are said. Unintentional things are said.
Speaking in anger is something we try to avoid because we know that an angry mind is a clouded mind, and there’s no way for us to clearly articulate our truly intended message when all we see is red. But this is life, and sometimes we all make that mistake. I know that I’ve made that mistake quite a few times myself. I’ve said many things in anger that I felt, at the time, were absolutely correct. And while my intentions were never to hurt someones feelings, but instead to remove all guilt from my name, the only outcome was more anger and more frustration.
I hate to sound cliche or generic, but the age old idea of walking away to cool down really is the best option sometimes.
Because our minds are clouded with anger in the moment, making rational decisions isn’t the easiest thing to do. And many people have never tried to just walk away to cool down because they’re too busy trying to defend themselves instead of defuse the situation. And that’s the key point in this; Defuse versus Defend.
Being angry is one thing, but acting in anger is another. It’s sort of like being in a dangerous situation when you’re out and about with friends. If a threat arises, the natural human instinct is Fight or Flight. I’m a firm believer in defending yourself from a dangerous threat by any means necessary, but that isn’t what this article is about. When angry, many people chooose to Fight because they want to Defend themselves, defend their honor, and defend their integrity. But that’s not always the answer when it comes to being angry.
When you’re angry, the goal should be to Defuse the situation, to defuse the anger, because when you’re both seeing red, nothing will be accomplished. Learning how to successfully defuse an angry situation can mean the difference between a continued relationship and one that is about to end.
I have learned to walk away when I am angry because that gives me the time to clear my head. It’s not easy. It’s never what I “feel like doing” when I am angry at someone, but it has given me the ability to properly re-asses the scenario and take into account the other person’s point of view. But the catch is that you will never consider another person’s point of view if you are not able to walk away in the first place. This takes time and practice. It takes patience, and the irony of the whole thing is that patience is the one thing an angry person doesn’t have. So how is it possible?
Self Discipline is the key to making this process work. You have to be able to control yourself, and this means you have to literally reprogram your mind and your entire thought process. The people who are not able to walk away when angry are missing this key factor of Self Discipline in their thought process. When you get angry, instead of instantly jumping into the defensive position with a full blown verbal assault of the other person, reconsider your approach. It’s ok to be defensive as long as you do it the right way. So try getting into that position in a way that can help both of you.
Take a step back, take a deep breath, and tell yourself to walk away so you do not speak in anger. Doing this will defend you, it will defend your honor, and it will defend your integrity. It will give you both the ability to cool down and re-asses the scenario which means that the words you speak will not be spoken hastily in error.
Think back to the different times in your life that you were angry. I’m referring to moments where you spoke incorrecly in anger and frustration. Imagine how things could have been different if you had chosen to simply walk away and cool down. In my past relationships, walking away was something I did not always do. And because of my failure to do so, my relationship suffered hits that could have been avoided. When you’re angry and you speak in anger, it opens Pandora’s Box for an endless amount of problems, and the next thing you know, you’re fighting over something completely unrelated.
I challenge you to reprogram your mind when it comes to dealing with anger. I am confident that you can be successful in the process. Tell me; how has anger affected you in the past, and what do you do to cope with your anger now?
If you know someone that can find this information useful, please feel free to share it with them.