During his monthly seminar, a wise man and ever wiser teacher told those of us in the audience a very important statement. The statement had to do with how and when to respond to a perceived hurt. He recommended very strongly that we need to ask ourselves three questions, BEFORE we respond in any way, to the comment or act that hurt us. I am paraphrasing his statement below, and adding the action of “doing” to his comment, as well as “saying”. The three adapted questions are:
- Does something need to be said or done?
My thought: Is a response needed at all? Would it be better to just “let it go” or as someone once said, ”Turn the other cheek.” Would discretion truly be the better part of valor right now, given the situation.
- Does something need to be said or done now?
My thought: Should someone respond in some fashion right now, or would it be better to wait for cooler heads to prevail, in the hope of resolving the situation, rather than waving a red flag to the Bull and escalating the situation.
- Does something need to be said or done now by me?
My thought: Would it be better to let someone else step in and handle the situation? Perhaps a neutral third party would be better able to deescalate the incident. It takes a very strong person to walk away from a potential confrontation. Anyone can explode in response or throw the second punch (metaphorically speaking). That takes no strength of will at all and rarely solves anything.
That being said, here are some great tips to help you turn the bull out to pasture and let him rest and smell the flowers, rather than waving the red cape at him for no good reason other than wanting to be “right”.
Anger management: 10 tips to tame your temper from the mayo Clinic
Keeping your temper in check can be challenging. Use simple anger management tips — from taking a timeout to using “I” statements — to stay in control.
Do you fume when someone cuts you off in traffic? Does your blood pressure rocket when your child refuses to cooperate? Anger is a normal and even healthy emotion — but it’s important to deal with it in a positive way. Uncontrolled anger can take a toll on both your health and your relationships.
Ready to get your anger under control? Start by considering these 10 anger management tips.
- Think before you speak
In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to say something you’ll later regret. Take a few moments to collect your thoughts before saying anything — and allow others involved in the situation to do the same.
- Once you’re calm, express your anger
As soon as you’re thinking clearly, express your frustration in an assertive but non-confrontational way. State your concerns and needs clearly and directly, without hurting others or trying to control them.
- Get some exercise
Physical activity can help reduce stress that can cause you to become angry. If you feel your anger escalating, go for a brisk walk or run, or spend some time doing other enjoyable physical activities.
- Take a timeout
Timeouts aren’t just for kids. Give yourself short breaks during times of the day that tend to be stressful. A few moments of quiet time might help you feel better prepared to handle what’s ahead without getting irritated or angry.
- Identify possible solutions
Instead of focusing on what made you mad, work on resolving the issue at hand. Does your child’s messy room drive you crazy? Close the door. Is your partner late for dinner every night? Schedule meals later in the evening — or agree to eat on your own a few times a week. Remind yourself that anger won’t fix anything and might only make it worse.
6. Stick with ‘I’ statements
To avoid criticizing or placing blame — which might only increase tension — use “I” statements to describe the problem. Be respectful and specific. For example, say, “I’m upset that you left the table without offering to help with the dishes,” instead of, “You never do any housework.”
7. Don’t hold a grudge
Forgiveness is a powerful tool. If you allow anger and other negative feelings to crowd out positive feelings, you might find yourself swallowed up by your own bitterness or sense of injustice. But if you can forgive someone who angered you, you might both learn from the situation. It’s unrealistic to expect everyone to behave exactly as you want at all times.
8. Use humor to release tension
Lightening up can help diffuse tension. Use humor to help you face what’s making you angry and, possibly, any unrealistic expectations you have for how things should go. Avoid sarcasm, though — it can hurt feelings and make things worse.
9. Practice relaxation skills
When your temper flares, put relaxation skills to work. Practice deep-breathing exercises, imagine a relaxing scene, or repeat a calming word or phrase, such as, “Take it easy.” You might also listen to music, write in a journal or do a few yoga poses — whatever it takes to encourage relaxation.
10. Know when to seek help
Learning to control anger is a challenge for everyone at times. Consider seeking help for anger issues if your anger seems out of control, getting the best of you, causing you to do things you regret by hurting those around you.
Thanks for reading this and Thank you to the Mayo Clinic for the great tips.
If you or someone you love has a problem with anger, or anger is beginning to get the best of you, find someone to talk to and get professional help before a downward spiral begins..
If you live in the Tidewater area, give me a call. I’d be glad to speak with you.
Next : some reasons why people seem to over react in surprising ways.