Anger is a natural emotion. When we deny that we are angry, we are denying something fundamentally human. Some of us deny anger because of messages we received as children about how we should and should not behave. Acknowledging to ourselves that we are, indeed, angry is a positive step. Here’s how to release it and maintain the respect of others.
Admit That You Are Angry
The first step in dealing constructively with anger is to admit when you are angry. Trying to cover it up or pretend it isn’t there will only make our anger come out some other way and distance us from other people.
You may have been denying anger for such a long time that it will take some practice to recognize when it’s there. But if you start looking for it, you’ll begin to see that many things stir up angry feelings.
Stop, Look And Listen
Stop. Try to identify what it is you are angry about. The cause of anger isn’t always obvious. We’re so accustomed to shutting off our feelings that we might have to think seriously about the cause of our anger before we can identify it. What made us angry might not be the last thing that happened today, but something that occurred early this morning. Or it might have happened yesterday or last week.
Look. If you’ve identified the cause, think before you act. Could it have been avoided? Were you partly responsible for it by not giving clear instructions?
Listen. Anger is like an old friend reminding us what we like, what we want and what we need. It tells us when something has gone wrong. By being aware of what makes you angry, you can learn to shrug off the less important things.
Express Your Anger
By taking the time to survey the situation that caused the anger, you have the opportunity to cool off, and you can make expressions of anger a choice rather than a reaction. This gives you more control and you’ll be able to monitor what you say and how you say it. Be honest, but also loving and respectful. Others will respect your honesty and you will feel more satisfied coping with anger-making situations.
Contact Sutter Health EAP
If you’d like to improve your life in any area or have other issues that hold you back from being your best, let us help you. Sutter EAP has professional licensed and experienced therapists available to serve your needs.
For information or to schedule an appointment call (800) 477-2258 or complete a Service Request Form.