Everyone gets mad and the level of anger we succumb to can range from slightly irritated through to a full-blown hissy fit.
Often, our anger makes those around us feel uncomfortable. Because of this, although you are entitled to feel your anger, it is imperative the way you express it (your behaviour) goes through some kind of reasoning process before reaching output stage.
Anger is usually triggered by something or someone and there will always be something or someone lurking in the shadows of your life waiting to help trigger those emotions for you. You can control some of these thing by changing them for the better, however, not everything can be changed. Because of this, learning to better manage the instinctive reaction of your Inner Imps and, therefore, the behaviour they urge you to display when you do blow, is important.
The intensity of your anger will typically be tied to your thoughts (ergo chatter of your Inner Imps) in certain situations.
For Example: You head to the kitchen cupboard for bread to make a sandwich only to find the cupboard is bare. One would hope that you’re the sort of person that might just shrug his shoulders.“Great, now how can I make a sandwich?” On the other hand, if your Inner Imp Thinking is off kilter then you maybe more inclined to take things a little personally. In these cases, your reaction may be more along the lines of: “Great! That’s just so typically inconsiderate. Whoever used the last of the bread is SO in for it now. What the heck am I going to eat now?” – all accompanied by the slamming of the cupboard door (which yanks it off its hinges), kicking of the dog (that lands you with £150 vet’s bill or hospital visit from the vicious dog bite) and barking at the first person unfortunate enough to encounter you after your discovery (that lands you in deep do-do if it’s the wife)!
Modifying your Behaviour
Relax already! You are perfectly entitled to feel angry. Your feelings, whatever they may be, are yours and therefore perfectly valid. What is not always acceptable however, is the action you then take under the influence of these emotions. That is what you need to manage more effectively.
So, what can you do when you are spiralling towards a supernova meltdown? Here are some quick CANDoable ideas.
- Don’t Try to Suppress your Emotion. You can’t and you shouldn’t have to. No one can be expected to control their emotions totally – in fact there is a body of evidence that suggests it is particularly unhealthy to do so. What you can and should do however, is control your behaviour – ergo, the instinctive actions, inactions and behaviour that your Inner Imps urge you to respond with.
- Recognise When Anger is on the Rise. Tell-tale signs that signal anger is starting to bubble up to its limit are surprisingly numerous. They range from feelings of tension, irritation, impatience, heat, balling your hands into fists or maybe even clenching your teeth. The earlier you can notice the signs, the more likely you are to still be open to the calming influence of your Inner Imps Judgement/Reasoning and Honesty. With their help you can adjust your perception of the situation (to make it more optimistic) or the situation you are in. If you can do this, you are more likely to be able to keep your irritation from escalating into rage. With negative emotions such as anger, prevention really does have more worth than cure.
- Make Notes of any Patterns to Your Anger. Are there regular times, situations or people that stir thing up and cause your anger to get the better of you? Consider ways to minimise your exposure to factors that contribute to stirring you up.
- Consider How to Do it Better. Even if, despite your best endeavours, you indulge in a hissy fit, there is great benefit to be found in considering what triggered the emotions, whether your perception was distorted (e.g. you took things far too personally), how to avoid avoid those triggers in future and what other more appropriate reactions were available to you.
- Understand that Emotion is Different to Behaviour. It often helps to remind yourself that what you’re fighting is not the emotion. As we said before all your emotions are valid for you and you are perfectly within your rights to feel them. What needs addressing is your Inner Imps’ instinctive behaviour that follows to ensure it is appropriate, constructive and beneficial for “Team You” and those around you.
If you’d like to learn more about how self talk can help you to better control your emotions, actions and inactions, my soon to be released book, Inner Imp Thinking does just that. Sign up below to receive a free pre-release copy when available (due for publication in Spring 2014).