You stand face to face with a person who is boiling with anger and yelling at you. You want to respond in the same way, but it will not improve the situation. There are only two ways, and only one of them is correct.
Let’s find out the answers to these urgent questions and learn how to control anger, what the basic error is and how to fix it making yourself and others happy.
Anger suppression is bad for you
In this case, you are saying with your teeth gritted, “It’s all right,” and keeping on with your business. The good news is that it really conceals anger – but only from others – your emotions are only aggravated by the attempts to suppress them.
You stop feeling positive emotions, but not negative ones. The amygdala (part of the brain that affects emotions) starts working excessively.
However, the most interesting thing is that while you are suppressing emotions, your interlocutor starts feeling worse, as well.
Once you start restraining anger, the opponent’s blood pressure increases, which is gradually developed into a dislike towards you. If you have to communicate for a long time, it is likely that you will be on bad terms with each other
Someone will think, “I knew it! If restraining anger is bad – I’ll vent it on others. ”
Do not give vent to anger
Taking it out on another person like a duelist is not the best idea, you agree. Expressing constructive dissatisfaction is all right. However, venting anger on the opponent, you only let it grow like a snowball.
You can try to get distracted. Will it help?
Brain energy resources are limited. If you switch your attention, the brain can not concentrate on useless thinking about unpleasant situations.
You must have heard about marshmallow test. Children were given a marshmallow and left alone in the room. They were promised to receive two marshmallows, if they could resist eating the one that was in front of them. And what’s the result? The children who were able to pull themselves together and did not eat the marshmallow, in the future, achieved better career results and never got into jail.
How did the children manage to resist eating the marshmallow? Very simple – they got distracted! Walter Mischel, the author of the study, noted that the children found an occupation: they sang, picked their ears, played with their fingers or whatever they could find in the room. Thus, they smoothed the internal conflict and relieved the unpleasant waiting.
It is difficult to get distracted when someone is screaming hysterically in your face. However, it is possible.
One of the books by David Rock describes an interesting experiment: Professor Ochsner measured people’s emotions using a scanner. The subjects were shown the same picture, which depicted a man crying outside the church. At first, people felt sympathy and sadness. However, when they were told that those were tears of joy, and the man was a guest on a wedding, people’s emotions changed. Professor explained this by the fact that our emotions depend on our views of the world – as soon as we change the views, our emotions change too.
Once again, imagine the situation: someone is standing a few inches from you and is shouting on top of their lungs. And if you imagine that this person lost their mother the previous day? Or they are going through a difficult divorce, and have just been deprived of parental rights?
Probably you would not take their anger so close to the heart, and might even sympathize.
What changed? Nothing! It is just the background that changed the perception of the situation.
Let’s summarize. To get rid of anger you need:
- Not suppress your anger – maybe the people around you do not see its manifestations, but they feel your state very well, and the relationship is getting worse.
- Do not work yourself up, venting emotions on others – voice the cause of your discontent peacefully and constructively. However, do not pour oil on the flames and boost your anger even more – you will be the one who’ll suffer.
- Reassess the situation – just tell yourself, “I have nothing to do with this – she’s had just a bad day.”
The last step on the way to preserving a good relationship is forgiveness. And it is you who needs it, not the other party. Remember: keeping a grudge is the same as drinking poison and thinking that someone else will die.