By Joe James When things don’t go the way we planned, it’s normal to feel angry, but when anger gets out of control, a few anger management skills can help. This is especially critical around the holidays when tempers run short and patience wears thin.
When we are really angry, it’s helpful to remember that we are not seeing the whole picture. We focus on the negative aspects of the person or situation and can no longer see the positive ones. Remembering that we don’t have the whole picture can sometimes help us check ourselves and avoid an embarrassing meltdown.
Try to avoid reacting in the heat of the moment and go for a walk until you calm down enough to make a more rational decision. Going for a walk combines two anger control skills: providing a release of tension through physical exercise and the time and space needed for relaxation techniques to work.
An angry outburst is rarely only about the situation that triggered it; get to the root of the problem. What needs are not being met?
Practicing effective communications skills is a crucial part of anger management. The more you know yourself, the better you will be able to communicate your own needs and feelings to others.
Learning empathy is one of the most effective skills you can learn. If you can imagine what the other person’s needs and feelings might be, even if they aren’t effectively communicating them at the moment, you might be able to reduce your own anger and theirs as well.
Ask for more information, listen to what they have to say without judging, and validate their feelings in your own words.
During the holidays we often have more encounters with people who we don’t normally interact with on a daily basis. It may be a challenge but with a few anger management skills at our disposal we can keep things under control.
Go here to learn more about anger management skills.
Dr. Joe James is a psychologist who is the developer of many online anger management classes.
Some people look into online masters degree programs when they want to learn more techniques like these.