Actually, this is more something I’m learning than something I’ve learned; interestingly, a friend posted something along similar lines on Facebook earlier today.
Modus operandi: do not speak when you are angry.
Personally, I have been learning to refocus my energy when I find myself incredibly upset. I’m learning that it is wise to not speak or act impulsively for two reasons: first, I am yet to hear of an action or a word spoken in response to provocation that makes any sense. Anger is a strong emotion that may not be wrong in itself; but sometimes provocation is more perceived than it is real.
My second reason is that angry people tend to hurt other people and usually do not remember what they do or say in that fleeting moment of anger. I know so because I have acted in anger, and I have been on the receiving end of someone else’s anger. The outcomes are never pretty.
In light of this, I have recently started channeling that kind of energy into doing something else like reading a book, finishing that to-do list, putting on some calming music, and other similar things. A few minutes of reflection on the issue at hand often helps for clearer thinking, hence better choices of what should or should not be said or done – which is a good thing, since there is always the temptation to defend what is said or done in anger.
Also, anger sharpens one’s perception – usually not in a good way. Although this is often unconscious, an angry person would be more likely to remember something the “offender” said or did in the past, just to use it as ammunition against the latter during the ongoing argument or disagreement. If you find that people are often speechless when you accuse them of something while you are angry, it may not necessarily mean that you have proved a point; it might just be an indicator that you picked the wrong thing to say – or worse, you just lost yourself a friend.
Learning to refocus this sharpened perception could be your best option yet; you would be amazed to find that you suddenly understand how to go about that task or project you’ve tried to finish up on the past couple of days – if you would just think about it right when you catch your mind searching for ‘ammunition.’ Trust me, it works!
“An angry person stirs up conflict, and a hot-tempered person commits many sins.” Proverbs 29.22
- The Honesty Policy (missdei.wordpress.com)
- Anger: To Control or To Learn. (anthonysramblings.wordpress.com)
- 5 Reasons you should let go of Anger/Stress (muhdlawal.wordpress.com)
- Anger Management: How to Keep Your Temper in Check (everydayhealth.com)