Managing Your Anger in a Healthy Way
Emotions help us manage our experiences. And since we sometimes have negative experiences, negative emotions serve a purpose in our lives and should not be denied or suppressed. But they need to be managed and communicated in a healthy way.
The first approach is to calm down. My advice about how to calm down before speaking in public is very useful here. In my episode, 5 Ways to Speak Up without Freaking Out, my guest and I discuss recognizing your feelings as normal, then learning to calm them through visualization and deep breathing.
The next method is to change the way you look at the situation. It’s often helpful to consider the other person’s perspective, or try to think of it as if you were a “fly on the wall”. How would a casual observer evaluate the situation? What if both sides gave their perspectives? My episode How to Handle Rude Questions discusses this a bit. Additionally, doing things incompatible with anger can make a huge difference. How can you be angry while watching a comedy or playing with kittens?
If you’ve calmed down enough to look at the situation somewhat objectively, and you find you have a legitimate reason to be angry, it’s important to communicate it in a way that will improve and resolve the situation and your feelings, not perpetuate them.
I have discussed many times on this show the value of diplomatic speaking. In a nutshell, you need to think about what you will say, choose words carefully, and listen with an open mind. The following podcasts go into this in detail.
You should also consider other people’s communication styles. You might be a quiet type, but someone else might be more dynamic or to-the-point. Neither communication style is bad, but the difference almost guarantees misunderstandings. Some of my best podcasts on this subject are:
Finally, remember that sometimes life is hard. Sometimes you just have to Choose to Be Happy. If you or someone you love continues to have issues with anger or sadness, please talk to a professional. But usually, putting into practice the suggestions in this podcast will help you balance anger so that it’s a rare occurrence.
This is Lisa B. Marshall changing organizations, changing lives, and changing the world through better communication. If you’d like to learn more about leadership, influence, and communication, I invite you to read my bestselling books, Smart Talk and Ace Your Interview and listen to my other podcast, Smart Talk. As always, your success is my business.
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