How many times do you get angry in a day? What happened when you got angry? How did you respond to people around you? Did you say things you shouldn’t have or things you didn’t mean?
Everyone tends to get angry at one time or another in their lifetime. Some overcome anger issues quite easily and have no difficulty controlling it, while others struggle with their anger.
There are generally two ways to express anger:
- EXPLODING usually takes the form of yelling, screaming, or hitting people or things.
- IMPLODING usually holds the anger in and the person may huff and puff or say something under his breath.
Uncontrolled anger can ruin our relationships, damage our reputations, and make us hard to love. And so, there is no better way than to tame it and be in control of your temper.
How do you tame your temper?
1. Admit that you’re angry.
We are emotional beings and we are allowed to feel our feelings. We love to deny when we are angry because we feel guilty about it or we are afraid of what we might do if we admitted to being angry. You can’t say “I am not yelling! I am not angry” but your veins are popping out all over.
So go ahead and admit it — I’m angry. I’m mad. I’m upset. I’m frustrated!
2. Understand your anger.
Understand that there is a difference between sinful and legitimate anger. Between helpful and hurtful, appropriate and inappropriate anger, what determines if your anger is sinful is why you are angry and what you do with those feelings.
“Anyone can become angry, but to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose and in the right way – that is not easy.”— Aristotle, The Art of Rhetoric
Anger is not a cause; it’s an effect. And in order to understand your anger, you have to get to the root of the matter. Why are you angry?
- because you are hurt…
When you hammer your thumb, or someone steps on your foot, or somebody punches you in the eye, or someone calls you a name or makes fun of you — those are things that hurt you and can make you angry.
And then sometimes our anger is vented on people we love even though they are not the reason — like in those times when you suddenly blow up at your boyfriend or girlfriend for what seems to be no reason.
If you are the object of anger, realize that there is something deeper. And if you’re the one getting angry at someone you love, get to the root of the problem.
- because you are frustrated…
Sometimes nothing goes as planned — this pandemic delays our plans, people fail us, things break on us and we all get ticked. Even at simple things like long lines at grocery stores, trainees at the counter, kids crying out loud, it is very easy to get frustrated. But ask yourself:
Would getting angry change the situation? — If you can’t change the situation, why get angry about it. You can only either fix it or forget it. When you lose your temper, you always lose.
Is it really worth being upset over? — Our culture has lost its sense of what is really a crisis. Getting cut off in traffic, your mom making you clean the house, or missing your favorite TV program do not signal an end of the world. So please calm down.
- because you are threatened…
When you back an animal into a corner, he comes out fighting and people can be the same way. If we’re teased, or people pick out our personal insecurities, or question our motives, we feel threatened and get mad.
ANGER IS A CHOICE; we get angry because we choose to.
You can’t say “I can’t control it when I get angry. I just explode and then it’s all over.”
You can control it, of course you can! But first you have to admit it, understand it and then…
3. Resolve your anger.
Unresolved anger turns to resentment and bitterness — that is always sinful and is never justified. Therefore, you should not prolong or put off settling your anger. You have to calm down quickly to think better. Talk over it and then apologize.
Yes. It’s OK to apologize—even if you think that you have done nothing wrong. Apologizing for the pain and difficulty of the current situation, even if you didn’t cause it, shows that you place a higher value on the other person than you do on the need to be right. That will bring you peace.
Admit it, understand it, deal with it, and finally…
4. Control your anger
Uncontrolled anger will never do you good. Like when you were taught to cross a street, remember these three words next time you start getting angry again.
- STOP and think before you speak. When we get mad we say things we cannot take back. We can deal assertively with others without disregarding their feelings. Calling another person “stupid” or treating another person with disrespect will never bring you ahead.
- LOOK at the situation. Anger is temporary insanity. More often than not, we need to overlook the issue and let it pass to avoid problems.
- LISTEN to those you’re getting angry with. Hear each other out.
So how do you tame your temper? Admit it, understand it, deal with it, and control it. Because the truth of the matter is — your anger will never fix anything.