Traffic jams, rude customers, unkind co-workers, critical employers, ungrateful children, an insensitive mate all can make us mad; some with very little effort. How you express your anger will determine whether these important relationships will bloom or wilt, strengthen or weaken?
What is your favorite way to express anger?
There are six common ways to express anger: BLOW OUT, STRIKE OUT, FAKE OUT, SNUFF OUT, PULL OUT and SPEAK OUT. I will discuss two this week (BLOW OUT and STRIKE OUT), three next week (FAKE OUT, SNUFF OUT, AND PULL OUT), then the third week I will discuss positive ways to express this negative emotion.
BLOW OUT! Most people call this losing your temper. For many years this was my preferred method of expressing discontent with people and situations. I would explode by screaming at everyone and everything nearby and all without a moments warning. The bad news was it was ugly; the good news was it was brief. After the storm passed by, the calm set in but like a tornado, it damaged only those that were in my path.
If you use BLOW OUT to express your anger you have already done and said some pretty stupid things; many that have had long-term negative impacts on the people you know and love the most.
Know this: everyone around you is afraid of you. They do not want to see you explode and will do what they can to keep it from happening, including taking advantage of every chance to avoid being with you for any length of time. Speaking from personal experience I can tell you this: Your BLOW OUT problem is not everyone else’s problem it’s yours.
What to do about it? Get control of your temper. You’re an adult now; you no longer have to act like a three-year-old.
STRIKE OUT! Some people become aggressive when they are angry. Road rage is the result of STRIKE OUT anger. Someone cuts you off in traffic and BANG, your hands grip the steering wheel until your knuckles turn white, you start cursing heaven and earth while you blare your horn with the singular intention of teaching that so-and-so what driving is all about.
This kind of belligerent anger comes from the presupposition that you are always right and everyone else is an idiot. You think you should always get what you want and you’ll stomp on anyone who gets in your way. And in the end, you will blame the other guy for making you mad.
What to do about it? Get a life. The world does not revolve around you. You are not always right, the fact is, your STRIKE OUT behavior is proof that you may be a much bigger idiot than the guy in the next car or the people who share your home. Stop making so many unrealistic demands on other people and take a deep breath. When something nasty happens to you try smiling instead of snarling, laughing instead of cursing.
Next week we’ll take on the other three favorite ways people express their anger. Will you join me then? If not, I’m liable to get really mad, blow my top, kick the cat, punch the wall and blame you for your inability to comprehend how great a writer I am. Ooooops, there I go again, proving the point it’s much easier to preach a sermon than it is to live one.
See you next week. I promise to be nice. Really … I promise.