Anger is an emotion that is useful and necessary as well as harmful. We teach anger management skills as well as interventions for resolving the underlying reasons for an individual’s anger
DEALING WITH OTHER PEOPLE AND THEIR ANGER
The secret to dealing with others’ anger is to step away from the anger and not to take it personally.
“What other people feel about me is none of my business.”
~ Terri-Cole Whitaker
The above quote is a handy affirmation to help put things in perspective when confronted by irrational anger from others pointed at your direction. Dealing with another person’s anger and the factors influencing their anger often times has little to do with you personally and more about their own internal stress, frustration, a feeling of helplessness or lack of control. Being able to clearly see that much of the anger directed at you is a projection of the other person’s inner distress is very useful in “depersonalizing” a confrontation. For many people, anger becomes a way of controlling others.
Through knowledge and practice, you can become better able to manage yourself when you are in the company of another person who is angry. You can train yourself to “reframe” or “rethink” your point of view about these people and their actions. Below are some examples of how this might look:
INITIAL THOUGHT REFRAMED THOUGHT
“He’s trying to make my life miserable.” “He seems to be having a bad day.” “She is power hungry.” “She must be feeling threatened and unsafe.”
When we are confronted by anger, our first intervention should be to take a time-out to reduce our hyper-arousal, allowing us to disengage and change our perception of what is happening. These “time-outs” are opportunities to prove to yourself that you can deal with the other person’s anger without getting hooked into their cycle of anger. By intentionally changing your thoughts about the individual or situation, your new attitudes allow you to feel safe, secure and in control of your life.
It’s okay to feel angry. Feelings have a beginning, middle, and end. Eventually they will subside.
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