When dealing with anger, first understand that anger is as normal as any other emotion. We simply expect or want things to be different or better.
Most people direct their anger at those who have some control over them. Anger can be healthy and is different from hostility, which is not healthy. Anger is often used to hide other feelings such as hurt or disappointment. Learn how to deal with anger in others and in yourself. The term ‘anger’ is only one ‘d’ short of the term ‘danger.’
Dealing with Anger — others:
- Acknowledge and affirm the participant’s beliefs.
- Anger is seldom directed at you personally. You are just convenient.
- Encourage the participant to talk about their anger. This helps to diffuse the anger.
- If you have contributed to the anger, let the participant vent before trying to explain or apologize.
- Use non-judgmental, active listening. This lets the participant know that you care. Never get hooked yourself.
Dealing with Anger — your own:
- Acknowledge and accept the anger. Do not deny it or it will resurface at the wrong time.
- Deal with the problem that caused the anger and the anger itself separately. Do not make decisions when your anger is in control.
- Express your anger when it is safe and appropriate. Find safe outlets. Sometimes it even passes without having to express it.
- In a meeting or workshop, take a break, take a walk, verbalize calmly, and reprogram yourself.
- Recognize the cause of the anger and identify the other emotions you are feeling.
Remember that anger can be modified and danger avoided.
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