So you’ve heard something that makes you upset, frustrated, even angry. If you know this and if your first response is one of anger, stop and take a breath, then pray.
Nothing good has ever come from a response based on anger. Emotions get the better of you and you say, and perhaps do, things you will only regret later. It doesn’t matter if you feel them in the moment, what matters is what you do with them.
Anger usually comes about when you feel you have lost control and someone else has power over you, or you can’t make them do or act the way that you want. If you stop and think about it before reacting you will realize this is true.
Take a moment to assess the situation and figure out why the other person has triggered this response in you. Did they make you feel helpless, unloved, or worthless? Perhaps it was all three. Nobody can take away your self worth unless you give them the power to do it. It is yours and yours alone.
Ask yourself if your response will make the situation better or if it will only add fuel to the fire, making it worse. A fire cannot stay lit without some kind of fuel, neither can an argument.
Say a prayer, asking guidance, understanding and forgiveness. Forgiveness for the other person who made you feel this way, forgiveness for yourself for letting someone get under your skin and perhaps for the other person to forgive you for anything you may have done prior to this moment.
Next, try and determine what you have to do to change the outcome. Perhaps it is easy and can be done quickly, perhaps it will take longer. The deeper the wounds, the longer it takes to heal. If you react in anger you only reopen a wound that may not yet be fully healed and lose any trust you have built up.
When all else fails, put yourself in the other persons shoes and try to see things from their perspective. You may see why they are acting the way they are. It may be valid, it may not, but if you understand you can find a way to come to some kind of agreement.
If, after you’ve taken a moment to compose yourself and you still believe your response will be one of anger walk away. Tell the person you cannot discuss right now because you don’t want to say something that will make the situation worse and you will come back later when you are both in the right frame of mind.
Understand too that sometimes there is nothing you can say that will change the other persons mind, no matter how badly you may want or need it to. Sometimes it just takes longer because trust has been broken. Don’t give up but don’t let it set you back or stop you from growing as a person. Pick yourself up and keep going, always living a life that is based in love, kindness, compassion and understanding.
Anger can fuel us and drive us forward to change but it also can tear us down and hurt innocent people in the process. Use your anger as a learning opportunity to grow and evolve; to become better than you were yesterday should always be ones goal.
It is not always an easy thing to do but it is necessary to prevent matters from getting worse. Calmer heads always prevail so when the situation arises, if your first response is one of anger, stop.