“People’s ability to control their anger is, in part, a function of the way they view the world…For some the world is a hostile, angry place. For others, it is as tolerable as we can make it.”
There is an anger epidemic sweeping the world, but you can prepare and immunize yourself from it. Much of your anger results from frustration which is a product of your attitude, not of your experiences.
“We all have ’pet perceptions’ about how the world operates…Anger-maintaining presumptions are negative beliefs that seem to serve no other purpose but to maintain an angry mode of living.”
Taking the following six steps can make you happy, healthy, wealthy, & wise.
Step One: “Increasing Anger Awareness”
To “reprogram” your attitudes you must first become aware of them.
Learn what personal “hot buttons” set you off and be prepared.
Plan ahead to master situations that are intrinsically stressful.
“Close relationships require conflict resolution, negotiation, conciliation and the ability to prevent tense situations from moving past…mutual annoyance…into gladiatorial combat.”
Step Two: “Consequence Forecasting”
Anger can cause you to ignore the consequences of your behavior.
“Teaching someone a ’lesson’ about their behavior is a more polite form of insult than outwardly…criticizing them, but it is insulting nonetheless.”
Step Three: “De-escalation”
Meeting anger with anger makes tense situations worse.
“Learning how to de-escalate conflict is an essential part of conflict resolution. Not only are you controlling your own anger, you are also managing and controlling the other person’s anger.”
Step 4: “Conquering Personalization”
People get angry when they take things personally. Cultivate detachment.
“’Expressing your feelings’ doesn’t give you permission to verbally bash someone…A verbal tirade won’t necessarily ’cleanse you.’ It will often make you feel more angry.”
“Angry, predatory people succeed because they can ’disconnect’ a very important human trait – empathy.”
Step Five: “Controlling Predatory Anger”
Avoid or protect yourself from people who operate on predatory anger.
“Revenge, for the angry predator, is careful, calculated and likely to be well-executed.”
“Many chronically angry people focus or concentrate their anger on one or a few repetitive themes.”
“In small, tightly knit groups, a buildup of frustration and pressure can escalate anger between people quickly and very destructively.”
Step Six: Staying “Cool Under Pressure”
There are situations are intrinsically stressful, and trigger biological, “fight-or-flight” reactions. When you find yourself in a stressful situation, make a plan. Give yourself time to react, resist any tendency to imagine the worst… and angry.
“Many angry predatory people have a difficult time accepting responsibility for the consequences of what they do. Nothing is ever their fault. This is called blame externalization.”
“Every angry episode carries with it a considerable amount of risk. Even the most predatory criminals know that there is no such thing as a risk-free crime or act of aggression.”