Practical Strategies For How To Handle Being Mad Or Angry
1. Use Logic, Humor, & Gratefulness
We tend to exaggerate and become overly dramatic when we get mad or angry.
When my daughter was a little girl, she would get very dramatic about things. She would whine something did not go the way she wanted, “This is THE WORST day of my life.”
She had “the worst day of her little life” almost every day.
Logic defeats anger, because anger, even when it’s justified, can quickly become irrational.
Use cold hard logic.
My daughter could not possibly have had “the worst day of her life” every single day. She had to learn to look at the good things that day instead of the bad things.
We were at a local ice cream shop when my granddaughter had to go to the restroom. I nicely asked the clerk if she could use their restroom. The clerk refused to let the child use the restroom after I asked nicely and almost begged, twice.
After the second refusal, we left the shop.
I said, “Well, she was a snot.”
Logically, of course, she was not snot. Then I pictured in my mind a large glob of snot. Then the situation was funny and diffused my anger.
This silly kind of humor can help us handle being angry.
Humor can be a healthy and appropriate strategy to release tension. So, lighten up and try not to take life too seriously.
A common mistake people sometimes make when trying to be funny is to lean toward sarcasm. Avoid sarcasm, which can hurt people’s feelings and make things worse.
2. Use Peacemaking Communication
When we are offended and angry, we tend to jump to conclusions and say the first thing that pops into our head.
Our task is to stop ourselves, slow down, listen, stall and think about what we want to say before we speak.
When we think we are being criticized, we tend to get defensive. But try to listen to the underlying meaning. Try to think about all the scenarios that could cause the person to act the way they did or say what they said.
Honestly consider: Could you have misunderstood? Could there be other underlying situations?
What are they afraid of? What are you afraid of? Do you have to win even at the expense of losing a relationship?
There are almost always underlying situations you don’t know about or understand at that moment.
People are generally not out to “get” us.
When you do need to communicate with someone about a situation, avoid criticizing or blaming.
Use “I” statements to express your feelings about the situation. Be respectful and specific.
For example, say, “I am upset that. . .” or “I was afraid that. . .” instead of “you never . . .” or “you always. . .”.
Make sure you have calmed down and thought carefully about what you are going to say. To use an old cliché, two wrongs do not make a right. Relationships are too valuable to be ripped apart by anger.
3. Use Honest Forgiveness & Humility
Several years ago, I saw a man being treated unfairly on television. I got upset at the way he was treated. In my time of prayer, the Lord pointed out that I was offended and needed to forgive the offender.
Strange as it sounds, I got angry and offended on behalf of someone else.
Although I resisted at first, I forgave and found peace in my soul. I prayed for the people involved, and the situation worked out eventually.