Someone insults you, spreads false rumors about you, hurts a close friend, criticizes you, disturbs you, yells at you. And your usual response to all these situations? Get angry.
But think again. Who gets more hurt and upset when you get angry? Your anger will just make you feel worse, but it will likely not have any lasting effect on the person who hurt you. In fact, if the person intentionally hurts you, then you’re giving him exactly what he wants by getting angry.
So what should you do? Here are some helpful insights to help with anger provoked by and targeted at someone:
1. Understanding Anger. Anger is very easy to provoke and can persist for a long time, especially when it has a specific target. When someone does anything to you that you don’t like, whether intentionally or unintentionally, it’s easy to start brewing cold, hard anger against that person.
What’s most important is to understand yourself and be able to compartmentalize your anger. What makes you angry, the person or the action or offense? If you specifically focus your anger on the person, your anger will be there and will be triggered every time you see that person. But if you can separate the action from the doer, then you won’t have to harbor feelings of hate towards a specific target.
The difference is that the action or offense passes and can easily get forgotten, especially if no permanent harm has been done. Once it passes, you will find no more reason to be angry.
2. Understand the Other Person. Everyone gets some bad days from time to time. Even the most polite, most mild-tempered people can get fired up when they are dealing with some problems or are under a lot of stress and pressure.
So when you get into a skirmish with someone, before you nurture a festering anger towards that person, try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Try to understand what he’s dealing with that could possibly be the cause of his anger issues. Maybe he’s so swamped with work, maybe he’s having some problems at home, maybe he’s not feeling well, maybe he just lost someone special. Keep in mind that fear leads to anger, too. Then take the high road: be patient and understand.
3. Shield Yourself. Remain detached; don’t allow yourself to be emotionally rattled by someone who tries or unintentionally hurts you. Ignore those who are trying to provoke you. Always respond with grace and calmness. You’ll see, even the meanest person who is intentionally trying to hurt you may begin to feel guilty when he sees how you react.
After all, no one has the power to hurt you and make you angry unless you hand that ability over to another person.
4. Letting Go of Anger. One effective way to control anger targeted at someone else is to change your perspective so it will be easier for you to let go of your anger. Instead of focusing all your energy at being mad at someone, accept the fact that you can’t control other people, so you’re just wasting your emotions.
So instead of focusing on statements such as:
He’s an idiot.
He hurt me a lot.
Bomard yourself with positive self-help statements that focus on something that you CAN change: yourself. Here are some examples that might help:
I am a very patient person.
I respond to people and situations with grace, composure, and calmness.
I am naturally friendly and understanding.
I have compassion for everyone.
Such subliminal messages can help drive these positive statements home and convince you that you are definitely better off without the burden of anger.