By Anubhav Srivastava ( Register for his Workshop – Build Super Confidence For Super Success!)
How to deal with anger productively? Anger is a powerful emotion. And it is something experienced by everyone at one point of time in their lives or another. Usually, anger is considered a destructive emotion, but I want to tell you that Anger too can be used a constructive emotion to achieve whatever goals you want for yourself, without going on a destructive spree, hurting others and earning Bad Karma in the process.
Most people let anger destroy them and others. When someone hits their car, the charge out to hit them. When someone turns down their proposal and dumps them, they decide to make their life hell. When they feel wronged by someone, they swear to destroy their lives.
There have been so many cases of people killing each other in road rage. There have been instances of people (men and women) doing their absolute best to ruin the life of someone who rejected them in love or left them, some of what they do can be classified as criminal and in a few unfortunate cases, there have been murders as well.
Even in the workplace, the same is the case, if someone seems to be favored more in the workplace, some people get so angry that they get together and plan how to bring him or her down. If someone gets promoted, jealous people swear to screw it all up. Sometimes, they intentionally do things to hurt the company and try to lay the blame on the person they dislike. Other times, they try to steal credit. And what is the result? Sooner or later it will only backfire on them and only harm their own careers.
In this article I will give you 4 tips on how deal with anger productively. I use these strategies myself when upset, and I can vouch for the fact that they work! So let’s begin
Wait and let the emotions subside
The absolute first thing you need to do is to postpone the desire to physically express the natural reaction you feel when you feel angry. If you feel that something wrong has been done, the natural desire is to smack the guy or the girl right in the face!
Or if maybe call them up and give them a piece of your mind, sometimes in the choicest of swear words. Or maybe write them an angry email. I totally understand the way you feel because sometimes, it really is hard to not react.
The stupidest of things have been done in a fit of rage as I have already mentioned. People have called press conferences and ruined their careers. People have shot off angry emails and gotten fired as a result. People have committed murder!
But more often than out, most of the people who reacted that way themselves admit later that they wish they would have not acted so impulsively. They wish they had given some thought to it instead of acting aggressively, regretting it later and paying a huge price as a consequence.
Give your self time to cool off. Giving yourself a few extra minutes, hours or days to think over things before you react allows logic to kick in and saves you from doing stupid things you would regret later.
Ask yourself first, is this thing worth being angry about in the first place?
You need to be absolutely objective about this, as hard as it maybe, do not be swayed by emotions alone and ask yourself this question – Is this thing worth my anger?
This is how I usually control my anger
I ask myself whether the thing I am upset about is of such a huge importance in the long run that it warrants my anger in the first place?
If someone hits my car accidentally and makes a minor dent on it, is it worth a horrible confrontation that could possible escalate into road rage? Absolutely not.
If someone injures me or my loved ones intentionally, is that worth a confrontation. ABSOLUTELY. I need to protect myself and my loved ones.
Apart from the nature of the act (making a dent versus hurting loved ones) you would have also noticed that I mentioned accidentally versus intentionally. By the way accidentally does not mean negligence.
If someone truly had none or an inconsequential role to play in whatever happened and the whole thing was either really an accident, a genuine misunderstanding, the result of terrible luck/destiny or your own mistake, then there is no point being angry at the person in the first place. But even figuring out all of this is extremely hard when you are in a fit of rage. That is why the cooling off period is so important. Let that happen and then objectively assess the cause of what happened. If the other person was not responsible for it, move on. If they were, then here is what you can do.
Vent Your Anger Somewhere Else
Venting is an amazing way to deal with anger productively IF it is done properly.
Even Abraham Lincoln, the great American president was not immune to anger. In fact he got angry A LOT. But as you will see quickly, he isn’t called great for no reason.
In one particular incident, during the civil war in America between 1861 to 1865, Abraham Lincoln learnt that the forces from the Confederate Army (their opponents) who could have easily been captured in battle escaped because of the error committed by one of his subordinates called Gen. George Meade. Had Gen. Meade took initiative and captured the forces which were within his easy grasp, the war would have ended very quickly. But because of his mistake, the war would not go on for an indefinite period, killing more people and draining even more resources.
Lincoln was furious and squarely held Meade responsible for this. He went to his desk and start composing a letter where he vented all his anger at Meade for his massive error. When he was done and feeling lighter, he put the letter in an envelope. There is only one catch, Lincoln never sent that letter.
He knew that by sending the letter to Meade, he would only demoralize his own forces further, but he needed to vent his anger anyway so he composed the letter and put it in his drawer without ever sending it. This is just one of the famous instances of him doing so. The truth is, Lincoln did this often in order to express his frustration without inviting negative long term consequences.
What is it that you can do to vent your anger somewhere else? There are so many ways in which you an do it. If you are the kind that expresses in writing, compose a letter or an email but let it sit in drafts and never send it, like Lincoln. If you feel the need to scream, pick up the phone or imagine the person is in front of you and scream at the imaginary them unleashing all your anger
If you need to get rid of the anger physically, go punch a pillow, or get an actual punching bag and box away. You can also lift weights or run hard or join a martial arts class to direct all that anger in a productive way and even get super fit as a result! Just don’t injure yourself or someone else!
Finally, let Karma do its Job and Realize that Success is the Best Revenge.
If someone has truly wronged you, most of the times don’t waste your time trying to avenge it. There is something called Karma, a universal phenomenon in which what goes around, comes around, even if it takes time, sometimes more than a lifetime. But if someone does good, sooner or later it will come around and they will receive good as a result. If someone always does horrible things to others, sooner or later it will come around and they will be punished as a result. Most of the worst dictators and criminals in history who seemed to be living a luxurious happy life despite all the evil they did eventually had a horrible and painful end. Most people who defrauded others eventually paid the price of it by being convicted and spending time in jail. Not even the most powerful person in the world can evade the phenomenon of Karma. Sooner or later, he will receive or pay for what he did.
Instead of avenging the wrong done to you and incurring bad karma yourself as a result, it is better to let things go. If the matter is particularly grave, you can take the support of the law of the land and fight it out in court but certainly NEVER commit a criminal act that will only ruin your life forever.
There is nothing worse for the person who wronged you professionally to see you become more successful than them.
There is nothing as painful to watch for the person who hurt you emotionally to see you lead a happy life with someone else, proving that you do not need that person to be happy.
There is nothing that would annoy the person who bullied you mercilessly for being fat to see you workout and become super fit, even fitter than them.
Basically, realize that the best way to deal with anger productively is to focus on your life and prove your worth. Move on with your life and redirect all that anger into becoming the person you always wanted to be, achieving all your material, artistic or spiritual goals in the process and showing the world, how despite all the obstacles you can still lead a happy, fulfilling and super successful life. Seeing you succeed is in itself the worst punishment for the people who wronged you.
About the Author
Anubhav Srivastava is an author, speaker and the director of Carve Your Destiny, a first of its kind inspirational documentary featuring some of the most famous personalities from diverse fields. It has been seen by over 1 Million People on Youtube. Anubhav has also been featured in numerous International and India Media outlets such as BBC , The Times of India, Hindustan Times, Rediff.com, Leicester Mercury and many others.
For one on one consulting or a motivational workshop at your organization please email firstname.lastname@example.org . If you would like to write a guest blog post on Anubhavsrivastava.com you contact me on the same email address.
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