How to Handle Your Anger

Step 1 – Consciously acknowledge to yourself that you are angry.

  • Say it out loud
  • “I’m angry about this. What should I do?”
  • Taken a moment to admit the reality of your anger
  • You have set the stage for applying reason to your anger.

Step 2 – Restrain your immediate response.

  • Remember the definition of anger involves “displeasure and usually antagonism”?
    • Active hostility or opposition
    • Which means – a reaction to the offense
  • Don’t react immediately.
  • STOP!
  • Chapman: “Refuse to take the action that you typically take when feeling angry. Waiting can help you avoid both saying and doing things you may or may not mean and later will regret.”

Step 3 – Locate the focus of your anger.

  • What actually happened? Was what the person said or did actually wrong?
    • If no – it is not definitive anger it’s distorted anger
    • If distorted – decision made – let it go
  • If yes – you have actually been wronged – was it serious or minor?
  • How serious it is affects your response.

Step 4 – Analyze your options.

  • Ask yourself:
    • Is this offense worthy of a response?
  • If so – what would be a proportional response
    • What would be the appropriate action to take?

Remember – you aren’t killing a mosquito with a sledgehammer

  • That’s what happens when you react

Chapman says:

“Ask yourself: Does the action I am considering have any potential for dealing with the wrong and helping the relationship? And is it best for the person at whom I am angry? The two most constructive options are either to confront the person in a helpful way, or to consciously decide to overlook the matter.” – i.e. Let it go.

Step 5 – Take constructive action.

  • If you decide to let it go – pray about the matter and give the person, the offense, and your anger over to God.
    • Then genuinely let it go – and release it to God.
  • If you decide to confront the person – do it gently.
    • No sledgehammer.
  • Then listen to what they have to say
    • May have explanation that understandable
  • If they admit and ask forgiveness – give it w/o condition.

Taken from Anger: Handling a Powerful Emotion in a Healthy Way, Gary Chapman

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