Getting angry is human and is healthy but beware that a burst of anger does not destroy your career prospects or a treasured relationship.
That is advice from Natalie Rabson of Boston City Campus.
“The pandemic has brought to the front personality traits we may have had under control or kept hidden. However, isolation, regulated socialisation, home schooling and work from home have elevated personal stress and shortened tempers. Whether your anger is caused by frustration, disappointment or high levels of stress, you need to learn to manage your anger if you want to get ahead in your personal and professional life,” she says.
Many of us are guilty of inappropriate behaviour when we’re angry and have yet to learn anger management techniques. No wonder that important ‘fourth IR ’ skills include communication, and don’t just focus on technical skills.
Different things make different people angry but there are anger management techniques that can be applied universally. Rabson suggests the following:
Learn to recognise your feelings of anger before they can take control of you. This entails finding out what tends to infuriate or irritate you.
Counting to ten remains good advice as it gives your anger a chance to subside to a point where you can think more clearly and rationally. An alternative is to repeat the word ‘relax’ while simultaneously breathing deeply.
Remind yourself that anger is not going to fix anything or make anyone feel better. Giving vent to anger usually results in making anger last longer and it can manifest itself physically. Anger causes biological changes – your blood flows to your hands making you ready for aggressive action (like slapping someone).
Slow down your breathing and your speaking, lower your tone, so you can inform the other person/s of your rising anger as well as the reason for your anger. Encourage the other person/s to rather move to a tone of negotiation and problem solving. Avoid accusations and counter accusations at all costs.
Use humour to diffuse a volatile situation. Not harsh sarcastic humour as this will only cause more anger.
Watch out for language. Try to rephrase communication using ‘I’ instead of ‘you’. ‘I feel’ instead of ‘you always’ immediately lessens anger and tension.
Change the environment if necessary. Try to go to a neutral, non-threatening space.
Read material on anger management such as the bestselling book ‘Emotional Intelligence’ by Daniel Goleman and make a point of implementing the principles and techniques into your everyday life.
“There is a lot of advice on how to manage anger, not all of it will suit your personality,” Rabson adds. “Adopt the techniques that work for you. And put it into practice to avoid saying or doing things you my come to regret”
If you think you’re okay – your emotions don’t usually get the best of you – ask someone you trust to confirm this perception you have of yourself.
“Your perception may be warped – it could be that no one ever makes you angry because they’re all too scared to even approach you!” she cautions.
Contact Boston City Campus on 011-551-2000, email [email protected] or visit www.boston.co.za. Boston offers over 80 career qualifications with 46 branches nationwide.