Anger is a natural human response to events which they percieve as having a negative affect on their life. Therefore, when people try to suppress anger, they inevitably explode with rage at some later date or they may internalize the anger to a degree where the anger manifests itself as some type of mental disorder such as depression. Thus, it is important to first recognize anger when the feeling arises, then immediately focus on solving the situation at hand.
Keep in mind that you do not have to suppress your anger to control it. All you need to do is look at the event in a new light. Looking at the negative event from a different perspective helps dissolve anger. For example, when someone is driving dangerously slow in the fast lane you can react in a number of ways; you could be enraged at the driver, you could try to suppress the rage, or you could look at the situation from an objective and logical perspective. Perhaps the driver is intoxicated, mentally ill, or senile. When you consider the fact that the person may not be driving slow just to irritate you but because of something that has no relation to you, you will notice that your anger is blunted.
If a sales clerk is rude to you, you can look at it in a number of ways. The person may be going through a divorce, they may have just parted with an irrational customer, or they may not even notice that they have a negative personality. Many people have negative exteriors, but their inner thoughts are full of love and respect for others.
Of course, it may be the case of a genuinely negative person who is out to do you harm. The way to deal with such people is to tactfully let them know that you will not stand for such behavior. If the situation is getting close to physical escalation, then immediately leave the scene. Your physical health is not worth destroying for a negative person who does not value their own safety. However, if you can get the situation under control without resorting to physical measures, end the incident on the notion that you agree to disagree about the conflicting situation. For the most part people will react to the way you approach them. If you are firm yet respectful, they will approach you with the same tone. When the two parties reach some level of commonality the tension begins to release and anger dissipates.
By Paul Barron
Anger Management Classes available 7 days a week in Houston, Texas.
Gregory A. Kyles, M.A., LPC, CEAP, CAMF
Director, Anger Management Institute of Texas
Diplomate, President of Texas Chapter
American Association of Anger Management Providers