Anger Management 101

REACTION versus RESPONSE

A reaction is an immediate, almost instinctive approach to a situation we are involved with, or a perception we have. It’s something that is done without thinking; something done on impulse, without consideration of what the consequences might be.

Here’s an example.
Let’s say you go to a crowded place (a concert, sporting event, bar, nightclub, etc.). As you are walking along, you bump into someone. That person looks at you, and before you can say anything, they push you.

Why would they do this?
They might have the perception that you bumped into them on purpose and that you wanted to start some sort of confrontation. They didn’t even give you a chance to apologize, or to consider that you bumped into them because you were pushed from behind.

They reacted.
They pushed you without pausing to think why it happened. It was automatic and thoughtless. It was a reaction.

Now, imagine if the other person paused before pushing you. If they had actually paused, they would have heard your apology and likely would have responded peacefully instead of reacting angrily. When we pause and think about our options, we are responding.

PAUSING Reduces Anger

This is what you want to do when you feel angry:

anger-management-01

you want to pause, even if just for a couple of seconds, before you say or do anything. When we pause, we are allowing ourselves to respond appropriately to a situation, rather than reacting and doing something that we might regret later.

This is one of the fundamental anger management strategies. That is, to learn how to pause and take a few seconds, or a few minutes, or even a few hours before dealing with the situation that is triggering your anger. By doing so, you will also gain deeper insight into your emotions, and will be more effective at managing your anger.

Hoping your week is filled with much knowledge, growth, and little anger.

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Watchman

pseudonym: Ball-peen Hammer Green

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