Strategies for preventing and managing anger

Anger is an emotion. It is a signal attached to a set of physiological changes occurring in our body, which try to warn that something is happening in our outer or inner world that is not aligned with us; something we don’t agree with; something we don’t like; which, in our opinion, we cannot afford.

Our anger, our rage, our anger (you can call it what you think is the best), is nothing more than a defense mechanism that helps us fight discomfort. It appears when in a situation we are very far from our needs.

What kind of anger is there?

We could simplify and give a classification of emotions according to whether our needs are covered or not, we would therefore have:

  • When our needs are met and we feel good … we have positive emotions.
  • When our needs are not met and we feel bad … we have so-called negative emotions.

It’s very simplistic but sometimes simplicity is the key.

Good emotions and not so good emotions

Within the needs mentioned in the classification, we could find ourselves from basic needs, subsistence and well-being (food, hydration, rest, tranquility …) to identity needs (assertiveness, respect, integrity …), relational needs (attention, love, listening …), needs for meaning, security, freedom, recreation, participation, achievement and celebration.

Any kind of need we have, if not covered, generates discomfort.

From negative emotions to anger

But back to our anger.

Synthesize what we have seen so far … if we get angry, it’s because at that moment, one of our needs is not being met. Then our body reacts with a bunch of physiological reactions to warn us that we need to take action. Our wise body cannot allow our need to be met.

What’s happening? … that we focus so much on ourselves and our needs, that we don’t realize that the other person has theirs too.

We usually just look at what we need and focus on the other person’s words, attitude and gestures and we can’t allow them to talk to us like that or treat us like that.

When we get angry we tend to overreact

What’s the worst about it?

so that in the vast majority of cases we lose the north of the real reason for our anger. We find ourselves angry with ourselves or with others, often leaving our original need unmet, and even leading to the creation of new needs, due to the anger itself.

Maybe your anger arose because you were tired or needed to be recognized for your job or just because you needed a little peace of mind and there is a horrible noise. …

The reasons can be endless but often nwe focus on the other person’s attitude so much that our anger ends up failing to reach its true goal, That is to say that your need is covered or at least validated.

Trying to avoid anger

To be fair, when we detect ourselves in a state of anger, we investigate a bit more.

Ask yourself:

What are you missing? What need do you not have coverage? Why does your body react this way?

Okay, we’ve already seen your anger … now let’s move on to the other side:

“But what about the other person ?!” … “Can’t you see what you need ?!” … “How can you be so selfish ?!”

This is what we think and say sometimes even without realizing that the other person has their needs too. So now we are going to try to deal properly with the moments of anger that we all have at some point.

Manage moments of anger step by step

1. Analyze why you are angry

Close your eyes for a moment and think about an argument or anger you recently had with someone (your partner, co-worker, child) … What happened?

Of course you had a very valid reason for feeling bad and that’s why your anger was drawn to defend yourself. But there are several things you should keep in mind. We continue. Close your eyes again but now focus on the real need you had when your anger arose, do you need silence, do you need pleasure, affection, recognition, what was your real need?

And now we are changing our role.

What reason could your partner, colleague or child have for acting like you? What unmet need was behind it?

Imagine that you are the other person … What need do you think you have? You have to rest from the energy, respect, play …

How do you see the discussion now? Do you still see for yourself?

Were you able to empathize with the other person and see or feel their other need? From this place, would you have acted differently?

Personally I think neither of us is voluntarily looking for a discussionBut often we find two completely unmet needs that are completely opposite (ours and the other person’s), neither of us can name or communicate correctly, which inadvertently makes a conflict.

2. Breathe and think about everyone’s needs

The next time you detect that your anger machine is pulling … stop and ask yourself:

Which of my needs is not being met? And then ask yourself, What possible need of the other person is not covered?

If in a discussion we try to cover both needs, humility, tranquility, from the point of view that no need is more important than the other, but they are needs different and valid, at the moment and in both people, then the discussion is over.

3. Reinterpret conflicts and give them a positive outlet

Turn your conflicts into a search for solutions, Try to cover both needs as much as possible and validate both needs as legitimate and equally important.

Sometimes we won’t be able to cover both needs at the same time, but we can still resolve the conflict by validating both needs as important and looking for a possible solution even if one is postponed, a bit more.

I suggest that in the next thread you start by asking:

What do i need? … And the other person, what do you need?

What are the needs that are not covered?

You will see how your troubles will automatically decrease.

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