Monday, 28 December 2009

Taming Your Temper

Taming Your Temper

Poorly managed anger can damage your health, work and your relationships. Dr Sarah Edelman, psychologist and author of Change Your Thinking, offers these suggestions to get your anger under control:

Write a letter: Explain your anger in words—you don’t have to send it.

Cool off: “In an acute angry stage, it’s a good idea not to confront the person straightaway,” says Edelman.

Don’t throw a tantrum: “Venting can cause more problems than it solves,” says Edelman. “It can impair good relationships and it’s not good role-modelling for kids.”

Communicate: Slow down and think about what you want to say. Explain that you feel angry about something rather than acting aggressively. Listen carefully to the other person before you respond.

Use humour: If you think of a co-worker as a “dirt bag,” visualize them as a bag of dirt going about their day.

Seek alternatives: If the daily commute provokes uncontrollable road rage, consider different transport forms or a job closer to home.

Pros and cons: Ask yourself, “Is the anger achieving anything, or is it just hurting me?” Edelman warns, “Some people are reluctant to let anger go because they see that as a victory to the other person.”

Problem-solve: Ask yourself, “Is there anything I can do about this problem?” If not, move on.

Acceptance: “Sometimes we have to accept that injustice is a part of life,” says Edelman.

Dealing with other people’s rage
First of all, don’t tolerate abuse. “If someone is angry but not hostile, validating their perspective can help diffuse the situation,” says Edelman. Say, “I can understand why you feel that way and it must be upsetting.” This approach does not mean you’re taking responsibility for their anger. But if you have done something to provoke anger, saying “sorry” can work wonders.

- Sophie McNamara

From RD India (

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