How quick are you to get angry? Is your anger a slow burn, is it an explosive one, or is it quiet?
I tend to go really quiet when I'm angry, like I just swallow my words and I just look at the person. Sometimes, I try to smile through the anger and grit my teeth so I don't say anything I'll regret, or if I feel like I can't talk out of respect etc.
I know some people who cry when they get angry, which I've heard is really frustrating for them because it underlies the anger they're feeling.
The point is we all get angry at times. People do things that frustrate us, or push our buttons and it creates this fire inside of us. The fire could be cold or hot, but nonetheless, it isn't a pleasant feeling. I can acknowledge that I'm a super smiley person. I've been told that I smile a lot, even when I don't think I'm smiling. Yet, I do get angry.
My question is, what do you do when you're angry? Do you lash out at things or people? Do you curse? Do you shut down? Do you cry? Or do you let the anger simmer inside of you, which then turns the anger into bitterness? Or do you just let it go? What's your reaction to anger?
Best believe, it's impossible not to get angry or upset, but the problem is how quick are we to anger and how do we react? (Ignore my grammar please, you get the point lol).
Growing up, whenever someone did something to upset me, I'd suck it up. Which by the way is not the best reaction if you hold things in. I was just so weird cause whenever someone upset me, I'd be angry, then the next day, I'd forget why I was angry.
I think that really helped me, because I'd remember that I was supposed to be angry, but I'd forget why I was angry. That made it super easy for me to let the anger go. I never saw the benefit in staying angry, especially when I'd forgotten the reason for the emotion.
But recently, I went to Nigeria and guys, I believe there's a spirit of anger in Lagos, because for the first time ever, I screamed at people out of anger. It happened just three times, once to the person that made me angry and twice to someone who just got me at a bad time.
I hated that from me. I felt horrible because my actions were out of order. Regardless of how angry a person makes you, you should have control over your emotions and the way you react. I mean I apologised to the people afterwards, but it made my anger seem unjustified. So where I was justifiably angry, my actions pushed the justified anger to the backburner and the focus was now on my actions and not the wrong done.
So what's my point? We need to learn to control our anger so we don't do things that we end up regretting. Anger can lead to regret if care isn't taken and we could end up saying or doing things that we wouldn't normally do, or that could make matters worse.
So how do I handle anger?
Take a breath: It's so easy to let your emotions carry you and make you do or say things that make matters worse. Clamming up doesn't necessarily help either, so take a breath, a deep breath and let it go. It gives you time to think and compartmentalise. Your reaction could make the entire situation a lot worse, so taking a breath allows you to think a little clearly. This means you get to choose what you do next with a little more clarity than the moment before.
Don't react: Instead of reacting, after taking a breath, make a decision. You either respond to the problem, or take a step back, or simply excuse yourself. If you're calm enough, you can express your anger. Let the person know that you're angry and tell them why you're angry. They may not even know that they've done something to upset you. I think it's really important to express your feelings, but it should be done in a positive and productive way.
Make an excuse for the person: If possible, make an excuse for the persons actions. Now I'm not speaking about abusive relationships and things that are very very obvious. But if someone steps on your toe and doesn't apologise; instead of getting angry, assume that the person wasn't aware. Try not to be offended with everything, calm down. If a person says something hurtful, make an excuse for them, and let them know what they've done in a cool manner. If they proceed to do it again, step away.
Learn when to step away from a situation: If you know that you're getting really aggravated and angry, step away from the situation. If you've taken the breath and it hasn't helped and you've tried to make an excuse for them in that moment, step away from the situation or person. Don't say or do anything you'll regret. I know it's not easy and I know it's not fair, but taking these steps is for your benefit and not for the benefit of the other person.
Say a little prayer: whenever I feel really angry or upset, I usually ask the Holy Spirit to help me calm down. I ask the Holy Spirit to advice me on what to do and what to say. That's most times after I've walked away to be honest. The Holy Spirit always answers and advices me. There's just something calming about the Holy Spirit and the way He comforts and speaks to me. It's beautiful guys. If you've never tried it before, try asking the Holy Spirit and I promise you He will answer.
Although I've written these points above, I'm the first to acknowledge that it doesn't always work and can sometimes be unfair. I just think it's always better to try, than to explode and regret later. There will be times when you struggle to control your anger and that's alright too. It's just dangerous when it becomes a pattern. We're all human so we make mistakes, I'm just trying to work to be a better person. Imagine if I'd exploded or thrown hurtful words at everyone that has ever made me angry, I'd have lost a lot by now.
I value the relationships I have now and I can promise you that your family and friends will do things to make you angry sometimes, but is your first reaction to anger the best thing for your relationships? I can honestly tell you that some of the things you and I get angry at are inconsequential or just not worth it.
My point is, let's work to control our anger and act instead of react to things.
As always, I love you and God loves you!