Have you ever been told things like, “Hey, chill out dude/lady, I was just kidding, don’t take it so seriously!”
Most of us probably have encountered similar situations where we overreacted and made things so big of a deal than it was intended.
While it’s simple to say that we should relax and just have a fun conversation with someone, it is not always easy to learn how to cool that anger down when your emotional button is accidentally triggered.
Let’s have a look at what you can do when it happens so you know how to diffuse the situation before it gets out of control.
Count to ten
This is very easy for anyone to do, whether you are a 9-year-old kid or a 73 years old adult. It provides you with enough time to think about whether your next impulsive move is appropriate and smart.
Consider the Consequences
Take a few moments to think about what the results or outcomes of your actions will be.
If you strike out at a fellow worker, you may end up losing your job – is it worth it?
If you argue with that intoxicated guy in the bar even though he’s wrong, are you still creating a fun, playful, relaxing night with your friends?
If you become reactive to your woman’s swirling emotions, are you still an attractive, reliable, grounded man?
This works really well because breathing down to your belly helps to reduce the tension built up in your body. You may even want to use this technique as your first course of action.
Take a few seconds and picture yourself in a different place, somewhere calm and soothing.
This might be standing at the edge of the ocean, walking in a park or sunbathing on a beach in Hawaii. You may even want to imagine that you are listening to some soothing music.
Relaxation techniques are extremely helpful when it comes to managing your anger.
You can use self-massage on areas like your neck and shoulders to help reduce those feelings of anger.
Do things like rolling your neck and performing shoulder shrugs. You will feel the tension leaving your body, helping you to calm down.
Next there are some simple questions that you can ask yourself:
How important is this situation to me?
Do I really need to make things 100% right, 100% correct, 100% certain?
Is it worth continuing on this path and risking ruining my entire day for this minutia?
What is my best, most sensible, most empowering course of action?
Am I about to not take it so seriously, have a laugh and respond in a nonchalant way?
You will now have two choices of action.
To make a point and let people know that you are angry and why.
OR you can decide that it is time to diffuse the situation by walking away, ignoring the drama entirely or just ending the conversation.
If you decide to stay and fight, then do so in a way that is healthy and productive.
Don’t allow yourself to get out of control.
Explain why you are angry, what caused this and how the situation can be resolved.
If you do this, then both you and the other person will have dealt with a potentially explosive situation in an adult, wise, elegant manner.