‘Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.’
~ Buddha ~
If you have drinks on Friday nights, mentally praising the heavens for your two day pass … chances are there’s someone in your work place pushing you buttons.
If you spend your Sunday nights worrying about Monday, that’s another big clue.
Feel sick when you walk in the office or do you find yourself comfort eating to compensate for how you feel after a long day in their presence?
Does this person blame others when anything goes wrong? Is there shouting? Sulking?
An atmosphere you could cut with a knife when you walk in the room?
Yes, sometimes the work can be dull, but if you’ve got a difficult boss or a colleague who’s a bully then you’re likely to feel anger at least some of the time.
Anger at the injustice.
Anger at the unfairness.
You might call it resentment. You might call it irritation. Especially if you’re a woman, because women are taught at an early age that anger isn’t an emotion you should be feeling.
If I had a pound for every time I was told not to be angry. It wasn’t ‘ladylike’…
But the problem with anger that doesn’t find an outlet is, it simmers…
It stays there in your body and it festers.
Anger is described as an intense feeling in response to feeling frustrated, hurt, disappointed, or threatened. Shame, inadequacy, fear and powerlessness can all be in there too.
And it can cause havoc in the body. A major anger episode can almost double your blood pressure, putting you at risk of stroke or heart attack. Science shows angry people have a 10% increased chance of having a heart attack.
Your heart is pretty essential, so dealing effectively with anger is so much wiser.
5 keys to handling others’ anger
- Find somewhere to ground yourself. Decide on somewhere you can go, inside or outside, where you know you can take a break, get some space, and get clarity.
- Establish boundaries and stick to them. Decide what you won’t tolerate. Certain words. Actions. Tones. Know what your internal boundaries are too. Isolate the feeling, the shift physically that signals to you that someone’s anger is intolerable for you and be clear on what that is. Your boundaries are sacrosanct. They are yours. They are not to be compromised.
- Nurture yourself. Show yourself a lot of love. Sleep. Good diet. Self care that relaxes you – go for all of it.
- Articulate your own anger. Someone’s anger will always trigger yours. Make space to process it. Don’t hold it in. Find your own words for how you feel – journaling is excellent for this.
- Stop struggling. Accept what you can’t change. Look for what you can control. You’ll have a lot more success focusing on what is within your power.
5 keys to handling your own anger
- Ever heard that phrase: ‘You can be happy or you can be right? Which do you want?’ Your ego wants you to hang on to being right. The ego loves righteous indignation. But in a year from now, in 20 years from now, does it matter. Really? If it’s already happened, can you change the past?
- Don’t take it personally. This is just someone’s opinion. It’s not yours. You don’t own it. If you don’t like the look of it, don’t take it on. This is about them, not you.
- Let. It. Go ‘Why does this ALWAYS happen to me?’ ‘Why can’t I EVER get my own way?’ Welcome to life, lovely. No one, but no one gets what they want 100% of the time. But when you let go of the need to have everything go your way you’ll start to notice when it does. And extreme language does not help you. It just upsets you. Chill out.
- Be Mindful of what’s going on in your body. If I don’t get fed regularly I go from mildly grumpy to growling narkiness very quickly. Five mile hikes looking for the right restaurant do not bode well for my dining partner if I’m ravenous. So I plan ahead. I take snacks. Tiredness. Being too hot. Stress. They’re all anger triggers. Be aware.
- Connect to yourself. The more aware you are of your shifting emotions, the better you’ll be at expressing yourself and controlling your own reactions.
If you find emotions effect how you eat, you can join my free Me First Tribe, support group on FB where emotional over and under eaters have a safe, non judgemental space to connect and support each other.