Friday, October 17, 2008

Temper Your Temper

We've all been there. You know when certain people or situations push your limits and you blow. Later, you're embarrassed when you realize you let them get the best of you. Anger can drive us to act irrationally. Anger also can be a tool for bringing about change, if you can find away to release it constructively and turn it in to a positive force. Anger is often a response to feeling out of control and overwhelmed by having too much to do. While feeling angry is okay, how you respond can make or break you.

Let's say that you are upset because a deadline has been moved up and you'll have to cancel personal plans to meet the new demands placed on you, you need to handle your angry feelings without telling your boss to kiss off.

* TAKE A TIME OUT. When you feel anger rising, first try to step back. When you feel yourself ready to blow, remove yourself -- physically or mentally -- and give yourself a chance to cool off before you address the source of your anger. Take three deep breaths and pinpoint exactly what you're mad at before you speak or act. Be careful not to make any major decisions based in anger.

* LISTEN. When we're angry at someone, we often stop listening to others and form our own arguments in our heads while the other person is speaking. Try to listen. Ask questions instead of defending yourself, criticizing someone else, or blaming them. Do all you can to preserve your own and the other person's dignity. When possible, try to find the humor in the situation and even in you're reaction to it.

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