“Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.”
― Ambrose Bierce
When you are angry you feel a sea of anger rising within you and the easiest way to drain it is by lashing out at the source.
It’s natural, it’s psychological, but it’s the trigger that makes the difference.
Why are you angry, for what reason? Are you angry because you saw a man hit an innocent dog on the road or are you angry because your mother said there were no more meatballs left?
Anger is your reaction to a trigger, and whether you choose to cuss out someone or pump iron at the gym is your way of dealing with it.
But anger-laced speech – especially that’s impulsive and not thoroughly thought through – wouldwreak havoc on relationships, cost you professionally and maim your reputation.
But isn’t imploding inside unhealthy for you? When that sea of anger is in turbulence within you, isn’t it causing the maximum harm to the person himself?
No, we get to how you deal with anger without saying hurtful words later, here’s why you shouldn’t speak when angry.
Why you shouldn’t speak when angry?
Emotions and not logic control your words – Saying something hurtful is a kneejerk reaction to being angered. You might call your husband a ‘vile selfish loser’ but in reality you don’t mean any of it.
Psychologically speaking, hurtful words are your way of hurting the person who has upset you. So you say things that’d hit home. Your entire speech is governed by negative emotions when you are angry and these emotions are mostly concentrated in your upper chest area (hence the tightening of the chest),shoulders and forearms (you feel your shoulders stiff up when you are angry), face (that’s why you go red) and the amygdala part of the brain.
You might say something you’d regret – And that happens about every time. Whether it is those hurtful words or letting out information that you were not supposed to divulge, speaking when angry would invariably make you regret.
And you might not know all the facts – You might end up not only looking like a negative person but also an idiot for saying something that’s not true or downright stupid. What’s that thing they say? Improve your argument, don’t raise your voice.
You reveal you are a weak person – It takes a lot of mental and emotional strength to not speak when angry. When every iota of your body is itching to react, when the amygdala is going mad for some reaction, you tone it down.
Keep calm and don’t be provoked. That is true strength of character and will power, not lashing out.
How to deal with anger constructively?
Anger is your reaction to something. You need to find out if the reason for your anger is really a reason or is it just an excuse for you to blow some steam.
We live in a fast-paced life and we get stressed. A lot of times this stress comes out on people close to us and by the slightest of triggers.
The first step is to understand these triggers. Do you get angry when you have been hungry for too long? It’s more common than you think, you should see the way men rage after hitting it at the gym.
And then become quite gentlemanly once they eat. Hunger and anger is associated, when your body demands nutrients and the brain is desperately sending signals to you to fill that demand, you are irritable and prone to react.
If your kid has suddenly developed an anger issue, it might be time to have a little talk. Is he getting bullied in school? Did he take something you said to heart and is dwelling on it?
There are valid reasons behind getting angry and once you understand these reasons and the emotions associated with them, you can work on it better.
Challenge the negative beliefs – Negative thoughts are to anger what fuel is to fire. So when you had a fight with your spouse and you want to think that ‘yeah, it’s not like she cares about me’ challenge this thought by telling the brain ‘no that’s not right she does care about me and the family. She works hard for us and loves us’.
You undermine the negative beliefs by challenging them. And subsequently your anger dissipates too.
Talk about the issue, but not immediately – Keep yourself busy when you are angry. Go watch your favorite TV show or listen to good music and then later when you cool down, talk about the issue.
And it’s not just when you are angry with someone but also when you are angry about something. Talking always help.
Meditate – Dealing with anger is all about controlling your emotions and the best way to control your emotions is to always be in control of them, at any given time. Meditation strengthens the brain’s ability to deal with emotions and also changes negative emotions to positive.
You can also do the deep breathing exercise. Probably the most recommended anger management tip is to start breathing deeply. Also dissociation works, distance yourself from what’s making you angry either physically or mentally.
Remember that you can make the maximum impact by saying words that are logical and correct instead of saying something that is vile and hurtful.