We all like to think of anger as a bad emotion but we all know that there are times when anger is good for us. Some get angry but quickly feel defeated, depressed or sad when something doesn’t go to plan, while others use anger to elevate them up and out of their problem or situation and use the adrenaline anger creates to give them the motivation to find a solution.
One is angry and soon becomes a victim while the other is angry at the situation they find themselves in but sees themselves as a survivor and is motivated to change the outcome.
The latter attitude is what makes entrepreneurs successful in their business.
“There’s nothing wrong with anger provided you use it constructively.” – Wayne Dyer
But what if your anger is something you feel you don’t have control over. Is your low self-control effecting your behaviour with others - judging, criticising, disrespectful remarks, lack of kindness and empathy, not listening, making impatient decisions at work – all these behaviours effect you being a successful professional at work and in your personal life.
I was listening to a podcast this past week with a Justin Coulson, PhD. – family psychologist, and author and he was discussing disciplining children – does it help or hurt them? I thought this was a good question to ask ourselves when it came to our low self-control around anger. Does is help or hurt the situation? How will my anger affect the outcome? Will my anger motivate others to work more efficiently? Will I get the result I’m looking for if I get angry over this?
“Never respond to an angry person with a fiery comeback, even if he deserves it...Don't allow his anger to become your anger.” - Bohdi Sanders
Sometimes, it is okay to be angry like I mentioned above but anger doesn’t usually resolve issues when it comes to our relationships with others. It can push people away, antagonise others to get angry too (defence mechanism). It can create fear, hostility and even destroy our relationships.
Self-control is about how we react to people and events. It also effects how others view and experience us and how we work with others. It can either hinder or improve our reputation in the workplace.
“Anger doesn’t demand action. When you act in anger, you lose self-control.” – Joe Hyams
The following exercise was suggested by Geetu Bharwaney in her book “Emotional Resilience”:
Even if you just accomplish the list, you will find you bring awareness to what makes you angry and instead of reacting without thinking, you will respond appropriately. As you can see from the exercise above, we can take back control by taking action. We don’t have control over how others think, speak or behave towards us but we do over ourselves.
“It is wise to direct your anger towards problems — not people; to focus your energies on answers — not excuses.” - William Arthur Ward