I blame the wanderlust and insomnia and depression every single day, but it is inevitably people that drive other people nuts. And no, I’m not talking about being a little ticked off with someone, I’m talking full blown I’m-gonna-tear-your-head-off rage that dominates your reason and logic for a good week before dissipating. Writing in this state may probably mean that the advice I’m about to give is passive-aggressive, but I’m sure you’re all smart enough to adapt it to your own situations, right?
Anger is a destructive emotion. It devastates relationships, and perceptions and even inanimate things. If you have the grave misfortune of living with absolute idiots, or going to school with them, or even working alongside them, then you will know what I’m talking about. I recently got into a nasty argument with my Mother over a mug of tea. It was a seriously foul verbal assault on both sides, and if anybody had been watching, they would have thought us both insane to get into a tiff over a mug of tea. But everyone out there who has been through a similar experience will know that it wasn’t the tea, and it never will be the tea. Think of the tea as a trigger to everything else that has happened over the past month. You’ve been bottling things in, and all of a sudden, the tea pushed all the wrong buttons, and you explode. You shout about everything from the tea cup to that one time last week when you got grounded for absolutely nothing, and then about how your mother fails to realise that you’re eighteen and still treats you like a child. See? The tea has no relevance anymore because it has done its job.
So here are the five ways that have helped me when I have been so angry that I could literally remove somebody’s head from their shoulders.
1) Walk away. Isn’t that what they told us to do at school when we were being bullied or teased? That walking away or looking bored would mean that the other person wouldn’t get the satisfaction that they were after? I find that this one can backfire when you’re dealing with adults, because walking away can be misinterpreted as showing attitude, when in actual fact, you’re walking away because you don’t want to answer back and say something you’ll end up regretting. This technique gives you the opportunity to calm down, and reflect on the situation. Most of the time, when we are wrong, the anger doesn’t let us see the error of our ways. Calming down allows for logical, rational reflection, and gives you the chance to mend the situation before it is too late.
2) Keep your mouth shut no matter what. When I am pissed off beyond any reason, it takes a herculean effort to keep my mouth shut. We all know that nothing good will come of speaking in this state; with a few short words, you can destroy years of friendship or trust, all because you didn’t think before you spoke. Speaking in the heat of the moment is the worse thing you can do. Picture this: you’ve screamed your lungs out to the other person and didn’t listen to anything they had to say, two minutes after you’ve spoken, you realised that you just broke up with your boyfriend, or you’ve said something horrible to your parents, or you’ve cut your best friend loose. Too fucking late now. The words are out, and sometimes, they can cut harsher than any blade can.
3) Think of something else. This is for all those who have trouble getting along with their parents. We all know the drill. You’re sitting on the sofa, and your mother/father is right up in your face screaming at you, while stabbing your chest with their finger… Now, I don’t know about you, but this is usually the trigger for me. I feel so undermined and violated, and can imagine myself transforming into the Hulk. To top this off, I have a very sensitive migraine trigger, so I can go to bed with a raging headache afterwards. Lucky me. The only thing that works for me, is choosing a spot in the room to stare at, and thinking of something else. Completely zone yourself out. Again, this will give you the chance to calm down and think about it, and let the other person blow off steam. But for the love of God, don’t act so unresponsive that they think you’ve fallen catatonic, or that you’re high/drunk/stoned.
4) Just say sorry. This will sound stupid, but is probably the most effective. I walked into the kitchen the other day, and my grandma was sitting by the dining table, toying with her tea cup (that bastard again) and she had that I’ve-got-a-bone-to-pick-with-you look on her face. The kind of look and atmosphere that someone can just guess is the buildup before an argument. I was in no mood. ‘So I know what you did…’ and before she could even finish, I said, ‘sorry grandma.’ She looked at me for a few seconds, completely thrown off, blinked a couple of times and went, ‘…okay…’ END OF STORY. Sometimes, it is just that simple. Of course, it is a matter of pride. For those of your too stubborn and proud to apologise, this will be difficult for you, but in the long run, a whole lot less complicated too… your call.
5) Keeping a journal. The aftermath of an argument can be a pretty foul thing depending on what you argued over in the first place. In my house, the silent treatments and the dirty looks can persist for days on end, sometimes even weeks, purely because we all have too much pent-up bitterness. This is where journal-keeping comes in handy. A journal can be like a person. They listen to everything you have to say, they don’t interrupt you, and afterwards, you feel strangely lighter, and freer. Instead of verbally abusing someone else, why not just ket it out into the journal and save your breath?
I hope this helped you all. As somebody who gets angry many times in a day, I know that these things can work if you do them properly. At the end of the day, anger isn’t a desirable trait, and it’s in all out best interests to better ourselves and keep people in our lives rather than drive them away. Let me know if this helped you, leave a comment below 🙂