I get angry very fast. I do not get angry with everyone but only with those who love me and care for me. I also love them; yet, when I am annoyed, I say whatever comes to my mind and behave badly. Eventually, I do regret all that I have said and done but cannot bring myself to say “sorry”.
Looks like you’re feeling guilty, and regret that you get angry with those who love you. It is much easier to take out your anger on those who love you, for they won’t really retaliate and will forgive more easily. But that means you are taking them for granted.
Examine your anger: 1) Who are you really angry with? Is it those who love you? Or do you take out anger meant for others on those who love you because you can’t take it out directly on the others? 2) What makes you angry? For this, create a worksheet. Draw a blank iceberg. In the part above the water, write the word ‘Anger’ and in the bit below the water, write the incidents that trigger your anger and the feelings associated with these incidents, e.g., hurt, unfairness, and so on.
Manage your anger: Notice your anger warning signs… a pounding heart? Faster breathing? Inability to think? Any other? When you’re angry, first acknowledge your angry feelings to yourself or to the person in front of you: ‘I’m feeling angry’. Then, use calming techniques. Some of these are: breathing slowly and deeply; getting up and walking; counting backwards from 10; blowing gently from your mouth; stretching your body; keeping a bubble blower handy and blowing bubbles out of your window! Use humour — create a funny poem to remind you that you’re getting angry and need to cool down, e.g., ‘Oooh, I am a volcano about to erupt!’ or ‘I’m becoming an Angry Bird!’. Come up with your own calming techniques.
Apologise! Saying sorry seems hard because we feel ashamed or humiliated to be ‘always’ in the ‘wrong’, while others are ‘right’. But the benefits are huge. Saying the magic word, ‘Sorry’, will make you feel lighter, happier and will improve the quality of your relationships. It will also make you think twice about being angry! And that is just what you want, right?
Nasreen Hashambhoy is a Counsellor, Life Coach and a Facilitator of training programmes for schools and corporates. Through a combination of coaching, counselling and facilitation techniques based on cognitive science and positive psychology, she helps clients achieve their true potential. She is the author of the series Values In Action published by Better Yourself Books.