Stay calm. Anger doesn’t help

Do you get angry with your partner, your family or your boss?

Anger wouldn’t be surprising, for all the reasons we discuss in this book. People know how to jerk your chain. Family members may do it because that’s what they’ve always done. And work has its stresses.

But is your anger getting you anywhere? Is it productive? If it’s the first step on the road to change, that’s good. But if you simply explode and take it out on the dog, that’s not helpful.

Anger is wasted effort. It’s misdirected emotion.

As Maureen Potter, the Irish actor and music hall star, would say to her irate stage family: ‘Save our breath to cool your porridge.’

It comes from the amygdala, your reptile brain. It’s the earliest part of your brain, formed when life was about living and dying, and not much else. The amygdala offers you only flight or fight; it’s a simplified version of yourself.


4 Ways to Harness Rage and Convert it into ‘Agency

1. Recognise that you’re angry. Feel the emotion. Get used to knowing it. Feel it welling up inside you.

2. Manage the anger. Avoid a knee-jerk reaction. Step away from the cause. Leave the room. Shouting at someone won’t solve the problem. They’ll only say to themselves, ‘There he goes again.’

3. Write down what caused it. Identify the Who, What, Why and When it happened.

4. Formulate an Agency plan. Write down what steps you need to take. You might need to have a conversation with that person when you feel calm. Or, if you’ve tried that in the past, you maybe need to find a new way of living, such as a new job or living away from the person who angered you.

Stay calm. Stay in control


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