Term Paper - Managing Anger


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Paths for an effective communication

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Term Paper - Managing Anger

  2. 2. Managing Anger – Paths to an Effective Communication (Introduction) Gyatso (1992) in his book “Introduction to Buddhism” motioned that anger is the mosttypical phantom of destruction as it endangers our mind almost every day. Anger is triggeredwhen one is emotionally hurt, and is usually experienced as an displeasing feeling that occurswhen we have been injured, mistreated, opposed in our long-held views, or when we are facedwith obstacles that keep us from attaining personal goals (Mills, 2005). One will try to avengethe offender or resurrect the situation in order to erase the anger. In retrospect, anger is anabsolutely normal and healthy human emotion. It is important to know what anger is becausewhen we know what anger is, we would be able to control our anger when we are angry. Evenso, American Psychological Association (APA) (2010) agrees that the manifestation of anger,without proper measures will get out of control and turns annihilative, thus creating problemsat work, relationships and wreak havoc on your life. It is a tough task to completely eliminatefrom our lives, but if we can manage and control the chains of our anger, then we can begin tolive a healthier and calmer life. (Matthew, 2006). Communication wise, a person engulfed inanger will tend to be harsher and express his notions more openly. That is whycommunication held with either one or more parties in a tense or uptight mood will turn outbadly or gives out regrettable results. Measures need to be taken to combat any psychologicalcauses that will result in inefficient communication between two or more. The purpose of thispaper is to learn how to manage anger and make the best use of it. In this paper we will alsofind out the basis of mastering our emotions especially when we are needed to communicatewith others. We need to know the importance of having a clear head while communicating tonot offend others and worsen a situation. Managing anger wisely ensures effectivecommunication among peers, family members and in workplaces. In order to establish aproper barrier towards anger, there are a few aspects that need to be covered. Firstly, it isimportant to get connected to your spiritual self and have a clear mind set on your angerproblems (Singh, 2005). Secondly, using non verbal codes or sending body messages toothers in subtlest ways as possible instead of blatantly throwing tantrums and spittingobscenities to state the obvious. As referred by Fiore (2009), it is vital to calmly inform othersusing the right words on what you are upset about without jeopardizing the interpersonalconnection between you and the other party. Fourthly, learning to use anger mindfully thusmaking use of it to control the situation. The last point would be the face saving acts or thedrastic measures one should take when you have lost it unknowingly (Patterson, 2011).
  3. 3. Anger is normal, and it will come out regardless of how hard you try to suppress it. Thereare a few aspects that need to be covered in order to establish a proper barrier towards anger.Firstly, as stated by Singh (2005) it is important to get connected to your spiritual self on youranger problems. Even though others may do and say things that can upset you, you are theonly person who can control yourself and your response to others by taking delight inforgiving anyone who has insulted you. Try to respond mindfully to others rather than justreacting emotionally to them. The most important thing is do not start condemning youranger, it will hit back upon you (Smith, 2010). What can we do is, just accept it as one of thedeepest instincts of human life, awaiting your recognition and your meditation to transformthe energy that is anger into energy that is compassion (Segal, 2010). Everytime you getangry, try to separate yourself from the anger and have a clear mind set on your angerproblems. You need to be aware and awake to do this. When you are the controller of youranger, it will dissolve the negative energy and the light of your observation would transformyour anger into compassion (Saisan, 2009). As a human being, we should not hesitate to begapologies from the people whom we have hurt. This would supple your ego that is creatingthe problem for you. You will see that you have no time for anger any more. If we want to behappy in life and want to be spiritual in its truest sense then, never cause pain to anyonesheart. The next method is by using non verbal codes or sending body messages to convey youranger as an alternative way instead of impertinently letting it out. There are ways on howshould we do this instead of blatantly throwing tantrums and spitting obscenities to state theobvious. Messages can be communicated through gestures and touch, by bodylanguage or posture, by facial expression and eye contact. Since emotional message iscommunicate nonverbally, you can use this communication techniques to let the other personknow you care about him or her. Your communication partner will believe what you do, morethan what you say. Nonverbal messages are the primary way we communicate our feelings,attitudes and emotions (Reedmond, 2009). For example, when we get angry definitely we willgave our partner a steely stare. Our brows will furrow and our arms crossed. From here wecan see that our partner has the skill to interpreting our emotional state because he or sheknows that we were angry. Besides that, we can show our facial expressions when we getangry with tensed lower eyelid, either pursed lips or open mouth (Alto, 2006). As stated byMehribian (2009), our actions play a key role in establishing the emotional climate in anyrelationships. Monitoring your nonverbal messages can help to de-escalate an emotion-
  4. 4. charged situation. Therefore, nonverbal communication is so important in the totalily of thecommunication process. Anger is a valid emotion, therefore you have the right to feel angry. The problem is not theemotion of anger but the effect of it on you and those around you. In order to manage angerand make the best of use of it, you have to choose the right words to calmly inform otherswhat you are upset about. If you know you are going to someone who is likely to tick you off,prepare yourself before you meet with him or her. Assertively express your feelings, but makea promise to yourself to not “lose it” and allow the encounter to degenerate into a shout fest.As purposed by Alonso (2011), words are expressions of our mental attitudes, feelings,beliefs, and expectations which are transformed in verbal explanations and recognized infacial expressions. Words are the mirrors of human mind and give shape to our feelings.There are words and then there are nice words to describe our feelings. Words can express ourthoughts, facilitate communication, words can hurt, words can heal and words speak ourattitude (Elliot, 2011). As we all know, words also can convey our emotions. Therefore, youhave to choose the right words and the right action towards a situation. As stated by Jonathan(2011), keep in mind that to keep a positive personality, your reactions towards certain thingsmust be positive as well. Apart from that, words also can establish and at the same time couldbreak a strong bond between humans. For example, when we tend to use bad words when weget angry, it will definitely can break our relationships with others, including our friends, ourpartner and our family members. The important thing is, do not use profane words when wecommunicate with others. A profane word is, a word that people consider obscene, rude orinsensitive (Redmond, 2011). So we have to determine the effect of the use of profanity onthe relationship. Some people might be highly offended if you were to use one or more dirtywords in a conversations. This will occur when we do get angry at times, whether inrelationship, family or at workplace. At first, you can go to him or her and express honestlythat you are angry because you did not like something about his or her behavior beingdisgusting or disappointing. You can warn the person not to repeat the behavior and suggest asolution. At the same time do not forget to forgive. Remember, it is the words that count andyou need to control your emotions so that nothing but nice words should come out to describeyour feelings (Elliot, 2011). In short, remember that words do matter. Whenever you want todescribe your feelings, use only the words that matter and convey precisely what you want tosay. Lastly it is better to be quiet than use wrong words and convey wrong message.
  5. 5. Patterson (2011) in her online article “Using Anger Mindfully” she generalizes that manyof us tend to look at anger as an entirely negative emotion. Anger can be extremely positive,powerful and ultimately healing when used mindfully, much to the stereotyped perception onsaid emotion by society. Ponlop, (2010) aptly states: “We usually think of anger as negative.Ordinarily, our impulse would be either to cut through it and get rid of it or to transform itsintense energy into good qualities like clarity and patience”. But looking into the eyes ofmodern society, anger can never seem to be channeled into anything significant as the latter inPonlops statement. Has it ever occur to any of us how can anger be used positively instead ofcausing more problems when we exert it? Finding positivity in anger and turning the energyagainst ourselves is possible and real. We are often afraid to feel its raw power, and fear thatexpressing it will make us seem less than the kind compassionate people we are. However,using anger mindfully will actually awaken our compassion, starting with compassionatelovingkindess toward ourselves. Firstly, notice how anger manifests in your body – is it aburning sensation in your heart? A cold tight clenching in the pit of your stomach? A flush ofheat in your face or hands? You need to become familiar with your own unique physical“early warning signs” of anger so you could grasp its energy without overreacting. Allow theenergy of anger to wake you up to what it actually happening at that moment. (Patterson,2011) As the anger manifests you and the insides of you, try to convert the energy into doingsomething that is worthwhile. Simple everyday situation such as seeing a lady kicking a catwho is trampling her way, pick the cat up and overview on what can you do to help the catinstead of getting angry at the inconsiderate lady. We can relate this to Levine’s statement inhis book. “Healing into Life and Death” as he instructs us to trust our body to tell us theappropriate course of action. He eloquently says, “the investation of anger... leads us directlyto the love beneath, to our underlying nature. When we bring anger into the area where wecan respond to it, where we can investigate it, where we can embrace it instead of becoming ahindrance.” With this, the act of reversing our anger into a profound act is not an utopianbelief and when it is nutured well, anger can be a drive for us to strive instead of driving us upto the wall. Lastly would be the face saving acts. It is an act or the drastic measures should you takewhen you have lost it in a sense of letting out your anger without thinking it through.Exploding in an angry tirade may make you feel better for a moment by “getting it of yourchest”, but it usually does little to advance understanding and manage the issues at hand.According to Goffman (2009), face saving behavior refers to strategies you used to rescue
  6. 6. our perfomance when we experience a potential or actual loss of face. When a person is veryangry or upset, that individual frequently will demonstrate poor judgment and make impulsivedecisions (Lanceley, 1999). One important objective for the person is to know strategies tohelp a confrontational of their partner to reduce their own anger level and reestablish self-control. Deescalating tactics are those that reduce the sense of acute threat or defensivenessthat the partner may be experiencing and lower the emotional tension in the interactionbetween them. For example if we get angry with our partner, sometimes we blunder intoconfrontations with our partner and then we are unwilling or unable to back down from thoseshow-down situations. Here, we can use the face-saving acts by lower down our voice andkeep smiling after we get angry with him or her. Basically, face-saving is closely linked todefensiveness because a defensive behavior is protecting ones self-image with another personwho is challenging how we see ourselves (Folger,1997). Face saving acts is a life skills thatrelevant for all people and not just those with problems controlling anger. Finding the time touse these skills can be a challenge but thirty minutes of prevention is better than two hours offire fighting. A proactive approach is better than a reactive one (Albert L, 2003). The essentials to manage your anger are everywhere and what matters most is how youreact to it. Summing up to each and every methods to aid anger problems, the first measurewould be getting connected to your spiritual side and have a clear mind set on your emotions.This is to ensure your awareness towards your anger and how you can psychologically controlit. The second way would be the usage of non-verbal codes or sending body messages toothers in the sublest form of way as a warning for others and a control shift for us to notdestroy any interpersonal connection between you and the other party. Third technique ischosing the right words to inform others about your disagreement or uneasiness to others.This technique is vital in order to be mindful of your loved ones, acquaintances and such. Bystringing the right words, it could calm you down and you are less likely to be influenced byyour anger due to choice of words. Learning to use anger mindfully and making it control thesituation would be the fourth point. Instead of channeling your anger to scold, loathe or detestsomeone or a situation, reverse your act and exert the energy by thinking what can you do toimprove the situation or help the person whilst helping you to calm down. Fifth method wouldbe the face saving acts to cover up and make up just incase you have lost your temperunknowingly. This is to help maintain a relationship even after you have hurt another partyand to regain your self-control back again. This tool of anger management works much better
  7. 7. if you commit in return within a reasonable amount of time to work things out and work onyour “self-talk” while trying to cool down. In a nutshell, persons who manage their anger wellhave better relationships, better health, and more occupational success than those who managetheir anger poorly.
  8. 8. ReferencesBeebe, S. A. (2008). Verbal Communication Skills. In Interpersonal Communication Skills(pp. 153-182). Pearson Education, Inc.Gyatso, G. K. (2007). Anger Management Techniques. Retrieved June 2011, from AngerManagement Techniques: http://www.anger-management-techniques.org/about-us.htm/Patterson, B. (2011). Using Anger Mindfully. Retrieved June 2011, from SelfGrowth.com:http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/using-anger-mindfullyRedmond, M. V. (2008). Nonverbal Communication Skills. In Interpersonal CommunicationSkills (pp. 185-195).Singh, D. R. (2005, February Tuesday). Anger Management - Mind Matters. Retrieved MarchFriday, 2011, from Malaysian Psychiatric Association: http://www.psychiatry-malaysia.org/article.php?aid=25Steven A. Beebe, S. J. (2011). Listening and Responding Skills. InterpersonalCommunication - Relating to Others , pp. 137-139.Steven A. Beebe, S. J. (2011). Words of Support. Interpersonal Communication - Relating toOthers , pp. 171-176.The Policy of Radical Honesty. (n.d.). Retrieved March Monday, 2011, from MarriageBuilders: http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi3900_honesty.html