Anger is a powerful catalyst. It leads people to act immediately and, above all, drastically. Many times, instead of trying to deal with anger , we choose to bring it out without processing it first. This is because anger, whether directed or indirect, is usually the response to a communicative need.
However, the curious thing about this reaction of the subconscious is that it tends to distance the person from their goal, since it negatively affects interpersonal relationships. So if what you really want is to be heard and understood, put negative feelings aside and discover how people with high emotional intelligence can handle their anger.
How to deal with anger with emotional intelligence
1. Regain your composure
Before taking any action, you should try to understand what is really going on with you. Certainly, while you are angry, it becomes impossible to think clearly and analyze situations. This is because, when the emotional centers of the human brain are very active, those areas responsible for logical thinking and rationality are negatively affected.
To correct this circumstance, breathe, take a walk or entertain yourself with a movie. Also do activities that help you calm negative emotions ; for example, Yoga, meditation, and exercise are great activities to help you regain your composure. Once you are yourself again, you will be able to plan your actions with some perspective.
2. Understand your emotion
Many times, we often confuse anger with sadness or feeling hurt. Before anything else, you must find out what you really feel. Once you do, you will have a clearer understanding of what you want to communicate and how to deal with that emotion.
3. Take responsibility
It is very easy to blame others for what we feel. When we feel tired, hungry or even unhappy, we usually put all the responsibility on factors external to ourselves: a partner, a family member, work, etc.
Most of the time, these targets are people close to you. In order to deal with anger in a healthy way, you must understand that it is an emotion that comes from yourself, and that only you can do something about it.
4. Look for the cause
Finding causes is, in almost all cases, much more useful than finding culprits. Focus on finding out why you are angry , sad, or frustrated. That will focus you on yourself.
According to different studies in the field of psychology, negative emotions make us egocentric . You become so focused on yourself that there is no room for another’s opinion or perspective. It is at this point that you need a slightly more useful emotion: curiosity.
Investigate the other. Try to find out why he acts the way he acts and, instead of falling into confrontation, ask with genuine interest for the reasons. Many times it is not about having bad intentions or not, but about people accidentally making mistakes or angering others.
5. Think of the other
There are hundreds of billions of people in the world, and not all of them can expect to think alike. Show respect and consideration for others. If you show that you care about others, a fight can be a great opportunity to have a real deep conversation.
If you approach people from aggressiveness, they will feel defensive and will respond with the same anger with which you treat them.
6. Express yourself correctly
Communicate your feelings openly, from “I think”, “I believe”, “I feel” … but do not stop there. Ask the other person to share their perspective and to participate sincerely. Show interest in their opinion and explore together how to reach an agreement.
- Seppala, E. 6 ways highly emotionally intelligent people deal with anger. For Business Insider [Revised December 2017].