What are Anger Alternatives?
There are several options.
The first alternative way to manage your anger is to simply remain calm.
The second is to be assertive.
And some people will turn the other cheek when they are confronted with anger…
Our opinion is that different approaches need to be used in different situations. You need to assess the event or person and then take control of your attitude so that your emotions do not turn into an angry outburst.
- Remaining Calm – an alternative to anger
Perhaps this is the most difficult approach to master. But once you have this anger management technique in place, it becomes second nature and you are in full control of how situations make you feel.
Go to our page on how to control anger by controlling your thoughts and learn how to challenge the irrational thoughts that trigger your anger in the first place.
Then learn how to develop new effective thinking that enables you to have a new healthier feeling about what triggers your anger.
- Assertiveness – an alternative to anger
Assertiveness is the ability to express your opinions, feelings, wants and needs using direct, honest communication without stepping on the rights of other people.
- express what they want
- ask for it clearly
- are not afraid of taking a risk
- express positive and negative feelings
- can refuse requests and invitations
- give and receive compliments
- are calm
- receive and give feedback
They do not
- get angry and aggressive
- go behind other people’s backs
- suppress their angry feelings
Reasons to be assertive
- It helps avoid creating anger
- It has a positive effect on relationships
- It will help build confidence and competence
- It helps put your energy to more positive use
Anger can be avoided by learning to communicate assertively, which will prevent point scoring, bottling up emotions and open arguments. Communicating with anger highlights disagreements and usually ends up in a lose-lose situation. Communicating from a passive position is also unhealthy. Conflicts and points of disagreement are not discussed and are bottled up. This can trigger conflict after the event and is not a good way to deal with anger. However, communicating assertively means that you can be straight and honest, you don’t over-apologize or justify and you don’t take refusals personally. You recognize the rights of the other person to refuse or to disagree.
Assertive communication relies on a very simple, easy-to-remember formula…
You tell the other person as directly as possible:
- How you feel (emotion)
- About what (fact)
- Why you feel the way you do (need)
- At the end of your statement you stop and allow space for your words to be heard. Leaving space after you have said how you feel is very important as it gives weight to what you are saying…
‘I am very upset that you didn’t call me as I put aside time for the call as we agreed.’
Assertiveness Tips * Take ownership of your feelings and use ‘I’ language rather than ‘you’ language.
* Remember that ‘you’ language will be heard as blame and criticism.
- Forgiveness – an alternative to anger
Forgiveness is an essential tool to use in letting go of anger…
Forgiving yourself and others allows you to move on from feeling stuck in a place of negativity and old arguments that never go anywhere and always seem to be repeated. Forgiveness also allows you to be flexible in your thinking.
Forgiveness is defined as the process of letting go and ceasing to feel anger, resentment and bitterness to others for perceived mistakes or offences, and no longer wanting a pay-back or punishment for others. If, when you read this, you feel uneasy or think of people you would like to punish or ‘get back at’ then you have some forgiving to do. If you think of your own ‘failures’, ‘lacks’ or ‘mistakes’ then you need to forgive yourself and let go of those labels.
Reasons to forgive
- People who forgive are happier and healthier with themselves than people who harbour grievances and resentment.
- Holding onto non-forgiveness triggers anger and stress, causing release of the stress hormone cortisol.
- Stress linked to non-forgiveness has been linked to depression, memory deterioration, heart problems and fatigue, as well as wear and tear on the body.
- Forgiveness has both spiritual and physical rewards for the forgiver.
- It allows you to shrug your shoulders when something you don’t like happens and to move on.
Human beings often do things that upset others. Forgiveness doesn’t mean having to forget, but you cannot move on in your life unless you forgive.
Using forgiveness as an alternative to anger means that you don’t feel those negative, damaging emotions anymore that were attached to the person or situation.
We hope that you have found these suggestions a useful alternative to anger.
We know for sure that the less angry people that there are in the world, the better place it will be for all of us and for our children.
Learning how to deal with anger in a positive way can only make our everyday living better!