Anger is a destructive emotion even though it’s a very common experience. Everyone gets angry at some time or another. Although some people have learned such self-control that they won’t show their feelings, rest assured that their close friends, relatives, and especially their doctor know that they are angry. It can show up in migraine headaches, ulcers, skin problems, allergies, and even sexual problems. While these problems are not always or even most always related to angry feelings, there is a relationship between feelings and physical well-being.
Anger is an amalgamation of many negative feelings and both can and should be expressed in a constructive, healthy way. It is, therefore, necessary to learn how to manage anger and act in appropriately assertive, but not an aggressive way.
Now, a distinction needs to be made between being assertive and being aggressive. Being assertive means letting others know what you feel in a way that doesn’t put anybody else down. Whereas, aggressive behavior is always at the expense of somebody else. You will get your way, but you will step on somebody else to do it.
Common situations that provide great opportunity for practicing assertiveness include returning faulty merchandise to a store; asking a neighbor to quiet down, starting a conversation with a stranger, giving a speech in public, or asking someone for a favor.
In contrast to this, aggressiveness is demonstrated by you believing that you have to be right or have the right to be the winner, thus, you find yourself attacking the other person. If you always must have your way at the expense of the other person, as I mentioned earlier, you will get it, but, your relationships will deteriorate, others will reject you, and you will find yourself suffering from a negative self-concept and poor self-acceptance.
So, to manage anger, begin with the knowledge that anger can be controlled and resolved. You must cease placing demands on yourself and others through shoulds, oughts, and musts. Often anger specifically entails a should. “You should have known better.” “You should not have given the car keys to your brother. ” The more shoulds and should nots – the angrier you will be. Increase your overall level of happiness. Happiness is not like height; you just don’t get a certain amount of it and have to live with it. Learn to let go of the unimportant anger triggers. Realize that your anger will hurt you more than the target of your ire. Learn to express justified anger in an assertive and not in an aggressive way. And, keep in mind that the fewer shoulds, oughts, or musts you have, the happier you and all those who associate with you will be.