By Ron Ross
Previously I described two ways to deal with anger, BLOW OUT and STRIKE OUT. Here are three other ways people deal with anger:
FAKE OUT! The FAKE OUT way of dealing with anger is used by people who think they have to be nice all the time, so they try to FAKE OUT others by repressing their anger and not dealing with it (denial). This is the “peace at any price” way. If you employ this method of anger expression (or lack of it), you will go through life frustrated by your false face and you will never have your own needs met. You will allow people to walk all over you for the sake of momentary tranquility.
You need to take a risk and tell the person who causes you anger how they impact your life. When you keep your anger inside, you create not only relational problems but serious physical problems as well.
SNUFF OUT! Here I’m talking about people who on the one hand act as if everything is fine while beneath the surface they seethe with resentment. If someone makes them angry, they SNUFF OUT (repress) their real feelings and relegate them to their quiet, restrained inner self where they churn and burn, agitate and exasperate.
Psychologists call these people “passive-aggressive.” They appear passive while they think aggressively. Their aggressiveness, however, is not usually expressed directly. It is expressed subtly and indirectly by stubbornness, procrastination, cynicism, or the intentional failure to do requested tasks. For example, someone who uses SNUFF OUT to express their anger will create unusual delays in getting ready for a party they do not want to attend. It is their quiet way (passive) of expressing their anger (aggressive).
This kind of behavior has a negative impact on almost everyone, especially the one practicing it. When you SNUFF OUT your anger, you undermine your most valuable relationships and it will prevent you from taking the kind of action necessary to solve real and present problems. It can impact you both personally and professionally.
How to deal with it? Convince yourself that it is OK to be angry and that it is even more OK to not allow others to ruin your life with their negative and nasty behavior. If you are being treated unfairly, speak out! Get in the habit of gently expressing your anger so others do not take advantage of you.
PULL OUT! Some people prefer to avoid anger altogether and just walk away; so they PULL OUT. They are able to escape from the people or the situation that is causing them grief, but they never resolve the conflict. Are those who PULL OUT not angry? Of course they are, but they won’t admit it. They are probably angry most of the time because their needs are never met. Many turn the anger against themselves and some suffer depression and even serious physical ailments.
Anger avoiders need to learn to get in touch with this very real emotion. They need to learn to be appropriately assertive in dealing with others. They must secure a proper view of themselves and their place in this world; they must correct their mistaken beliefs about anger.
What is your preferred way of expressing anger? Do you BLOW OUT (scream, rant and rave), STRIKE OUT (become aggressive), FAKE OUT (make others think you are not angry so no one gets upset), SNUFF OUT (hide your anger while you seethe and boil inside), or do you PULL OUT (leave when situations get tense)?
Next – the sixth and best way to deal with your anger!
- Anger Fever: How to Express Your Anger without Getting Arrested!
- Anger Fever: How to Express Your Anger without Getting Arrested! – Part 3