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How to Keep Your Cool When Angry

Part of the Anger Management For Dummies Cheat Sheet

When you find yourself getting angry, it’s time to take immediate action. It only takes 90 seconds to defuse your anger if you take the following steps:

  1. Score your anger out of 10. A rating of 1 to 3 means you’re irritated, 4 to 7 means you’re angry, and 8 to 10 means you’re in a rage.

  2. Stop yourself reacting immediately. Reacting in anger is what gets you in trouble. What’s the rush? What do you want to happen? Try to put your message across clearly, while you keep control of your behaviour.

  3. Give your feelings time. Emotions are temporary. They will pass even if you don’t act on them. Time is on your side. You don’t have to let your anger out, it evaporates.

  4. Relax. Take a deep breath. Focus on the tension levels in your body. Count to ten while you focus on relaxing, becoming calmer.

  5. Analyze your anger. Who are you angry at? Why are you angry? Do you really want to lose your cool? Is the cause really worth your anger?

  6. Give yourself three choices (and consider the consequences of each): Let it pass; respond with a vengeance; or walk away initially but return later to discuss why you were angry.

  7. Now respond. You’ve taken a moment to stay cool. Now make your response, keeping cool.

  8. Reward yourself for exercising self-control. Kept your cool and made your point? Congratulate yourself – control takes effort.

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