When something that matters to you gets blocked, that feels bad. When an individual is the source of the blockage, then you get angry at them—since they’re the source of the problem.
- Look back at what the person did to you. Does it still seem as important now as it did when it first happened?
- Try forgiving the person for their action. There’s growing evidence that forgiveness benefits the forgiver, not just the forgiven. You may not fully trust them again, but that’s different than staying mad. Even if your relationship doesn’t recover, at least you won’t remain actively angry at them forever.
- Give yourself some psychological distance. Focus on other aspects of your life. When you do think about the situation, imagine it from the perspective of one of your friends. Try to think of the situation more abstractly.
- Reframe the situation. Find other ways to characterise the situation. The incident may have created another opportunity for you that you might not have considered otherwise. That may not make you feel better about the person, but it may make you feel better about the situation. You can also try considering the situation from the vantage point of the person you’re mad at. You can reframe the meaning of why the person acted the way they did.
It’s never easy to stop being mad at someone. And you may even feel like their behavior fully warrants staying mad at them. But the emotion of anger can be powerful and it always is self damaging. Managing your anger will not mean the other person wins and it will benfit your own well being tremendously.
Art Markham has also written on this topic and also the following:
If you would like some help with your anger management please contact us on 1300 856 480.