I deal with temperament people. It is never easy, requires a lot of patience and ability to let go of ego. But the more I meet angry people, the more I learn their attitude, the more I learn to control my anger.
That is, I agree when Dawn Gregory said that Anger is an instinctive reaction to feeling powerless. When I feel angry at someone or something else, in reality, I am angry at myself. So the question I need to answer is, why am I so angry at myself? What is making me feel powerless?
One way to answer these questions, she said is to daydream about the specific situations that are making me angry.
What did I want to happen?
How many ways can I imagine it would turn out differently?
What would I do differently that would have created a positive experience?
Remember, you can’t control what others do, you can only control yourself.
Then I found out Enneagram.
It is a model of the human psyche which is principally understood and taught as a typology of nine interconnected personality types. (read more)
Eight, Nine, and One are the types that make up the gut center triad.
The underlying emotion associated with the gut center is anger.
It fuels the drive or passion for each of the gut types. (read more)
In the Enneagram, 8s externalise their anger.
Eight represents the externalized version of anger. Their anger is like a summer thunderstorm; it rises quickly, it booms and pounds intensely, and it’s over in a flash. When it’s finished, it’s finished. The air is clear.
1s, on the other hand, internalise their anger.
One contains the internalized version of anger – resentment. Anger is stuffed deep inside and seeps out in in the guise of irritation, frustration, and resentment. Anger can even be turned against the One himself in the form of haranguing by the internal critic. In this sense, Ones’ anger is more like an active volcano that is not allowed to blow. Small bursts of steam vent through clenched teeth as the One seethes.
Lastly, 9s are out of touch with their anger.
Nines lost awareness of or “forgot” they were angry, but they are no less driven by it than are Ones and Eights. Anger is kept safely hidden from the Nine’s view, but s/he pays a price by also losing her own priorities, desires, even her passion. The strength and action that are the birthright of the gut center are simply not felt. Nines are like an inactive volcano. It takes a lot of energy not to notice something, which may help explain why Nines often feel ‘low energy’ or feel they are enlivened by the energy of others.
So, how do I deal with angry people?
- I try to put myself in their shoes. Will I get angry if something in particular happens to me?
- If ‘Yes’, it means I must apologize whether it is my fault or not, to let them know that I value this relationship more than my pride.
- If ‘No’, I will observe the causes or If I can not find any, I will assume they are under stressful condition which lead them to their current temper.
Mild anger may be brought on by feeling tired, stressed or irritated, in fact we are more likely to feel irritated if our basic human needs are not met or are jeopardized in some way.
We may become angry when reacting to frustration, criticism or a threat and this is not necessarily a bad or inappropriate reaction.
We can also feel irritated by other people’s beliefs, opinions and actions and hence anger can affect our ability to communicate effectively – making us more likely to say or do unreasonable or irrational things.
Anger can also be a ‘secondary emotion’ to feeling sad, frightened, threatened or lonely. (read more)
- I determine their Enneagram type. It is useful to predict how many time they will be needing to calm down. I can also decide the next step by their type.
- I will back a step off, letting them to take time out, to have space to reflect. I refuse to talk if they are still in that shape. Talking with angry people might drag me into the same reaction.
- I have mantras I used to remind myself: ‘they did not mean anything they said (or did) when they are angry‘ or I’d talk to them in my mind: ‘if you hurt me, that’s okay baby only words bleed’ as Ed Sheeran said. So in the end, it doesn’t hurt me as much as if I think they are really mean to hurt me.
- I open 9gag, find videos of cute puppies or kittens or pandas. I find something to laugh for.
- After some time of disengaging, I approach them with something attentive that would interest them enough not to ignore me. It makes me creative!
- I would hug, or apologize (again), or tease them and make sure I don’t discuss about it until we are probably forgetting some part of the moment.:p
Those steps are based on my experience. They take A LOT of practice to get used to.😌😅