I was sitting at a red light with my music turned up on my way to lunch when a loud voice overpowered my music. Looking around I see a car two lanes over from me where a twenty something is on her phone yelling at someone.
Soon came the B’ word, followed by threats. All of this took place within 30-seconds while sitting at a red light. Going thru my mind is why is she so angry? I’m sure she was so focused on who she was angry at that she was unaware of the attention she was attracting from the cars around her.
Many of us have been in similar situations where anger spills over onto someone or at something and you lose sight of how you are behaving. Emotions like anger can be pretty ugly, and then there is the harm it can do to others. Are you aware you have the ability to control an emotion like anger, not just manage it? Most people feel angry or upset at times, but it never rises to a level of harming others with words or behavior. And then there is the other side where it does.
Back to the young lady who will be worked-up emotionally for a long period of time, long after the phone call is over. Why? Because the adrenaline that was released in her body by her anger takes time to run its course, which is why negative emotions take so much time to get over.
Think about the last time you got angry. How long did it take you to calm down? Looking back was there something you could have done differently before reacting with anger?
Emotional intelligence begins with awareness of how your emotions affect how you feel and how you behave. Emotions and behavior go hand in hand, like anger with yelling and cussing. The problem for some people is that anger can become an acceptable response, causing them to look foolish while sitting at a traffic light with half-dozen people watching her outburst.
What would you tell that young lady about her anger if she was your your friend? I remember one young man, about 16-years-old, during my Anger Management class confess that his family does not want him around at family bar-b-ques because of his anger .
Realize you always have more than one choice when you get upset, angry, stressed, anxious, impatient and so on. The problem is when you react impulsively, similar to our young lady in the car, you have stopped thinking and are only reacting.
Learn to be Emotionally Intelligent and less reactive. You will find that life is so much more enjoyable when you take a pass on an emotion like anger or stress. Visit my Controlled Breathing page to take the first step to be less reactive.