To recap, we have been discussing dealing with anger. I have used the acronym ACE to describe the process of dealing with anger, whether your anger or the anger you and someone else may be experiencing. The first component of ACE is to Assess the angry situation. The “C” stands for the Choices you may select in dealing with anger. Today’s post discusses how to help someone else deal with anger.
How can you help someone else deal with anger?
When encountering anger in our children, family members, coworkers and friends, what are some choices you can make in supporting them when their anger is not directed toward you?
Some Assessments and Choices available to you when you are facilitating, mentoring or coaching someone who is experiencing anger are:
- Mentally begin to sort facts from opinions
- Listen for feelings, concerns, needs, values, beliefs expectations, messages, goals and any other categories of processing
- Consider the emotional health (how self-aware, confident, empathetic and mature the person is)
- Consider the degree of relational health between the people involved, how much fairness, trust, communication and commitment that exists
- Decide the potential benefits of verbalizing each of these observations, what the potential impact of each might be
- Affirm successes, abilities, intentions, potentials
- Explore and even confront the person with any inaccuracies, prejudices, unfairnesses, unhealthy trigger thoughts or distortions
- Methodically explore options
- Help the person determine his or her goals, intentions, willingness to forgive, and let go, negotiate or apologize
- Teach the person about his or her anger
- Invite the person to role plays ways to apply anger information or principles
Once you Assess which of these Choices are most appropriate when you are supporting someone, you can be intentional about how you can help them.
We have already discovered how intense the emotions are when someone is experiencing anger. We can be a tremendous help by standing with someone in this type of angry situation. When we do so, we help him or her gain perspective and clarity on what to do with this powerful emotion.
Facilitating, mentoring or coaching someone through anger can prevent life-dominating mistakes that can cause discord and anguish, and being aware of better choices in dealing with anger helps you help the angry person.
Your help at this crucial moment provides tools to overcome intense struggles with anger while promoting emotional and relational health.
Gerry Vassar, President and CEO, Lakeside Educational Network
Some information taken from Understanding Anger, 2004, Diane Wagenhals.