Did you know that your anger can kill you? Some people experience excessive anger. This fact can pose a serious interpersonal communication problem at work and a somber health risk for those afflicted with overdoses of this emotion.
Redford Williams a medical researcher at Duke University studied the effects of stress on health. He focused on type A personalities and found that they are characterized by tension, drive, competitiveness and hostility. Of these four characteristics, Redford found that hostility was the only one that had a negative impact on health; heart disease being one of the main culprits.
The working world is a magnet for type A people as it offers them a gung-ho arena in which to ply their competitive personalities. Their over zealous need to forge ahead, coupled with unbridled hostility, can create interpersonal communication problems at work and grave health risks to themselves.
Those with high hostility levels need to take responsibility for their anger and the resulting interpersonal communication problems it creates, and not blame others for their emotions. Projecting the cause for their feelings onto others is a strong tendency for this personality type. The good news is that it is possible to take control of one’s emotions and not be pushed around by them. Anyone can learn to turn their excessive anger off, replacing it with other emotions and not injuring those around them or ultimately killing themselves.
Here’s what people can do about their anger and the interpersonal communication problems it creates:
Admit the problem.
Blaming others, events or things for one’s anger only serves to add more fuel to the fire. Take responsibility.
The moment you feel hostility welling up – pause – so you can control the emotion, rather than letting the emotion control you. Here are some ways to do it:
- Counting to 10 before saying or doing anything.
- Taking three deep breaths before proceeding.
- Leave the scene so you can block out the stimulus, whatever that may be.
The key here is that you check your anger by whatever means necessary before making your next move, so you can access cool-headed thoughts, controlling your anger level. This will create positive change in your internal state and your external behavior.
Shift from hot-headed thoughts to cool-headed action
Be willing to stay open to the possibility for other emotions to replace your anger. Here’s how you can shift thinking patterns with your thoughts:
Example. Instead of saying:
- “That jerk was out to get me with his long list of questions.” (hot-headed) you might say,
- “It’s his job to do due diligence before giving his okay to my proposal.” (cool-headed) or,
- “Maybe he’s having an off day today” (cool-headed) or “He has a right to wonder.” (cool-headed)
These cool-headed thoughts enable the subject to shift from the hotter feeling of anger, to cooler feelings such as disappointment, sadness, hurt or fear. This stance is much friendlier to your body and certainly to those who work with you.
Seek professional help
By finding a suitable anger management program that will help you regain control of your emotions and life.
Learning to stop run away anger could save your life and make your work environment a lot more tolerable for those around you. Your anger is your responsibility. Learn to control it so it doesn’t control you and create unnecessary health risks and interpersonal communication problems. Be a leader and take the necessary steps to create serenity in your life so you and others in your world can live in peace and harmony.