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Diffusing Anger by Letting Go
Posted by:   |  Jun 19, 2014

The way you perceive problems and conflicts effects your emotional response to it. At times we feel angry. Yet, it is important to understand that anger in itself is not a problem. The problem is how we perceive the situation and how we respond to it and what we do next (after we feel angry). Let’s take a look at what feeds anger and what diffuses it.

Once a person feels anger, his perspective becomes distorted. No logic is exercised and empathy and compassion is missing. Therefore, if you are not careful or aware of your internal process (thoughts and feelings), almost anything you do when you are angry would be distorted and “wrong” and would lead to escalation. Also, almost anything you might say or do to an angry person  can feed anger and amplify the situation negatively. The angry person may use whatever you say against you, which in turn escalates your anger. As you try to defend your position and “push” back against the attack, the situation intensify even more. At that point, each person, involved in the conflict, is pointlessly trying to control each other, pushing each other’s buttons.

As you see, it is key to recognize the feeling of anger as soon it appears. Most times, anger  builds up gradually and it is easier to manage low levels of anger as compared to high levels of anger. So, the moment you recognize it, you need to stop, take a break and disengage. The disengagement should be at the emotional level. If it cannot be done emotionally, then it should be done physically by leaving the situation. Emotional disengagement means to let go of the desire to control the other person or the situation; let go of your desired outcome of the argument. Physical disengagement means to walk away from the physical place or from the other person.

Disengaging means that you totally unhook yourself from the disagreement. Disengaging does not mean that you quit in anger, mumble about how bad, unfair, aggressive and wrong the other person is. Disengaging is not about leaving and ruminating about the other person’s wrong doing, or think and plan a way to retaliate or punish the other person. It also does not mean that you become passive and shut down, withdrawing your love or caring. The withdrawal should come not from a place of controlling the situation, but from a place that is  necessary for you to “protect” your emotional well being; to allow you time to deal with your anger and process it constructively. This is a time to focus on yourself and take care of yourself, while letting go the desire to control the other person. You understand and accept that other person’s anger and feelings, while knowing that their anger is beyond yours. The time and space that you create provides a zone to be compassionate with yourself and if you can, with the other person. You use the zone to do your inner work, build your wellbeing and resiliency to deal with the difficult emotions.

Letting go entirely is not an easy place to reach. Yet, it is the act of love and compassion toward yourself and the other person. The byproduct of  this attitude and behavior, is the effect that it creates on your well-being, which is its growth. It also has the chance to provide space for the other angry person and influence them to calm down and hopefully make them realize that their anger does not affect you. When the situation, you and the other person faces, calms down, it is then time to re-engage with positive energy, love and care.

Please visit author, Moshe Ratson at his google+ Profile: +Moshe Ratson



Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in New York City
License # : 000697