Learn how to deal with good, bad, and long-term anger.
STEPS TO HANDLE YOUR “GOOD” ANGER
Definitive (“good”) anger occurs where an actual wrong has been done as defined and derived from the principles in the Bible. It’s something that God would be angry about. Things like abuse, cheating, deceit, hypocrisy, selfishness, oppression, etc.
1. Consciously acknowledge to yourself that you’re angry.
Say it out loud: “I’m angry about this! Now what am I going to do?” Such a statement makes you aware of your own anger and also helps you recognize both your anger and the action you are going to take. You have set the stage for applying reason to your anger.
2. Restrain your immediate response.
Avoid the common but destructive responses of verbal or physical venting or their opposite, withdrawal and silence. Refuse to take the action that you typically take when feeling angry. Waiting can help you avoid both saying and doing things you may not mean and later will regret.
3. Locate the focus of your anger.
What words or actions by the other person have made you angry? If the person has truly wronged you, identify the person’s sin. How has she wronged you? Then determine how serious the offense is. Some wrongs are minor and some are major. Knowing its seriousness should affect your response.
4. Analyze your options.
Ask yourself: Does the action I am considering have any potential for dealing with the wrong and helping the relationship? And is it best for the person at whom I am angry? The two most constructive options are either to confront the person in a helpful way, or to consciously decide to overlook the matter.
5. Take constructive action.
If you choose to “let the offense go,” then, in prayer, confess your anger and your willingness to turn the person over to God. Then release your anger to Him. If you choose to confront the person who has wronged you, do so gently. Listen to any explanation; it can give you a different perspective on the person’s actions and intentions. If the person admits that what he or she did was wrong and asks you to forgive, do so.
STEPS TO HANDLE YOUR “BAD” ANGER
Distorted (“bad”) anger is what happens when no actual wrong has been done, but rather, your personal expectations/agenda/demands have not been met. This type of anger-trigger is the most common with us. It is born out of our selfish pride and our self-centred nature. This self-centredness is also what keeps us from recognizing when we really have done wrong and need to apologize.
1. Halt your anger and calm down to prevent responses you’ll regret.
2. Gather information to process what made you angry and why it did.
3.Help them understand why you were angry, even though they didn’t sin against you.
4.Ask them for help to prevent future anger, or ask them for forgiveness if you didn’t react right.
STEPS TOWARD DEALING WITH LONG-TERM ANGER
1. Make a list of (significant) wrongs done to you over the years.
2. Analyze how you responded to each event or person.
3. If the person is no longer living or available to reconcile, release your anger toward them to God.
4. For those still living, decide whether to seek reconciliation or to let the offense go.
5. If you decide to proceed with reconciliation, bring a trusted third party, such as a pastor, to the meeting.
This third party can act as a mediator or facilitator during the dispute and keep the dialogue on the main issue.
6. Seek forgiveness.
Reconciliation almost always requires forgiveness, usually by you, but sometimes by the other party, whom you have perhaps unintentionally offended.