4. Help Them Process and Prepare
When my wife and I are about to drive in rush-hour traffic, she will regularly pull me aside before we get into the car and say, Jol, we are about to hit heavy traffic. Prepare yourself. Its going to be ok. It sounds silly, but that little reminder helps me not get quite so angry at traffic. In Love Slows Down, I share proven techniques like breathing deeply, stepping away from the threat, and physical exercise to help reset your body and calm down when you get angry. But thats just the first step. Id encourage you to help the person you love recognize that their anger is coming from something inside them. Since its inside them, they can control it if they know their patterns and develop a plan.
Help them process their anger through the three-part framework of security, connection, and control. Help them recognize the patterns of what leads to their anger so they can prepare mentally and emotionally before they get into the situation. Certain times of the day, certain seasons, certain people, and certain situations (like traffic!) all tend to lead to anger. When they process what particular need feels threatened in those situations, its much easier to develop a plan for how to deal with those situations that trigger them. And, we help the person we love gain greater insight into who they are.
When we understand the connection between fear and anger, were better able to process our own anger and help others do the same. Anger is just a sign that something deep inside has been threatened. When we get past the anger and address the fear, we can help those we love reach their full potential and experience love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control rather than fear and anger.
Love is patient, love is kind it is not easily angered (1 Corinthians 13:4-5)
Photo Credit: Getty Images/fizkes