Acting out in anger. Overreacting. Exploding over stupid things. Not listening. Show of hands, how many of us have done any or all of these things? ::raises both hands:: While it may seem like a normal reaction in certain cases, the truth is, it can cause many problems and even put a damper on relationships.
Recently, I overreacted to a situation that eventually led to a major fight. While the details of the situation will remain private, out of respect of those people involved, the incident made me think long and hard about my behavior. I acted out of turn, screamed over something trivial, went off the handle and overall did and said several things I regret. I feel anger, shame and regret in my behavior.
Although I have apologized and seem to be more or less on good terms, I still feel that shame and regret. More importantly, I am realizing how my actions have consequences. Yelling, screaming and acting immature (only some of my regrettable actions) is not only unattractive but causes rifts in relationships. Acting in such a matter got me thinking and to look deeper into my actions and how to handle things in the future.
Here are some ways to handle things in the future:
1. Breathe. Before you scream and accuse, think about what was said and done. Take some deep breaths before reacting. Give yourself a chance to calm down and think about the situation. Calmly explain your thoughts and why you were hurt or upset. Taking time before reacting makes things easier and lessens the stress in the situation.
2. Let things go. If it is something trivial, sometimes it is best to let it go. You’re allowed to be hurt, but sometimes it is best to let the situation slide, especially if it is minor.
3. Be less selfish. Maybe the situation has nothing to do with you. Perhaps it was an oversight or last minute situation that caused things to happen the way they did. Think of that and calm down. If it is that hurtful, mention it, but don’t harp on it.
4. Look at it from the other person’s point of view. How do you think they feel when you attack them? They will probably also get mad, which will in turn cause more problems. Take a moment to think about how they feel and how they will react when being attacked. It will give you some better insight and probably lessen the problem at hand.
5. Don’t be cruel. No name calling, pushing, shoving or anything of the kind. This is probably the worst thing you can do and almost guaranteed to cause a huge rift and anger. There is never an excuse to be cruel.
6. Show you have changed, just don’t say it.
I’m slowly trying to change my ways. It will take time, but I can only hope it works out and I learn to improve my behavior.