Many smokers are "stuffers." When a smoker gets angry he or she may reach for a cigarette and "stuff" their anger inside. They use cigarettes as an anger management tool. Now that you are a non-smoker you will need to find a new way to deal with anger.
Many counselors use teach the "I Messasge" as an effective way to communicate with others. Most of us tend to use accusations when we are angry. We say, "you always..." or "why don't you..." Accusations will put the other person in a defensive mode and they shut you out or prepare for an argument.
What you really want is for the other person to understand your frustration. If you are angry or frustrated you need to verbalize your thoughts and feelings instead of stuffing them. The trick is in how you verbalize them! Angry words or accusations will only create more stress. Acknowledge that it is you who are angry. That makes it your problem. You cannot control how someone else acts or reacts but you can control how you react.
The next time you are frustrated or angry try using "I" instead of "You". The person you are talking to will be less defensive and might actually hear & understand what it is your saying. It works with spouses, kids, coworkers...anyone you are upset with. It can't hurt to try it!
Take a look at these two examples:
- You make me so mad. I've told you a hundred times not to do it that way! You just do it anyway and you make more work for me. Why don't you ever listen to me?!
- I'm really frustrated right now. I get really mad when I see it done that way. I'd like it done like this. Is there any reason it can't be done like this? It would make it so much easier for me.
Which would you be more likely to respond to? Which would make you more likely to walk away or to argue? No one said it would be easy. But with some practice you can change the way you deal with your anger.
You may not be able to control the situation that is causing you stress but you can control how you react to any situation. Your reaction can actually defuse the situation. Remember: You have the right to be angry, it's how you express it that counts. Screaming and yelling will put the other person in a defensive mode as well. It also gives away your power. You have the power to react in any manner you like.
Remember these key points:
- Don't accuse or blame
- Don't exaggerate
- Don't bring up anything in the past