Make More Money By Controlling Your Anger

I got an angry call from my friend last week. He’d been having trouble with his boss for a few months now and in his own words, “just couldn’t deal with it anymore!” He ranted on for several minutes about how his boss wasn’t giving him the responsibility he deserved, was constantly undermining him, and that “he was going to give that @#$#@ a real piece of my mind!”

I waited for him to finish, and then told him to take a deep breath and relax. “Take a moment to calm down,” I said. “No sense in getting all worked up over nothing.”

“Over nothing! Are you kidding me?” and he exploded again. Whoops!

Fortunately, I managed to calm him down again. Over the next half-hour, we talked through the issues he had with his boss and started to come up with some solutions.

It’s easy to get angry. Whenever something is wrong, anger is the first thing we turn to…and sometimes it can be a good thing. Anger can be a great motivator for change; whether it’s making a broad social impact or simply working towards a better life for you and your loved ones.

But sometimes we get angry over nothing. What’s worse is when anger clouds our ability to make decisions. We do something rash, and all of a sudden we’ve lost our job or ended a promising relationship. This is an example of what you DO NOT want to do:

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My own story: Back in college, I received a particularly low grade on an exam. Naturally I was in a really bad mood and wanted to take it out on someone. I ended up getting in a huge, meaningless fight with my girlfriend about some silly thing; completely unrelated to my actual frustration. One bad result led to another bad decision.

Don’t get caught in a downward spiral. Negativity and rashness breeds more of the same, and it’s incredible how a few deep breaths can help alleviate your anger. Don’t let your emotions drive you to bad decisions.

So what we can do to control our anger and channel it in the right direction? Here is a three step process to handle your emotions:

Step 1: Just Breathe

Before you do anything else, you should take some time to calm down. Remember that anger is a reflex. It’s amazing how a few deep breaths can make us see things more clearly.

I was driving home a few nights ago, listening to the radio, when “Breathe” by Anna Nalick came on. I’d heard the song a bunch of times before, but as I listened this time the lyrics really jumped out at me:

Cause you can't jump the track, we're like cars on a cable
And life's like an hourglass, glued to the table
No one can find the rewind button, boys.
So cradle your head in your hands
And breathe… just breathe,
Oh breathe, just breathe

Sometimes we just wish that we’d done things differently. We all make mistakes, bad decisions, stuff we shouldn’t have said and things we shouldn’t have done. And sadly, there isn’t any magic time machine that’s going to change the past.

Instead, just breathe.

Step 2: Understand Why You Are Angry

Take a minute to understand why you were angry. Was it something trivial or does something really need to change? Maybe it’s a combination of both. Understanding the source of your anger will help you figure out what you need to do next. If you don’t know why you’re angry, you need to find out quickly.

We often get emotional after a setback. This is where it’s important to take time not to just rush into another bad decision. Remember that the past is the past; don’t let how you’re feeling right now negatively affect your future.

Step 3: Put Things In Perspective

Perhaps you have a good reason to be angry, but take a moment to think about how bad a situation really is. Most of the time, things are not nearly as bad as they seem.

In my senior year of college, I started looking for jobs. There was one company that I really wanted to join, but after hours and hours of interviewing, they decided to go another direction. I eventually found out the reason: they felt I “wasn’t willing to commit long-term to the success of the firm.”

I was angry at first, but as it turned out, they were absolutely right. That particular job would not have been a good fit for me, and they were looking for someone who wanted to make it a career. Instead, I went another direction, and today things are going pretty well.

In conclusion, we all get angry sometimes. It’s only natural.  But learning how to control it and use it effectively is a valuable skill. The next time you feel the urge to overreact, follow the steps above and see how you feel. Over time, you’ll adapt to a more “anger-free” lifestyle.

Calm and collected is ALWAYS more impressive than angry and condescending. If you can take the high road, people will respect you for it. This will translate into a better personal brand, and of course, a long-term increase in earning potential.

How do you control your anger? Please share in the comments.

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