How to Analyze Your Anger Like Sherlock Holmes

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This post has stuff about politics, religion, and a previous relationship. My perspective has changed

Sherlock Holmes outside Baker Street underground station

There are some conversations that just shouldn’t be had. Talking about politics or religion when you’re at work is likely to get your blood boiling. Talking about sex or money with your spouse is also one of those hot topics. Although you can’t and shouldn’t always avoid these kinds of conversations you may be setting a mental ambush for yourself if you do. In order to navigate the back alleys of anger you’ll need to have the sleuthing skills of Sherlock Holmes himself. This installment of Free Anger Management Tips That Can Really Help Your Marriage should help.

Lookin’ for trouble

If you’re like a lot of guys, you’re a bit of a hot-head and you need to deal with your anger; A big part of dealing with anger is learning to constantly assess your environment and attitude for trouble spots.

  • Is there someone where you’re going that always ticks you off?
  • Is there something that you know will be happening is sure to ruffle your feathers?
  • Is there some situation that generally rubs you the wrong way?

Try and avoid those situations if you don’t think you can handle your anger.

What are these “feelings” you speak of?

I have to admit that when my wife asks me how I’m feeling, most of the time I have no clue. I have to look at a list of feeling words or reference the illustrated feelings chart. I know it’s funny but I’m serious. I really don’t like to hear the phrase “you need to get in touch with your feelings” but in the case of anger, you bet I do! Here are a couple of questions from Gary R. Collins that you can ask yourself to evaluate your anger:

  • What’s making me feel angry?
  • Why am I feeling angry and not something else?
  • Am I jumping to conclusions? (I do this one a bunch because I don’t listen!)
  • Is my anger really justified?
  • Do I feel inferior or threatened? Why?
  • Is there any other way that I could look at the situation?
  • How might others view the situation?
  • Is there anything I can do to change the situation that will reduce my anger?

Set mental checkpoints

If you choose to enter into potentially murky waters (as far as anger goes) you need to be armed with some mental checkpoints. Is there some physical reaction in your body that always happens when you’re starting to get angry? For example, you may notice a sudden rush of adrenaline. In the case of an adrenaline rush, you’re probably too late. Ideally you need to create the checkpoint further back. Think about what it feels like to get defensive. Is that a good checkpoint?

If you reach one of these checkpoints, politely excuse yourself.

That’s a wrap

Dealing with anger takes a lot of practice, and more importantly a lot of prayer. With God’s help we can put into practice some of these suggestions. And hopefully we’ll become better fathers, husbands, and men in the process!

Further reading

Photo by gregwake