THE UNEXPECTED STORM: Coping with that out-of-nowhere flash of anger.

It appears like a shot out of nowhere. That sudden angry outburst arising from a seemingly cheery, pleasant conversation. “There you go again!” or “I knew it! You just couldn’t keep your mouth shut!” Or – some other expression of long-held, and possibly long-hidden anger.  Seemingly so sudden and unpredictable, the target of all that anger is left wondering just what happened, what went wrong. And, why didn’t I see this coming?

Many of us have been on the receiving end of such an angry explosion.
If you’re anything like me……….
well, it really doesn’t matter how much training you have in anger management, how good you feel about yourself, how clear you’ve always been that you can handle someone else’s anger.

When we don’t see it coming, that flash of anger directed at us can feel overwhelming. And it can take every ounce of self-control not to respond in kind. To remember that we really don’t need to respond immediately.

That fight or flight impulse might kick in, but we can choose to do neither. A deep breath, a physical step back, and a moment of silence……. That may be all it takes to defuse the moment.

At a later time, when all is calm, then take the opportunity to find out what happened, ask a few questions, and to possibly address the deeper issues that provoked that flash storm of emotion.

Too tough to do alone? That’s a great time to use your support systems to help you think things through. A good friend, a close sibling, a parent – anyone you can count on to understand and cheer you on.

If your support systems aren’t enough, you might consider getting some professional help to get you past the rough spots, help you understand what’s hapening and to help you develop some strategies for coping with the challenges.