“When I feel a strong emotional reaction, I take a few seconds to analyze it. This is the hardest part. When I’m angry, I want to rage, and slowing that roll down used to be damn near impossible. These are the questions I ask myself:
- Is this going to really matter in the near future? No rationalizations, no bullshit: will it actually matter?
- Did the offensive action/situation come about in malice? That is, is someone trying to harm me?
- Will expressing anger fix the situation beyond calming me? Will the people around me and in my life be helped by my rage reaction?
If the answer to these questions is no, I take the time to calm myself down. I remind myself that I am not a toddler, and therefore not the servant of my emotional state.
From that point, I distance myself from the negative emotion. I’ve posted a few times about this, but when I feel really upset, I partition my personality into the part that is upset, and the rational crisis management side. ”
Photo is from Angry Birds