I have had thousands of moments, where I have wished that I could slap the daylights out of people who cut me off on the road. If you know me well enough, you should know that I am not exactly the epitome of a perfectly behaved subservient Muslim woman. I throw tantrums when I am mad, and as much as I pray for patience, sometimes I just give in to anger.
I can be a total drama queen when I want to be. Everyone who knows me will tell you this. I am not exactly proud of these so called anger outbursts that I display..and I must add that it’s not often…but on occasion..after being thoroughly provoked..It does take a lot to get me going, but once I am mad, you better run for cover, because I am like a winded clock that won’t stop.
Can you relate to this? Do you see bloody murder each time you are provoked. People with anger issues suffer from the most guilt, atleast I do. I honestly hate hurting others. If you are anything like me, you will totally get this.
The good news is that you don’t have to guilt trip yourself anymore. The mistakes you committed from allowing your anger to control you can be a thing of the past. Yes, you can improve your character by learning some essential anger management skills. It is highly doable. In the next few paragraphs I will provide some fail proof techniques that have often worked for me.
As a Muslim, one of the worst traits to possess is anger. While the West perceives a passionate person as colorful, Islam frowns upon those who allow their anger to overtake them. In my quest to find my own solutions for my own personal development, I have stumbled upon prayers which have worked for me along with some cognitive skills to assist you.
One way to prevent yourself from responding to other peoples anger is to recognize the signs before it reaches boiling point.
Some Signs Of Agitation To Take Note Of In Others And Yourself:
- Respiration deepens
- Pupils dilate
- Feelings of extra warmth – perspiration
- Taking deeper breaths than usual
- Speaking faster and fast body movements and gesticulating
- Voice becomes louder
- Tense muscles
- Paleness of skin or skin color deepens
- Overthinking and becoming overtly suspicious
Something that stops angry responses in its tracks, is considering a person’s current experience and situation. Prior to responding with equally charged up aggression, to someone who directs their anger at you, you should stop and allow your empathy levels to take over instead of anger. Here is how you can do this. For starters consider why they are behaving in a certain way.
Spot The Source Of Anger:
- Over tired
- Over hungry
- Hormonal changes such as puberty, menstruation, childbirth, menopause
- Craving substances such as nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, or any drug
- On a high from over usage of certain drugs
- Suffering from acute pain
- Worn down from chronic pain
There are two ways in which anger may be portrayed:
- Passive Behavior – repression or denial of anger- associated with the flight response
- Aggressive Behavior – expressed physically or verbally to hurt others -fight response
How To Deal With Other Peoples Anger In an Assertive Manner?
- Transform your body into a relaxed physiological state through shallow breathing, tensing your body and thereafter carefully releasing and relaxing your body.
- Check your own body language and response to the anger.
- Maintain a suitable space between the person and stand closest to a route of exit in order to leave the scene should it become too heated.
- Acknowledge the persons feelings.:
Say: I can see that you are feeling rather agitated and I do understand why you would feel this way instead of saying stop being mad at me, what’s wrong with you?
- Show them that you are listening by stating: I can see that you feel that this way.
- Share your own feelings and fears. Eg: Your anger seems to be out of control at the moment and I am afraid that we are not going to find a solution at this rate.
- Make a conciliatory gesture by offering a genuine apology
- Make a statement of regret
- Offer a compromise
- Acknowledge the other person’s rights
- Accept responsibility for your part in the problem
- State clearly that you are hoping for a positive outcome
- Express your wants and needs calmly yet persistently
- Fog out the criticism. When you are criticized surprise them by agreeing to your mistakes
- Agree with them. Speak calmly in a matter of fact tone and calmly state for eg: Perhaps I have been forgetful lately. You are right.
Tips For Those Of You Who Are Muslim:
The remedy for anger from Nabi Muhammad s. a is to sit if you are standing, to lie down if you are sitting and to calmly sip water and do wudhu, in order to placate your anger.
Why did the great prophet recommend this? Anger is from the devil. The devil is made from fire. Water subsides fires. Also when you are in an angry state shayateen easily access your body, thus you hear of cases where people become enraged and even end up committing murder. When you sit down you give jinn and shayateen the opportunity to leave your body.
Try to remember the words of Nabi Muhammad s. a when he stated that a person who exercise patience during an angry moment will attain jannah. (paradise)
One dua (prayer) which I often recite whenever I am angry is:
- Qul ya naaroo qoonee bar daw wa salaamun ala Ibraheem. This prayer is from the holy Quraan and was recited by the prophet Ebraheem a.s when he was thrown in the fire.
- It is also recommended to recite ta-awwuz.
- After fajar salaah I usually recite Allahumma afrigh Alaina sabran, wa thabbit aq daa mana wan shurna alal qaw mil kaafireen.
Most times people are faced with trying circumstances and anger is a natural response to certain trials. However, If you want to be able to live a stress free life in this world, it is essential to be able to deal with trying situations in a calm manner. Anger only serves to leave us resentful and eventually bitter.
If you are one of those people who tend to take life seriously and you are always walking around, ready to explode, then investing in some anger managing skills is vital. There are loads of online courses as well as reading material to assist you. If all else fails, seek therapy and or medical intervention, as there may be something underlying, beneath the anger that is causing you to behave in a certain way.