argue with yourself — and win!

home

search

article menu

featured article
about us moodraiser blog

contact us

 

 

This article was excerpted from the book, Self-Help Stuff That Works: How to Become More Effective with Your Actions and Feel Good More Often.

WHEN SOMEONE MAKES you angry, it may seem that the cause of your anger is the other person’s actions. But what really makes you angry is what you think the action means. If you look closely at the meaning of an event, your certainty about it will fade. You’ll realize it doesn’t necessarily mean what you think it means. This uncertainty will make your anger diminish.

Suppose, for example, someone interrupts you while you’re talking and it makes you mad. You “know” the person is being disrespectful. On closer look, you see that: 1) an event happens, 2) you figure out what it means, and then, 3) you feel an emotion in response to the meaning you created.

Step number two happens very fast — so fast it seems the event directly caused your feelings. But that isn’t so. And you can prove it to yourself.

Wait until the next time you get mad at someone. Then try to discover one thought you have about what they did. You may have to backtrack — do a slow-motion replay. Ask yourself, “Why am I mad?” Your answer is probably, “Because he did such-and-such.” Ask yourself another question: “Why would that make me angry?” Your answer to this second question is probably a statement about the meaning of the action. Now you have something to work with.

Take your statement and look at it scientifically. In the above example, someone interrupted you. You thought, “He doesn’t respect me.” Looking at that thought scientifically, you realize it’s a theory to explain why he interrupted you. Once you look at it, you also realize it isn’t the only explanation possible! Try to come up with other explanations: “Maybe he never thought much about interrupting, and no one ever said anything to him about it, so he’s in the habit of interrupting people — those he respects and those he doesn’t.” Or “Maybe he interrupted me because he has a poor memory and didn’t want to forget his thought, so he blurted it out.” You can never really be sure why another person does something. Sometimes the person himself doesn’t know why he’s doing it.

After you create two or three good theories (this will only take a few moments), your anger will fade, you’ll feel better, and you’ll deal with the situation more rationally. Argue with yourself this way and everyone wins!

When you're angry, argue with yourself first.

This article was excerpted from the book, Self-Help Stuff That Works: How to Become More Effective with Your Actions and Feel Good More Often.

Author: Adam Khan
author of the books, Self-Help Stuff That Works and Antivirus For Your Mind
and creator of the blog:
Moodraiser
Articles and Interviews
Learn about sustaining motivation, improving relationships, relieving depression, improving your health, reducing anxiety, becoming more optimistic, enjoying a better mood more often, earning more money, expanding your creativity, making better decisions, resolving conflicts, and much more.

Self-Help Menu
Want to learn to enjoy your relationships with people more? Do better at work? Feel good more often? Have a better attitude? Use the self-help menu.

Facebook and Twitter
We post on Facebook and Twitter a few times a week, focusing on helping you feel good more often.

Search For Anything On YMW
Type in any topic and find all the material on YouMe Works on that topic. You can also browse topics on this page.

Subscribe to Moodraiser
Get articles delivered to your email inbox free. Learn simple methods for lifting your general feeling of well-being right away, and improving your mood over time.

 

Google
 
YouMe Works is a self-help website, giving you tools and ideas to help you feel good more often and become more effective with your actions.

Explore This Site | Immediate Relief | Bite Size | Home | Contact
Copyright © 2001-2099 -
YouMe Works Publications - All rights reserved.