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Anger Management in Social Circles

We are part of a larger society and must cohabit with others in the most effective way. During the course of the day, there are various people, other than family, that we interact with; and this forms the social circle. Most interactions with friends and associates are happy ones, but there are bound to be misgivings, misunderstandings and disappointments sometimes. It, therefore, becomes imperative, to manage our negative feelings and control our annoyance during such interactions. Thus, it is necessary to manage our anger.

The manner in which we conduct ourselves within the social circle is different from our interface with family members. In the former scenario, there needs to be some (however minor) level of formality whereas with the latter, we can let ourselves go. Acquaintances within the social circle expect some amount of decorum and cordial behaviour from their peers; unlike family disputes, which happen nearly everyday but are soon (in most cases) forgiven and forgotten the next day.

Some simple guidelines can be followed for anger management within the social circle:

Maintain a demeanour

When interacting with peers, it is important to maintain a particular demeanour, i.e., conduct ourselves with propriety, in order to retain the friendship or association with the peer. Emotions cannot fly off the handle, and a polite decorum must be maintained even when angered by a peer or a situation involving a peer. We cannot scream and shout in annoyance as we do with family members, as it is not acceptable by the peer. Depending upon an individual’s position within his/her social circle, a certain amount of politeness and good behaviour is required.

Silence is better than words

It is good to have healthy arguments, as long as they do not spiral into a situation of ‘who gets the last word in’. When this happens, unpleasantness abounds, and an argument is being had for an argument’s sake. There is no sense left in the debate. Hence, at times, silence is better than words. However, this does not mean that an opinion or view should not be given. It should be made as long as it is being understood and accepted by the opponent (peer). In a situation where the opponent continues arguing, without giving you a chance to state your viewpoint, it is best to keep silent until the tirade is over. Once the outburst finishes, you can say your piece calmly.

Aggression is not a solution

Sometimes, situations create immense anger within us and the emotion is so strong that there is a tendency to get aggressive (physical). This aggression can be termed as assault and is usually not acceptable in social circles. If this ever happens, then the aggressor will be ousted from the social circle, as no one will want to interact with him or her. Apart from physical assault, aggression can also mean verbal abuse. Whichever form it is demonstrated in, aggression is not a solution to any problem or dispute as it worsens the situation rather than resolving it. If there is a tendency to resort to aggression within us, it is imperative to redirect or control the anger and bring it down to a lower level. Anger management is required before it transforms itself into fury.

Third party resolution

In some cases, it is difficult to sort out a problem between friends without getting into a volley of angry words. In such cases, it is useful to take the help of common friends who can intervene and speak to both parties, together and separately, in an attempt to solve the disagreement.

Social relationships are woven together with a very sensitive thread and these relationships need to be handled with a lot of love and care. Any dispute, however small or big, can break the thread of friendship.