Angry people often try to control the uncontrollable

Much anger in the world is generated by people trying to control or change other people who do not wish to be controlled or changed. Rather than thinking in terms of control, think instead of other methods of influencing others such as: persuading, educating, rewarding, enticing, compromising, being a positive role model, advising, urging or convincing.

Remember, people have free will and in most cases they have the right to do things we consider wrong or stupid if they are willing to accept the consequences.  They often will “push back” if they feel you are trying to control or change them, even if in your mind you are doing it “for their own good.” Better to give them choices and consequences for their behavior. That way, they can choose to do – or not do – what you want.

For example, your spouse drinks too much at parties which embarrasses you.You know that if you try to limit how much they drink, it will lead to extreme conflict, defiance and anger on both sides. Solution? Tell them that if they the next time they drink too much, you will leave the party and return home alone (and then actually do it).

Bottom line is that most people will change what they do much more readily if they feel they are making the choice to change rather than because they are being controlled by another person.