One of the really nice “side benefits” of teaching up to three anger classes per week is that of learning from my students who are struggling with their anger control. One such incidence took place this Tuesday night in our weekly class in Orange, California at which time we were learning Tool #4 of anger control called “Change Your Self-Talk.” In this lesson we teach pariticpants to change what they are telling themselves about an anger stressor in order to dial-down the level of their angry feelings. One man then shared that his wife taught him a little trick that always works for him, called “The Q-Tip” technique. When ever he gets angry, she tapes a Q-tip on on the television screen or the bathroom mirror. Of course, everybody was curious as to what this stood for and how it works. He told is the following:
In addition to being humorous, this little trick can do a lot to increase awareness of using anger management tools and it reminds us that we often we get angry because we indeed are taking the situation too personally. Here are some examples:
- The guy who cuts us off on the freeway isn’t doing it to you personally; you just happen to be occupying a space he wants.
- The drive-up window lady didn’t get your order wrong purposely to make your life miserable; she just got it wrong.
- Your partner didn’t leave the lights on in the bedroom all day (and burn electricity)Â to personally irritate you; he just forgot.
I’m sure you get the idea. How angry you get depends alot on what you tell yourself about the motives and intent of the person or situation that angers you. Practice telling yourself different things so you don’t take it personally – remember Q-TIP– and your anger will dial-down.
Now, why did my computer just start to crash? Doesn’t it like me? Does it want to ruin my day?…………………………..
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