Do you think anger makes you powerful? If you said yes, you’re wrong. It makes you weak. Anger is the kryptonite of super heroes. Punching your annoying coworker in the face because he made you angry is not an act of power. It’s an act of weakness. Let’s get something straight first. Your coworker didn’t make you angry. You allowed his behavior to get you angry. You have a choice. You need to take responsibility for your actions. Reacting in anger—by lashing out verbally or physically—is not productive. You need to respond in a productive way. Channeling your anger into power makes your response productive.
Ok, sure, channeling your anger into power may not stop the other person’s negative behavior. He may still be ranting and raving like a lunatic. So what. You don’t need to do the same. Channeling your anger will quickly change the negative situation into a positive moment for you. You walk away from the argument as the more mature individual. Who knows, you may also leave the other person speechless, with his jaw dropping to the floor. Isn’t that the sweetest revenge of all? So, maybe revenge is a harsh word when you’re trying to be mature, but it definitely would be sweet!
1. Take Back Control
When you’re in the heat of an argument losing your mind, you are not in control. You’re like a tornado spinning out of control. You have no power. That lack of power continues as if the ground you’re standing on is shaking from an earthquake. In order to channel your anger into power, you need to take back control. That means you must own up to your part in the confrontation. Blaming the other person for being ignorant and annoying is not going to get you anywhere. That kind of mindset only makes you more powerless. It’s like you’re completely using up your battery power and the power cord is about to fall out. In the blink of an eye, your computer will shut down and you’ll be out of luck.
Decide now that you can’t win by being powerless to stand your ground. Recognize that you don’t want to be powerless. Accept that you can make a positive choice to regain that power by controlling your emotions and behavioral reactions. You probably have several choice words on the tip of your tongue ready to fly out like missiles, aimed at your annoying coworker’s smug face. Sending out those missiles won’t get your power back. Controlling your words and emotions is the first step to channeling your anger into power.
2. Redirect Your Anger
Anger in itself is a very powerful emotion. Most often it’s used for extremely negative reasons and purposes. You can channel your anger into power by redirecting it. When you’re angry, you’re angry. It’s a simple fact. What’s not so simple is what can happen when you’re in the middle of that anger moment. Nothing productive ever comes from verbally lashing out at someone. Just because your team member forgot to file an important legal document with the courthouse, that doesn’t mean you should flip out and verbally abuse him. You may want to, but that makes you powerless. Giving in to your anger means you’re losing control. Don’t you want to be in control of your emotions at all times? You should want that if you hope to maintain a professional persona.
Redirect your anger into another activity where you can vent. You really need to punch something. Yes, punch something not someone. There is a big difference! You may want to punch that colleague in the face for making a huge mistake with not filing the document, but refrain yourself. Yes, that will be hard but nothing worthwhile ever comes easily. Channel that anger into power by redirecting it to a punching bag.
So, not everyone has a punching bag in their office. If you have anger issues, maybe you need to consider getting one. You can redirect your anger by getting into motion. Excuse yourself from the argument and start walking. Even if you have to walk around the building fifty times, you need to redirect your anger into another activity. That redirection turns it into power because you are not lashing out in anger. You have regained ownership of your emotions. That’s when you are powerful again. Whatever activity you pick, make sure it is productive and not endangering yourself or someone else. So yes, asking an innocent coworker to be your punching bag is not an option!
3. Get Positive Again
Of course, running through a field of daisies and singing Kumbaya is not at all what you had in mind when the anger took over. You can barely stand, let alone stop all your muscles from convulsing because you’d like to pummel that offender. Yet, if you want to channel your anger into power, you need to get positive again. Even if you have to fake it until you make it, that’s what you have to do! No one said it would be easy to channel your anger into power. The opposite is true. It’s easier to lash out in anger than to keep your mouth shut, your fists at your side and to walk away. A real man knows how to walk away from a fight. A real woman knows how to keep the nagging and screaming to herself.
Ok, so those “real” men and women are a continual work in progress. They didn’t channel their anger into power overnight like a superhero. More likely, they acted the part of a super villain many more times—leaving death and destruction in their wake. So get over yourself and the self-pity party. You can do it, but only if you really want to make a positive difference in your life. Get started by creating your own mindfulness mantra for when you’re really angry. You know, when your heart starts racing, your blood is pumping so fast through your veins that you think your arteries are going to burst, if you don’t hit your target right then. Wrong! That’s only wallowing further into powerlessness.
Those intense physical signs of anger can be relaxed if you simply get positive. It will take a herculean effort, but remember you’re a super hero in training, not a super villain. Maybe your mindfulness mantra would be something like I am in control of my own emotions. I need to focus on the silver lining and find the positivity. Be creative in what you remind yourself of during those times of anger. Just make sure that you create this mantra before you get into a fiercely angry mood. If you wait until that moment, your mantra will more likely be I want to kill this person and cause him to experience a slow and painful death. You get the idea. That’s definitely not something to bring you back to a mindfulness of positivity!
It’s true that anger is no laughing matter. Yet it can be if you learn how to channel that negative emotion into power. Don’t you want to feel more powerful? Or would you rather be the super villain who creates chaos and destruction simply because he cannot control his own emotions and has an anger management issue? Maybe you’d like to be the villain who has no idea how to redirect his anger toward a productive solution. Your idea of redirection is honing in on the next available target—and we’re not talking about a punching bag here! You might be the super villain who has no desire to be positive. You think skipping through the roses is for sissies.
Hopefully, you’re not in the super villain category. We need more super heroes. People who know how to channel their anger into power.
Have you learned how to do that yet?