Case #1. Brianna, 32, would get instantly outraged when her ex-husband threatened to file for custody of their two small children. Deciding to respond differently, she bit her tongue, and remained quiet when he began threatening an escalated legal battle.
Unable to get usual reaction from her, he calmed down and instantly became rational and more reasonable.
Case #2. Tom, 42, would become ballistic reacting to his 17 year old daughter who refused to see she was dating a “loser” boy. The more he yelled, deeper she dug her heels and refused to give up boy.
Applying anger management tool of “respond instead of react”, Tom decided to try something different by including boy into family activities (as much as he could stand). After about three weeks of this, daughter—on her own—decided her “prince-charming” wasn’t person she needed to enhance her life and ended relationship.
Learn to be flexible
Individuals who practice good health do not continue behavior that doesn’t achieve desired results. Instead, they adjust—or fine tune—their responses depending on situation.
There are many advantages to learning to be more flexible—and “response-able”— in dealing with stresses and frustrations in your life.
At top of list is a sense of empowerment. It just feels good to know that you are in charge of your responses, instead of being controlled by other people or circumstances.
Case # 3. Sixty-four year old Lynn left anger management class one night to find her apartment completely flooded due to a burst water pipe.
Adding to her stress, her insurance company initially refused to pay her claim. She later told us, “I decided to use tool you taught us of responding instead of reacting, so I cleaned up whole place myself. I can’t tell you how wonderful and liberating it felt to know that I didn’t have to get upset.
Later, calmer, she recontacted her insurance agent who, this time, agreed to honor her claim! Learn to respond differently.
Step 1: Examine your attitude. Negative voices in your head can be quite convincing —persuading you to judge others, be pessimistic, or think negatively, while creating destructive feelings that go along with destructive thoughts.