Most of us can easily relate to bad attitudes. We have either been on the giving or receiving end.
In the last couple of weeks, I have witnessed some great leaders have blow-ups. One instance involved a healthcare provider with a patient. The second instance included a football coach with one of his players during a game.
None of us are exempt from having a “blow-up.” All it takes is the perfect storm of right conditions with the right trigger.
The Perfect Storm
Before we discuss the perfect storm, let’s talk about what defines a “blow up.”
A blow-up is essentially an outburst of anger. When a blow-up happens it is visible, otherwise it wouldn’t be a blow-up.
In most blow-ups the conditions are just right for things to explode, which is why it is the perfect storm. A perfect storm is a set of rare circumstances happening at one time causing exacerbation or worsening of a situation.
Earlier I said a blow-up involves the perfect storm of right conditions and the right trigger. So what are right conditions and the right trigger?
Right conditions can include, but is not limited to the following:
- Stress of any kind
- Financial strain
- Physical or verbal abuse
- Family distress
- Poor social interactions
- Overwhelming responsibilities
- Lack of sleep
- Hardships from other health conditions
The right trigger is simply anything that stimulates an outburst of anger. The anger is usually over something we hold close to our hearts such as family, money, compensation, politics, religion, character, reputation, etc.
The Effects of a Blow-Up
So what happens after the storm?
The success of our lives depends on how we handle our storms.
Blowing-up not only affects us, but it also affects everyone else around us. It makes all parties involved feel uncomfortable, which makes you leading more challenging.
To go a step further, blowing-up also makes anyone witnessing the situation feel awkward.
If you have ever been in a storm of any kind, you understand the damage after the dust or debris clears. After being in a few tornadoes while living in Tennessee, there is an eerie quietness after a storm. After the pure shock from surviving the storm, then you start to notice the damage to the trees, houses, power lines, cars, businesses, etc.
Blowing-up has the same effects as a storm. Blowing-up can tear up a marriage, business, and any other relationship because things are said and done that can be forgive, but can’t be taken back.
This course of action causes division, poor morale, and decreases productivity in any relationship. So what do we do to avoid blow-ups?
11 Ways to Disrupt Blow-Ups
We can prepare for natural disasters, but these storms are usually unpredictable and uncontrollable. Unlike natural disasters, our blow-ups are predictable and controllable.
How do we disrupt our blow-ups?
1. Know your trigger. We discussed earlier how every blow-up has a trigger. There are some people who blow-up frequently, but never focus on what triggers their blow-up. Once you know your trigger, it is easier to control your outburst.
2. Take a break. As soon as you recognize you are getting ready to blow-up, you should figure out a way to remove yourself from that situation until you can calm down. You aren’t running away from a problem, you are give yourself the best opportunity to deal with the problem.
3. Give yourself time. It’s nothing wrong with feeling angry. Matter of fact, you should give yourself some time to be angry. Anger is a natural emotion. If it is a serious enough situation like a family member passing away, you may have to take days, weeks, months, or even a year away from what angered you to prepare yourself. However, many situations that anger us only requires for us to get away momentarily.
4. Discover a calming technique. Many times when it comes to anger management, you here people suggest taking deep breaths. But it may be just as important to visualize a happy place or channel some form of a happy thought.
5. Prepare positive words. You should have a go-to positive word or phrase that you have positive associations with or brings on positive emotions.
6. Find something funny about what angered you. This may sound crazy, but many of the things that upset us are funny if you think about it. There are some situations when this will not work because the situation is so serious, but many times there is a funny side to why we are angered.
7. Get physically active. No, this point isn’t justification for you to knock someone out. Rather get involved with some form of physical activity such as walking, hiking, swimming, cycling, running, jogging, yoga, dancing, boxing, basketball, golfing, weight training, tennis, jump roping, skating, etc. There are many more, but the key is moving your body to keep your mind from focusing on what angered you.
8. Talk to someone you trust. Having a confidant is important. Your confidant may be a spouse. If you are single, it may be special companion. Your father or mother may be a good person to talk to when you need to let a little steam off. Talking to a life coach definitely has its benefits. With all that said, just make sure you are talking to someone you can trust. Everyone doesn’t need to know what angers you because they may use it to hurt you.
9. Get enough sleep. Sleeping well at night will give you better perspective and patience with your daily responsibilities because you will be well rested. Most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep. Being sleep deprived is an easy way to precipitate an anger outburst.
10. Keep a journal. When you start documenting about what makes you angry, you will discover triggers and conditions for why you are losing control.
11. Notice any physical signs. There are a few physical signs you probably demonstrate before you have an anger outburst. Some signs are the following: clenched jaws, headaches, dizziness, sweats, flushed face, sweaty hands, fast heart beat, stomach hurting, etc.
All of these techniques may not work in disrupting or stopping a blow-up, but one of these are bound to help you deal with any anger issues. Just remember, no one is exempt from having an anger outburst because we all have triggers. However if you are prepared, you will discover productive ways of handling your anger. Which will also solidify your leadership and help prosper your life.
Question: When have you had to deal with anger as a leader? How did you handle the situation?
Peace and Prosperity,
MTN Universal, LLC