How empathy can help you manage your temper.
Empathy is a topic often discussed in anger management classes. But just what is Empathy and how does it help with personal growth and management of your personal Anger? As one English Author wrote: “To empathize is to see with the eye of another, to hear with the ears of another and to feel with the heart of another.” Another way I like to think of the concept is not only “walk in another’s shoes,” or “look at the world through their eyes,” but actually try to look at a situation through the whole brain of another. Consider the other person’s personal history and all their life experiences
So how does this concept help control anger? If you can slow your thinking and reactions down and understand that the person you are in conflict with is thinking with a different perspective then yourself you can then start to understand the conflict in a different light. When in conflict or feeling angry being able to say “given what the other person has experienced or where the other person is coming from, I can understand what they are saying or doing. “
Most of the time what we perceive as a personal attack has truly nothing to do with you personally. For example, if someone driving down the freeway cuts you off the initial reaction of fear and possible anger is common. But if you can take a moment and understand that the other driver does not know you and probably was not even thinking about you. Maybe they were just fired or are late (again) to a job….or maybe they are just a bad driver. Now, if you THINK about it for a moment, you will slow down and anger will be managed in a different way. To be empathic does not mean that you agree with the “other side” just that you can see it.
If a conflict arises, either in a personal relationship or with a stranger, stop and think about the situation through the others perspective. This is a challenging skill but one, with practice, becomes easier and easier.
Daybreak Counseling Service is a internationally recognized anger management education center located in Los Angeles and Orange County, California. They provide anger management trainings for corporations, families and executives. Shannon Munford MS has appeared on several nationally aired television shows as an anger management expert. For more information visit www.daybreakservices.com or twitter.com/angryinla. You can also call 855-662-6437