More often than not, we find ourselves in situations where we have to deal with our own personal issues, yet we still have to be kind to the many people we encounter. It is best to be kind to each person because they are going through their own struggles. Here are a few strategies that you may find useful.
1. Be aware of your angry, hostile and cynical thoughts by recording them in a journal or diary. Note what happened when you felt this way and what actions you took and review this at the end of each week.
2. Admit to someone that you have a problem with excessive anger and hostility.
3. Interrupt the hostile thoughts whenever they occur.
4.When you have these thoughts, try to work out for yourself why they are irrational or unreasonable.
5 .When you are angry, try to put yourself mentally in the other person’s shoes.
6. Learn to laugh at yourself. Humour can defuse anger.
7. Learn how to relax (for example by sitting quietly and listening to music, or going for a walk).
8. Practice trusting other people.
9. Make an effort to listen carefully to other people.
10. Learn to make your point without being aggressive.
11. Do not let small irritations get in your way and pretend that today is the last day of your life.
12. Try to forgive people rather than blame them. We all have shortcomings.
(Adapted from Coon, 2004.) (Deventer 202-203)