Do you allow others to make you angry? 3 ways to take back control
Do you allow others to make you angry? 3 ways to take back control

When we're in a difficult relationship (family, friends, partners, colleagues etc.), we tend to always look at the other person and say, 'Only if they could behave like this', at which point we visualise them saying or doing something that would make us happier. We then focus on this thought for days, weeks, months, or even years, hoping that this thought power alone will get them to change. When this thought power doesn't work, we try the approach of rolling our eyes or shrugging every time they do something we don't like. When that doesn't work we get angry and may even raise our voice or in some extreme cases get violent, all the time expecting them to change.

But how about if you change, and what would this look like. If we use the above example, we could be more empathetic, there must be a reason why someone cheats on their partner, drinks excessively, is always in a bad mood, is very aggressive (verbally or physically), is extremely bossy etc. This is not say that their behaviour should be excused, but by being empathetic (understanding the possible reasons) means you are not angry or upset. Another approach could be, talk to the other person about it (have open and frank conversation) and let them know how you feel when they behave in a particular way. Try not to do this last one in the heat of the moment, wait for a time when you're both calm and feeling relaxed.

What other things could you do to take back control, here are 3 ways that I've tried and tested:

1. Everyday practice consciously moving your awareness - Think of a particular time in the day that your awareness is free to travel, maybe on your commute to work, washing the dishes, cooking, brushing your teeth, having a shower, the list is endless. When you've established the time in the day, think of happy memory in the last week, month, year (the memories can vary as long as it's happy).
2. Bring your awareness to attention - When you find yourself annoyed at someone, bring your awareness to attention and think of one of your positive memories, this moves your awareness from the negative part of your mind to a more positive area.
3. Keep your awareness on person - Choose a person that you speak with daily, for example, your partner, colleague, friend, children, neighbour etc. Let's say for example it's your partner, and when you speak with them, just keep your awareness on them and listen to whatever they are saying. If you find your mind drifting off to what colour highlights you should get next or try looking over their shoulder to see what the latest football score is, bring your awareness to attention and bring it back to your partner. Not only will you be working on your awareness but also improving your concentration and willpower.

As your awareness goes back and forth to a particular area of the mind, it creates a path in your mind and if a path in your mind is well paved, then awareness can travel down it very easily.

Be the change that you wish to see in the world - Mahatma Gandhi