“Every day we have plenty of opportunities to get angry, stressed or offended. But what you’re doing when you indulge these negative emotions is giving something outside yourself power over your happiness. You can choose to not let little things upset you” Joel Osteen

It is true. Every day we have opportunities to get angry, when driving to work in a pleasant mood and you are suddenly cut up by an inconsiderate driver or working for the boss who is forever demeaning you or your co-worker who is trying to pass off your ideas as their own.

There will always be something in your day that has the potential to throw you off track. But that is all it is: potential. You have the power over your own happiness and you have the power to make the decision and just let it go. Feeling angry is appropriate if someone has done something to hurt you out of malice.

This is when you need your better judgement to decide whether that person had the intention of causing you harm. If the answer is no, then you need to make the conscious decision to let it go.

Sometimes we ask advice from others but then find ourselves fighting off criticism or comments from a colleague or a friend. Stop and think to yourself, “is this person’s intention to cause me harm?” The colleague may be trying to help you impress your boss and your friend may just be trying to help you improve your relationship.

Either way you need to assess people’s intentions before you blow your fuse. You need to ask yourself: do they have a valid point? The other things that you need to consider before becoming The Hulk and devastating everything in your way is, how are you feeling? Are you emotional, agitated, irritable or tired? If so, your reaction to this other person may be uncalled for, especially if you approached them and asked for this advice. But again this is all it is: advice. You are not obligated to take it, tell them thank you and that you will think it over and make a decision.

Now, a good thing to do would be to assess the situation and find out why you did not like their criticism. Was their advice too close to home? Not what you wanted to hear? Or simply you wish you had thought of it yourself? Just reflect on the person’s advice and filter through your feelings. Their intention wasn’t to push your buttons.

Now turn your attention to deliberately malicious actions, sly comments or petty competitiveness from friends or colleagues. You must analyse why they choose to conduct themselves in this way; often it is because they themselves are unhappy. So you have a choice – you can choose to hear those comments and react or you can choose to let their sly comments drift over your head. Their comments show their insecurities and you letting it go shows your maturity.

You must remember that at the end of the day your angry reaction says more about you as a person than it does about them.

Written by Hannah Johnson