How to Use “Time Out” Effectively for Anger Management
In my last article I talked about using “time outs” to resolve conflict, today we’ll talk about how it can be used effectively for anger management.
A time out is a tool for getting out of a situation that might lead to violence or abuse.
It is the first step toward working out any problem we are having with another person.
It is a way to develop safety and trust.
You can use the Time Out whenever you are not calm enough to talk respectfully to your partner or children.
It is a chance to get away from a difficult situation so that you can think it through and better solve the problem or resolve the conflict when you come back.
You may need to be aware of your red flags and be willing to walk away and later come back to resolve the conflict.
Warning signs that you may need a time out…
Your body, feelings and thoughts give you some warning signs that you are getting upset. To remain respectful and make good decisions, you need to pay attention to these warning signs and take a time out. A Time Out gives you some time to think through the situation. You need to recognize red flags that tell you that you need to take a Time Out. Everyone has his or her own set of red flags, but most people experience at least some of the following:
- Negative Thoughts – Some examples of negative thoughts are:
- “She is doing this deliberately.”
- “He is not going to get away with this.”
- “She is a spoiled brat.”
- “I am not going to take this.”
- Difficult Feelings – Feeling overwhelmed, powerless, frustrated, anxious, hurt angry, outraged, or destructive are indicators that we need a time out.
- Body Cues – Tight muscles in the back, neck or jaw, “nervous” stomach, feeling hot, shaking, shortness of breath, frowning, and narrowing eyes are all examples of body cues that we need to take a time out.
- Abusive Actions – Pacing, pointing your finger in someone’s face, shouting, name calling, putting the other person down, using sarcasm, threatening or getting in someone’s face are examples of abusive behavior.
These feelings, thoughts or actions may seem innocent enough, but it often doesn’t take time for them to escalate, and then it could be too late. Recognizing your red flags early, before things get out of control, could save the outcome of the situation.
Steps for taking a time out…
When you find your anger or other emotions escalating to a point where you feel out of control, you can take a time out. If your time out involves another person, you take responsibility for the time out. You are not putting the other person in time out – even if you perceive that your partner or child is the one who is misbehaving.
In my next article, we’ll talk about the steps we need to take for our time out in order to control our anger and prevent it from returning.
This is an excerpt from my book “Embracing Change From the Inside Out”
If you’re ready to make life changes from the inside out contact me, I will help you understand how to make those changes.
You can also contact me to speak at your next event, I will adjust my topic to the needs of your audience lipitor medication.