Managing Your Anger

Even the most mellow person can be driven to anger by pesky customers who won't give up on bartering, rowdy children who continually knock things over, and pets who just don't stop barking.  If you find yourself angry during your yard sale, here are some tips for managing your rage before it hurts anyone, including yourself.

An angry middle aged African-American.If at all possible, when you feel your anger mounting, walk away.  Go around the side of the house, or pop into the cool of the indoors for a few moments to catch your breath and tame your temper.  Don't sit there in the vicinity of whatever it is that's making you angry; even if you have to excuse yourself (with restraint!) to a customer, do what you must to avoid putting yourself in a potential confrontation scenario.  Giving yourself space from the problem may give you a clearer perspective on why it is bothering you so much.

Turns out you can't just get up and leave -- maybe there's no one else to watch the sale, or the offending party is blocking your way.  In that case, count to at least five before you speak.  Don't just blurt out what your emotions want you to say, since that's a really quick way to regret.  Count on your fingers if you can so that your mind is free to carefully formulate your next words.

You may be lost for words -- after all, how can you address someone who is driving you to the brink of anger?  If you're out of ideas, and if you've already made your stance clear (maybe you told the customer it was your final offer, or you asked the children to slow down, or you requested that the neighbor shush their yapping dog), ask for clarification of what you just said.  This forces them to acknowledge your request and may make them realize that they are not currently doing what you asked.

If you know some, practice breathing techniques.  A raised temper is often accompanied by a faster heartbeat and shallow breathing, which put your brain into an unfortunate overdrive mode.  Since you want to get back to a place of serenity, slowing down your breathing makes you focus on something else and cools off your system, so to speak.  If you aren't sure how to practice breathing techniques, here's a great resource:

Another good way to get your mind off what's making you angry is to do some meditation exercises.  You don't have to be religious for these to help you refocus your attention and emotion towards something besides another person or animal.  If you've never practiced meditation before, here's a set of simple exercises you can do right in your sales table seat:

And if all of that isn't working, close your eyes and imagine yourself somewhere else, in a situation that brings you peace.  Whether that's a classic beachside, something family-related, or a scene from your past, make your brain believe you are no longer being goaded into anger.  Soon you will feel much better and can handle the situation more calmly.

Do you have a tip you'd like to share, or a question you'd like answered?  Shoot an email to and let us know today!  We'd love to get your feedback and hear what you have to say, and we welcome all suggestions!

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