When I thought about diffusing anger, my first answer was gentleness, but Paul gives some other ideas: “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:31-32). Did you see his strategy? Kindness and forgiveness. Conversely, that means when anger is present, there are unkindness and unforgiveness going on. How true! When I’ve been angry, I haven’t been very forgiving. You tend to look for the worst in someone – not the best.
One thing that’s helped with my anger (and I’ve only learnt this the last few years) has been first to think how my action’s going to affect other people. If I leap up in the middle of a meeting and storm out, for example, someone will probably follow to see if I’m all right, causing them to miss the meeting too. I suppose the reason this thinking helps is that instead of being angry, there I am doing the opposite – being kind.
You must have your own anger stories. Maybe you acted unwisely, like I have in the past, or maybe you handled it well. Perhaps you’ve been hurt by someone else’s bad reaction. Perhaps kindness and forgiveness really are the way to go.