"There are five dangerous traits of a general:
He who is reckless can be killed.
He who is cowardly can be captured.
He who is quick tempered can be insulted.
He who is moral can be shamed.
He who is fond of the people can be worried." Sun Tzu
When one is angry because one's temper flares up, he or she cannot think beyond what is making him or her upset. In fact, the word upset means to disturb. When you are thinking rationally, would be you disturbed? When you are disturbed, you would mostly like be thinking irrationally. When you are thinking irrationally, you would be making the wrong decisions. And should you act on those wrong decisions, then the consequences could be detrimental.
When people get angry, how long do they stay angry? Is this angry state permanent? Yet if wrong decisions are made and they are acted upon, the consequences might very well be permanent and irreparable. So we hope you can see that being angry is never a good thing.
Thus, being angry is one of those few emotions that you must control and contain. You plan and practice to defeat it at its very beginning: a frown. A frown on your face is an indication you are upset whether you want to be or not. Be aware of your anger in its infancy because anger at any stage is a formidable opponent -- arguably the most dangerous enemy in the world -- and should never ever be underestimated. Yet we share with you a simple solution if you catch anger early enough. De-escalate the situation by forcing yourself to smile. That's right. Smile. See if you can maintain your frown with your smile. You can't, can you? This is what Sun Tzu mean when he said, "If the enemy is large in number and advances, what should be the response? I say: Seize what he values, and he will do what you wish." Instead of trying not to frown, which would be near impossible if you are truly upset, you can make a smile, even if it's fake. What isn't fake is its effectiveness when you are seizing upon the upside down smile, which the anger emotion depends on as much as its frown. You cleverly defeated anger in this battle by turning it right side up!
Also, a scowl is ugly, isn't it? There are those who scowl to make themselves look serious. They don't need to do that. They can focus more on their words and actions to project gravitas, not simply a superficial facial expression.
There are other strategies for dealing with anger:
Because anger is a temporary state, leave the environment you are in immediately until you calm down again. You can easily be forgiven for leaving temporarily -- nothing happened -- but people can never forget mean words and actions that are exchanged in a heated moment even if they tell you they forgive you.
Another strategy is if you feel like blurting out an angry response, keep quiet. Even if people demand a response, refuse to say anything in anger. It would only make it worse. Anger begets more anger. Starve anger with peace, silence, and if possible, a hug. This is like putting out a fire by taking out wood and air and pouring in cool water.
Lastly, drastically change the direction of the troubled situation. Act completely the opposite of how you behaved before. If you were loud before, whisper. If you were mean before, go out of your way to be sincerely nice. If you dressed in black before, dress in white or in primary colors, even crazy fashion. The idea here is to make the other side break away from his or her rut, too. You are proving in a very clear manner that whatever he or she thought of you before, you are now different in every way. Maybe, just maybe, you aren't so bad after all. This doesn't always work but it allows you a higher chance of success to halt a bad situation and perhaps turn it around.