I recently read a small but provocative book called The Cow in the Parking Lot. It's not about anger management; it's about choosing not to be angry at all. Just .. don't.
The title comes from a modern-day parable. Suppose it's Christmas shopping time at the mall and you've been waiting for someone to back out for awhile, with your blinker blinking. When they finally do pull out, quick as you please someone slides in from the other direction! You are furious!
So what do you do? Drive away, seething? Lean on your horn? Maybe give the guy the finger and a few choice words as you pull away? Or get out of the car and confront him, so he knows exactly what a jerk you think he is?
Now, what if it had been a cow that ambled into that parking place and lay down there? You probably would have just shrugged and moved on. Cows will do what they do; no reason to take it personally.
The author points out that there's no reason to take the first scenario personally, either. That person might not have seen you, or they may have some reason to be in a hurry. In any case, for sure it's not about you!
But your anger will make it personal. Anger floods your system with negativity that will linger the rest of the afternoon. If you confront the other person, you'll make him angry, too, and ruin his day; and he'll go home and take it out on his wife and children and then they'll be upset. So you've made nothing better (you won't get the parking space back) and made several people's day worse, including your own.
Choosing not to be angry takes practice. When you get poor customer service, when someone cuts you off in traffic, when your mobile phone statement lists a bogus call to Iceland -- you have every right to be angry! Just .. don't. You'll be happier and healthier, and have a better chance of getting the situation rectified, if the issue something that can be rectified -- like the call to Iceland.
Great little book. The Cow in the Parking Lot, by Susan Edmiston and Leonard Scheff. Available on Amazon.