Here are 9 strategies for dealing with your ex’s anger:
1. Breathe. First, take a deep breath, hold it for a steady count of ten, and then release it slowly. Second, do it again. And again. Focusing on my breathing helps to alleviate the momentary tension, and it also keeps me from hyperventilating and passing out.
2. Write the wrong. It may be a private journal entry. Writing helps you to focus your reactive emotions and identify exactly why your ex’s words upset you.
3. Move away from it. Literally, move yourself. A quick walk around the block, or even ten jumping jacks or pushups or crunches, can exert enough energy to calm the frayed nerves.
4. Soothe the angry beast. Listen to an ongoing playlist of empowering songs to remind you of all the good things about yourself that your ex can’t or won’t see. Avoid anything super angry or depressing–that will just perpetuate your anger.
5. Get creative. Whether it’s coloring, painting, cooking, writing, music, knitting, whatever–use your own emotion as creative energy. Make something beautiful from something ugly.
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6. Call in reinforcements. Call your bestie and tell her everything you’d say to your ex, if you weren’t smarter than that! Get it all out and then move on. Let her tell you about her day, too, and revel in the opportunity to listen to something other than your own problems.
7. Turn it off. Even if you can’t turn your phone off, you can turn off your ex.
8. Wash it away. Use that energy to make your world shine. Maybe it just takes 15 minutes to pick up the house. Maybe it’s an hour-long scrub of the bathroom.