Psychologists will tell us that the most common roots of anger include fear, pain, and frustration. In situations of uncertainty, losing our areas of control or the comfort zone, being hurt in relationships – all of the above are examples of what can cause anger.
We can also discover from the psychology that anger is the defense mechanism and can help us express other suppressed negative emotions. But today I, myself, felt angry and started wondering – what was I actually angry about?
Regardless of today’s specific situation, I started to think about each of the times I felt angry and stressed. What are usual reasons? Different scenarios and people come to mind. But what are my most frequent thoughts while I am angry? “Why didn’t I predict this?”, “Why can’t I change this now?”, “Why didn’t I do anything to avoid this?”, “How could I let this happen on the first place?”, “Why didn’t I say anything to protect myself?”.
And those questions never gave me any good answers, as you can imagine. Because all of them were addressing the things I could no longer change.
But these questions prove that when I am angry, I am angry at myself.
Here are two examples:
- When I am angry about something that was out of my control (like the mistakes of other people) – there is no reason for anger, because it “was out of my control” to manage, predict or change.
- When I am angry about the mistakes I have made myself – again, no reason for this! Why being angry at myself in the past, who made that decision. I cannot go back in time and change my response, my action, or reaction.
The “silver line” in this story is not about not being angry at all. We are human beings, we are emotional. And anger is one of the emotions we have the right for.
My thoughts today are about what do I do next when I get angry. When I can’t change the past, or I can’t change the other person, who did wrong, the only thing I can control by the end of the day is me and my next move.
So if I get back to those 2 examples above.
I am angry about the mistakes or the behavior of other people. What do I do?
- 🌿 I accept the fact that I don’t control other people, neither how they feel nor how they behave.
- 🌿 So I calm down.
- 🌿 I can say how other people’s behavior makes ME feel. And I definitely say out loud if it harms or hurts me!
I am angry about my own mistakes. What do I do?
- 🌿 I accept the fact that what is done – is done.
- 🌿 Then I think about the things in my area of influence: a damage control, my future behavior.
- 🌿 Damage control: for example, I may have to apologize if I hurt other people with what I did or said. Or maybe I have made a wrong impression of myself at the business meeting and now realize I have to change the perception of me as a professional.
- 🌿 Whatever example you might think of – everything can be managed. But only in the future!
So from now, when I got angry, I am going to make an effort to calm down and think about the right behavior and the right strategy for my next move! Are you with me? 🌿