Anger. Ahh, our relationship with anger is complex. Some will claim that is fuel for accomplishment. Others say that it is the only time anyone listens. Others will avoid it at all costs until it boils to the surface – and that is where that old saw “the straw that breaks the camel’s back” comes from. The emotion of anger manifests itself when we are hurt by someone or something. Ever gotten angry after you have hit your thumb with a hammer? I have. The anger is directed at myself, the hurt is not about my thumb. It is really about me thinking about how stupid I am for smashing my finger – I hurt myself accidentally with the hammer and then intentionally on an emotional level with that thought.
The truth is that every time I get angry, I hurt myself. If I inflict that anger on someone else, I still hurt myself. And more importantly, I hurt myself more than I am hurting the object of my wrath. Every time, no exceptions, don’t believe it? The next time you are angry, stop and think about what is making you angry. Why is this making you angry? Why is this important? Why do I need an emotional response to whatever is evoking this emotion? Is this the best response? Does it solve the problem? Would I appreciate this solution if it were being applied to me? Would a more considered, rational, detached approach create a similar, better, worse outcome? Having a response that is not anger based when problems occur does not make you a doormat. Anger will most frequently crop up when we have lost control of something. Think about that. How many times do you get angry when you are in control? Do you get angry when things are going your way and people, places and things are being compliant? Probably not, most of us don’t.
When I think about the times in my own life when I became the most angry, who am I kidding? When I think about anytime that I have gotten angry it is because something was not going to turn out the way I wanted, planned, schemed, etc… It still happens. What I have learned and only relatively recently is that, “I only control myself” and sometimes I don’t do that, all that well. I have also recently discovered that being angry with others or myself only prolongs the amount of time it takes for me to move on and accept circumstances or when possible influence the situation. I do not do either particularly well when I am angry.
It is that thought process that helps to evaporate the anger. Sometimes anger is like the morning dew and it dissipates quickly, and other times it is much deeper and takes time. Taking charge of how you feel about what you can and cannot influence is a big step to burning away the toxic residue.
What could you do?… If you could evaporate anger like the sun does the morning dew?