Anger seems to float near the surface of expression in many people’s lives. Every once in a while, some trigger gets pulled and anger comes lashing out. If anger goes unchecked or untended, it becomes uncontrolled and we lose our temper. Anger has many causes, but I believe most anger coming from a generally healthy person can be controlled by following some simple principles.
The key to dealing with your anger is to understanding the triggers that cause angry outbursts and have a constructive plan to deal with it.
I learned years ago that the major triggers of our anger can largely be traced to blocked goals. At first, I found this explanation rather simplistic. Over the years, I found it to be true. For example, I was working on a project at work and needed someone else’s help. I was under a time crunch and the person just would not help. A bad attitude and unhappy disposition was the only reason this person needed to say no. My goal to do a good job was blocked and their attitude was upsetting to me.
Some people walk around as angry people. It can be demonstrated through inappropriate outbursts, sharp retorts, silent treatments, aggressive behavior, or any number of non-verbal signals. We can’t take responsibility for other people’s anger, but we can take responsibility for our own.
It is easy to disguise our anger by substituting works like frustrated, disappointment, or saddened. But once the blood pressure starts rising, there is no denying the anger.
If the anger is directed at us, we need to try and separate our emotions from the issue. We must fight our natural propensity to hide by running away or fight back by getting into it.
- My first step is to control the initial emotions. it always pays to step back, take some deep breaths, and regain your composure regardless of whether you are angry or the anger is targeted at you.
- Second, seek to understand what goal is being blocked and you might begin to understand how to solve the problem.
Anger is typically seen as a negative emotion, but at times it can be a healthy expression. Social justice might be a good occasion for anger. When we witness a crime or injustice, the offender ought to understand our anger. Perhaps a little righteous anger will get their attention and cause them to right their wrong. This may be wishful thinking, but let’s not kid ourselves. There are some issues that deserve some righteous anger.
Anger may not be directed at a person, but toward a problem. Personally, I feel anger over the act of suicide. While I feel very sad for the person who takes their own life, and more so for the family, I hate this act and it makes me angry. I turn my anger into good by supporting the work of Second Wind Fund and actively working to see this nonprofit expand their successful program to other states beyond Colorado.
Anger is a complicated topic. If we do a better job understanding both our anger and the anger of others, the better we can help each other.
How do you deal with your anger and have you ever seen good come from it?