The Anger Path

Jealousy vs Envy
Drawing by Adrian Serghie

   Now let’s get to something spicy:

   On a daily basis, what makes me angry and why?

   This question can help us identify the main sources that change our mood on a daily basis. Anger is one of our basic emotions so it has a great potential to make our day worse. When we’re angry, we tend to be more impulsive so we might react in ways we’ll regret later. Speaking about this, we get to another question:

   How do I behave when I’m angry?

   Once we know what makes us angry, we need to observe what we do when we’re angry so we can predict how is this influencing our lives. Improving the quality of our lives is the point to all of this. I believe that in order to improve it, we need to know what fucks it up.     As an example, I get angry on a daily basis because of the selfishness some people have (especially in traffic) and this makes me talk (and drive) more aggressive which increases the chances of me creating some incidents. Another thing that pisses me off is when people jump to conclusions without knowing all the facts. This is due to poor communication skills. I hate assumptions. If this happens in my interactions, I tend to raise the tone of my voice (which is unpleasant since I sound like a headless chicken) whilst being more specific in what I say (even though I might sound stupid). I also tend to ask more questions so I make sure I correctly understood what others try to communicate. If this happens in the communications people around me have, I tend to “virtually” put myself in that situation so I can come up with some questions.    “How is this helping me? So what if I know what makes me angry? It’s not like I can do something about it! I’ll even get angry sooner because I anticipate I’ll get angry.” If we know what makes us angry, we can come up with a plan to “fix” this somehow. For example, I tend to avoid certain roads because I know the traffic is heavier there. I’ll use some alternative routes. If I can’t, I’ll be extra cautious because I’m aware of what might happen. This second thing doesn’t help with my anger and because of this, I try to use empathy as a way to limit my anger because in the end, all people want to have a better life and they might not know another way to get there. This is actually the third anger-related question:

What can I do on a daily basis so I’ll get less angry?

   In order for this exercise to be helpful, all the answers need to be specific. If there are places you can avoid, do it. If there are people that make you angry and you have to interact with them on a daily basis, try to be empathic. Try to understand what’s driving them to behave in that way (you can even ask them some questions that can help you understand) and you can even try to help them fix some of their problems. Bottom line, shit happens! And it can happen anytime all the time! However, this doesn’t necessarily means that we have to be driven by it.    This is helpful because it also gives us some clues about our core beliefs since people don’t get angry for something they don’t care about. If we care enough to get angry, it means there is something important there. In my case, the fact that I get angry when I see other people being selfish means that deep down I believe humanity can be better if we realize that we live in a society and that what we’re doing can have a huge influence on other people. A sincere Thank you! can make someone’s day better and I don’t think it’s that much of an effort to do it. The fact that I get angry when I see poor communication happening all around me means that deep down I believe most of the problems we face are due to miscommunication and that it’s not really that hard to improve it a little bit. Of course, it is almost impossible to communicate perfectly, but it’s not that hard to ask a few questions to make sure the message has been understood.    Since we talked about why is this important, we need to ask and answer the question:

What is this anger trying to say about me?

    Please don’t write something like It says about me that I’m an angry person because we already established the difference between identity and behavior. Anger, along with other strong emotions, can help us realize some important things about ourselves, things that we might have not thought about until this point. I think that anger appears when we have some sort of a conflict between an idea and the self. When we encounter something that might seem threatening for our identity, we’ll react in a way to reject it so our self remains protected.

*Passage from my book -> Fighting the Inside Dragons* (You can find it here on Kindle and Paperback)

   Overall, how much influence does anger have over you?

27 thoughts on “The Anger Path

  1. disrespect and injustice make me so angry! I second you regarding the driving, I’m angry most of the times because of the drivers attitude so I avoid driving as much as I can…I see it as a disrespect and nonchalance (when someone nearly gets you killed and instead of apologizing at least, they just say: so what! or something similar…when they refuse to make you pass even though it’s your right…etc) it makes me want to literally smash their faces…
    Injustice in any act in life and any occasion makes me want to do an immediate action! I control my anger in many occasions, I try to listen and understand, I’m usually calm and nice until disrespect appears. At work mostly the bitchy attitude and the lack of appreciation used to make me so angry…I learned to adapt and I was convinced that it’s about them, not me they shouldn’t have any power on me and my temper…

      1. well I make my music louder and I pretend I’m not here, I let the music take me to a beautiful place and I try to give people reasons why they’re acting so…And it’s not about me, even though they are bothering me but still I can’t do anything about it….This is while driving. When there is disrespect and injustice, I must say something or do something otherwise I stay angry speaking to myself (I’m not the kind who scream and shout) I prefer effective actions

  2. I get mad mostly….but when I’m angry it’s a simmer to a boil thing. I’m still learning not to internalize my anger because when I let it go to long, I explode and it’s never pretty.
    But what gets me angry is attack of my character. When someone makes a strong negative assumption about me and they feel it’s right. Do that and I might bash your head in. Being truthful.

    1. I get that, but even though they have a strong negative assumption, is that your responsibility? If they feel it’s right, does it really mean it is? I’m sure it doesn’t…

      1. No, it’s not. I know it’s not true yet it hurts still because they’re not trying to understand me…or care to understand me. But the way people are set up, they rely on what they think they see instead of peeling back layers.

  3. I find it interesting how a lot of people tend to get angry over things from which they have no control. It bothers me when I hear someone discuss the fact that they are mad that this happened or that happened. It is in the past, dude. There is absolutely nothing that getting angry about it can do now. Another thing that bugs me is getting mad about how someone else acts. If you have done nothing to cause that person to behave in a certain way, then why in the sam hill are you getting mad that they are acting like that. What is the point? Really. I plan on checking out your book! 🙂

  4. I am not usually an angry person. But I have a 3 year old who manages to absolutely enrage me to the point where I have to leave the room. I have no idea how someone I love so much can make me feel like steam is about to come out my ears! But then, I’ve never had someone rub PlayDoh into the carpet, the dog and couch and then collapse on the floor and scream at me because I peeled his banana wrong.

  5. Stupid people make me angry. No j/k that was a bit of sarcasm. But is some anger helpful and necessary for our survival? If we did not get angry would we stand up for ourselves or others? Or would we be pliable doormats?
    What makes me angry is as someone mentioned: things beyond my control that don’t go my way (as if I am a toddler), I think fear triggers a lot of my anger. I know that type of anger is poison to my soul. I try to be reasonable and not take life personally. I try to be grateful. I try to do healthy coping strategies like talking, writing, exercising etc. Operative word being try. Sometimes coping means oreos and tequila!

  6. Honestly, repetitiveness is the most annoying thing in the world to me. Also, oddly, when people expect their tiny children to behave like little adults. Let them be kids! Let them try new things, get dirty, experiment, and play. Stop hovering and doing all the things for them. They’ll never get a sense of their own strength that way. (I’m really trying to stop this rant.) I try to remember everyone gets to raise their own children and I’m no expert. I probably do a million things a day other moms might think are unacceptable. Luckily, I always manage to keep my opinions to myself. LOL.

  7. For most of my life, I’ve had serious anger issues—even as a child. My childhood was amazing, there was no reason for me to be so short tempered. I’ve reasoned that the reason for my anger, back then, was that I was kinda spoiled. I was used to people giving in to me. When they didn’t, I’d react with anger. As I got older, I realized that I was short tempered because I really felt that I was a great person, so I took umbrage with anyone who disagreed with me or did things that hurt me. I’d always counterattacks with anger, which is counterproductive. Now, I stop and think things through much more than in the past. I am more patient and I understand that we are all different in our ways of doing things. I practice staying away from situations that will trigger my anxiety and anger. When I can’t avoid it, I meditate to myself. That takes me away from the frustration, if only for a little while. Of course, I still get angry now and then, but I have more control over now I react to said anger. Anger in and of itself is not always a bad thing. It’s how we react to being angry that can cause problems.

      1. Probably took 30 years of more to realize that I was the biggest part of the problem. I’ve been trying to become more zen for the last 2 or 3 years. We’ll live the rest of our lives as a work a in progress, so I guess I could say that each day is more zen than the last.

  8. I think communication avoids this route so the best way is to relax and understand how sometimes people too are going through rough patches patience faith and a prayer do get greater results hold on mate as great gifts are gained by patience and understanding

  9. My worst anger is hunger rage (hangry doesn’t do it justice) and I know I’m being unreasonable and just can’t stop myself. Some of my friends will accompany me for food (like lunch or breakfast at work) if I say I’m getting hungry (or worse, “I need to eat!”). I always tend to have food on hand, snacks in my bag / drawer. It’s taught me I’m the kind of person who needs to have snacks & clear warnings about, “let me eat within 20 mins”, & to avoid eating out in big groups (it takes too long) or with people who don’t know me that well.

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