Where does anger originate? What you will take away this week is Understanding anger. How to control your anger. Anger is an emotion that can be used to protect oneself from a harmful situation or it can become part of one’s destructive behavior that has dire consequences. As I discussed last time, emotions can get the best of us during the holidays due to certain events that occur during this time such as fighting over a parking spot, someone cutting in front of you at the checkout counter, or flipping you the “bird” because you did something “unintentionally” that set them off. All of these examples can cause anyone who is “human” to become angry. So the question is what is anger? Well, let’s start from the beginning. First of all, it is an emotion. What is an emotion? An emotion is the indicator as to whether a need is being met or not met in the moment. Our emotions are triggered by the events we experience and our interpretation of those events. Therefore, how we interpret the event will dictate the emotion we will experience about that event. With that being said, “How can you control your anger in any given situation.
Well, one way to handle your anger experience is to have empathy for what you are experiencing in the moment. You will need to ask yourself what emotions you are experiencing in the moment and attach those emotions to the need not being met in the moment. For example, a person pulls into a parking space you have been waiting patiently for the past 5 minutes. You say to yourself, “What the %$&*!!” The emotions that surface in that moment are anger, frustration, hostility because your need for respect, consideration, and acknowledgment were not met when that person took the parking spot. After you compose yourself, you can have self-empathy and acknowledge your emotional experience and let go. Always ask yourself this question, “Is the confrontation worth the potential assault charge?”
Remember, there are going to be many experiences that upset you because you believe others “should” have the same outlook on life as you do. So, why don’t they? You need to remember that everyone view of the world is different from yours because of how “the world’ was presented to them. What will assist you in unplugging from situations is to remember not to personalize the actions of others. Their actions are a representative of their view of the world not yours. Now, you may not find their behavior appealing, yet remember their actions do not have anything to do with you. Also, you may need to acknowledge why your angered response shows up in the first place. Did the event push an old childhood memory where you were helpless as a child? When that person raised their voice at you to move faster in the parking lot remind you of your caretaker’s behavior toward you as a child? In my experience, I have uncovered more anger issues that were caused from childhood trauma, especially when being bullied.
Things that may trigger your anger: crowds get bigger, and family members become unbearable remember to unplug and acknowledge what emotions you are experiencing and the needs that are not being met in the moment so you can release them and not allow your anger to dictate your life. Don’t let daily experiences get the best of your recovery. Practice what you have learned in your AA meetings, from your counselor or from me. Catch the bullet and do not let anyone stop you from achieving your goals. Contact us for a copy of our “Needs Sheet”