"In our minds, our anger is what makes us who we are, gives us something to fight for, something to stand up for. It gives us a story around our character, a spice in the rather bland life"
We can get angry. We can get really really angry. And that’s understandable.
But what to do about it? How can we manage our anger in a way which doesn’t scorch us and our relationships?
There can be two schools of thought – relinquish anger and channel anger. In a way, both thoughts can be right or wrong, mostly depending on one’s lifestyle choices. Some of us need to trigger or a push to keep us going and make us work harder. For others, there’s nothing better than peace of mind to concentrate on the job at hand.
In my opinion, neither one is easy.
Our egos won’t let us let go of our anger so easily. In our minds, our anger is what makes us who we are, gives us something to fight for, something to stand up for. It gives us a story around our character, a spice in the rather bland life. With time, we become addicted to the anger, or rather, more used to it. We rarely start noticing the harm we are inflicting on others and how we damage our relationships. To let this anger go, or to turn it into a fuel, takes lot of grit.
So what can we do about this blunt truth of human behavior? There are a lot of blogs out there on the web you can surf, but I’ll tell you what worked best for me. Like a lot of us, I was bad at anger management. I was helpless when it came to little things activating me. I have done my share of anger management research a lot of times earlier. But as I said, my “character” in my “story” needed this drama.
Acknowledge the fact that something or someone infuriated you. Accept the fact that you are holding on to anger and letting it build inside you. Writing and visualizations are two great techniques to practice, for example, you can visualize yourself as a third person in the room, looking at yourself filled up with anger. Write down, in detail, who or what made you angry and why. You don’t need to send it to someone or read it again, just writing it down will make the incidence repeat slowly (and clearly) in your mind
The Other Person’s View
After you’ve fully acknowledged your situation, putting yourself in the shoes of the other person will help you understand the situation in a different light. Why did he or she yell? Why were they upset? Why did they try to insinuate you? Were there other influences at work? Trying to see the same situation from their perspective and acknowledging your own reaction had you been in their shoes, helps accept facts about the situation. For example, it might be the person you’re dealing with, has a love for perfection. Anything else will not be up to the mark, or it might be that the person had a bad day and their reaction was a result of it. It’s always good to see the innocence in everyone.
Look at it from 10 years in future
2010 was ten years back. Do you remember every incidence of anger now? Do they even matter now? I bet so many of the problems will be resolved if you look at your anger from this perspective. Not everything matters, and the things that really matter, are better not dealt with anger.
It’s a good practice to take some learnings out of your anger. What could you do to improve? What could you do to understand situations and people better? How can you set rules to improve stability? Evetime you get angry, write down a take-away. There must be something which shouldn’t be done or someone who you should not get involved with.
I hope when you see your anger from these different angles, things will seem clearer. Forgive people who have done you wrong. Again, visualizations like letting go of a rope that ties you together will help. Sadly, sometimes we are so hell bent on winning that we forget what we really - peace. I suppose not many of us want to rage wars in our relationships. It’s easy to forget a peaceful life when our head is on fire! Remind yourself of how peace feels and forgive the situation or person.
In my next blog, I will talk about the other option, channeling anger. How can anger be used to improve our lives? Or can it be even useful?
Till then, stay calm.
I'm Bhavini. Welcome to my blog!
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