Think Before You Freak: 3 Things To Keep In Mind About Anger
It’s Monday, and none of the material I need to complete my project is correct.
As I fumble through emails, my boss calls me into her office and begins to scrutinize me for something beyond my control.
I reluctantly apologize, bite my tongue and try to get things done as my phone yells for attention with group chat notifications about tonight's dinner.
I alternate between work and pacifying my friends, but I end up staying late.
Suffering from FOMO, I send a passive aggressive "I hate my boss. Can't come" text to my friends.
When I finally get to leave, I’m driving on the freeway, only to find myself stuck behind a person going 40 mph.
Then, it happens.
My inner sanity maintained through self-proclaimed phrases like, “I’m okay,” or, “things happen,” suddenly breaks and erupts into an acute “WHAT THE F*CK!?”
I explode into a rant that goes way beyond the slow driver in front of me, and I criticize the human race in its entirety. I wonder how I've managed to not punch people in their faces for so long.
I get home fuming, and I find myself overly frustrated.
I snap at my roommates for their undone dishes, and everything around me is irritating. I'm more angry than I should be, but I don't know why.
All I can think about is how mad I am.
Here are the three things everyone must remember about anger when it feels uncontrollable:
1. Anger must be released.
The dangerous thing about anger is it demands to be acknowledged.
Whether it’s breaking, throwing, slapping, screaming or crying, it needs an outlet to be released.
Unfortunately, this usually leads to impulsive decisions with poor judgment, and we say things we don’t mean or do things we wouldn’t normally do.
Instead of addressing the underlying issue, we ignore it and momentarily enter a phase of self-destructive tendencies.
We either take it out on people around us (passively expecting them to make everything better), or we simply turn to other activities for temporary distractions and short-lived relief.
2. Anger loves to play the blame game.
When we're angry, we believe we have absolutely every right to be angry. As long as that anger flame is still lit, someone has to pay.
It's not our fault: it's our bosses, our parents, our friends or our significant others. If they just changed, or if they just did that one thing, our lives would be so much easier and better.
While the situation at hand may seem obvious as to whose fault it is (not yours), the point is to not point fingers.
It's not about really what that person said or did, but why you reacted the way you did.
3. Anger has no sense of time.
We become angry when a store doesn’t have an item in our size, when our order is wrong or when a friend says something jokingly, but it pushes a button we hate.
Anger is interesting because you could very well still be angry at that kid who made fun of you in the 6th grade, at your parents who misunderstood you that one time or at the slow driver from this morning.
The problem is, we never look to solve it.
We get offended and just turn away because hating is easier.
We turn our attention to other things, and holding onto that pain ironically feels good.
It validates why this world is so "unfair," and it gives us a reason to lash out and complain.
We're so good at covering, pretending and hiding.
We tell ourselves the world is a certain way, and we're supposed to suck it up and be better at "adulting."
We tell ourselves it’s normal to feel crappy on the inside, but to function as a smiling, contributing member of society.
Anger is an important emotion because it's a warning sign that says a boundary has been crossed emotionally, physically or mentally.
Anger tells you to feel wronged. You have to discern and ask yourself where it’s all coming from, and why it surfaces.
Going back to open certain doors in your life is unpleasant (to say the least), but it’s a vital step toward realizing and acknowledging the root of our behaviors.
We don’t have to react, but simply act.
So, stop the yelling, stop the passive aggressive pettiness and get to thinking.
When do you get angry?
What are you really mad about, and what do you actually want to say to that person?