This was a part of a book I have been reading, I found it quite nice and useful for almost all of us. This is about anger, an ‘issue’ with all of us. We may not call it an issue most of the times and find it to be justified as per the situation which made us angry at the moment, but I am sure, at some point of time, we have all regretted a decision made in anger or frustration, or words said to someone in a fit of anger which have had lasting consequences, relations spoiled due to momentary anger, etc. A phrase comes to mind at this point, ‘7 seconds of anger can spoil a relationship for 7 generations’. I am sure it wasn’t just this, but this is what the quote meant :).
I am going to quote the entire passage that the author has written about how to control your anger. It is good advice, on first read, you might think that you already knew this, but I suggest that you give it another read, so that you may make the most of it. It is a good perspective on anger and how it is almost always unjustified to be angry and how we need to realize this. Unless we realize that being angry only causes harm and is never right, we can never be in a position to control our anger. It is only when it is well known to us, that being angry is not only a waste of time, but also has significant consequences for us, will we be able to consciously control ourselves at times when we get angry. It is not that tough, it is only the realization and conscious knowledge that anger is wrong, which will save us from this ‘evil’, if I may call it that.
Long Article Warning :).
ANGER: This is one of the worst emotional disturbances because it expresses itself in violence, hatred, hostility, war and torture. It also expresses itself in lesser ways such as resentment, bitterness, jealousy, fault-finding, nagging and destructive criticism. In this article, I will teach you how to control your anger 90 % of the time for the rest of your life, if you work hard at it.
The first point you must understand is that it is you who create your own anger. No one else does. You talk yourself into it and it is up to you to talk yourself out of it. How? You get angry in the first place by thinking you must have everything you want. You believe at that point that it is awful and horrible if you don’t get everything you want and that people who frustrate you are bad and wicked and should be hated for their wickedness. This is irrational thinking. You are wrong on all counts. People who think they should have everything they want are just full of prunes. Just because other people frustrate you hardly makes them evil and horrible human beings who have to be criticized, beaten or killed.
Anger, then, starts by you wanting, wishing, and desiring something. But before you know it, you have changed your mental state (whether you realize it or not) and convinced yourself instead that you must have what you want. In other words, you have changed your healthy, natural wishes and desires into neurotic needs and demands. Now remember, at this point: if you don’t get what you want, you only become disappointed and regretful. That is not serious and happens to us throughout our lives. How many of you have wanted to be rich, famous, and beautiful, have a yacht or a new dress? And how many of you got furious and angry with the world because you dint get those things simply because you wanted them? Obviously not many of you.
Now, when you convince yourself that you have to have something and don’t get it, that’s a different story. Then you become hostile; furious, bitter, resentful, and you want to hurt everyone around you or scream your head off. But don’t you see what caused the anger? It is no the fact that you did not get what you wanted. It is the fact that you thought you had to have something you wanted.
Look at it this way; you have undoubtedly seen children throw tantrums. Why do they do this? Obviously because they don’t get what they thing they have to have. Isn’t that why a four-year-old child screams, kicks, fusses and bangs his head on the floor?
What’s the difference between what this child is doing and what you are doing? There’s only one difference: the kind of frustration. The child gets upset over a lollipop or an ice-cream, whereas, you wanted a pay raise, or more respect, or to win a sports event.
In other words you have adult concerns, desires and needs. Bit when you get angry, you are regressing to the level of a child and are behaving like a child. Aren’t you above that kind of foolish and infantile behavior? I would certainly hope so. I know it is one of the things I continually have to remind myself of whenever I find myself frustrated and am about to become angry. I immediately say to myself:
[This is the important part]
‘I am not a child. I don’t have to have everything I want. People who are frustrating me really aren’t bad, they’re simple mistaken or have some pretty strong views of their own which don’t agree with mine. That hardly means they are bad or ought to be severely punished. It just means that I am going to be frustrated and not get my way. So what? I am not a baby and I can stand it.’
When I talk to myself that way I don’t get angry. You can easily do the same.
And don’t bring up the argument of righteous anger. All anger is righteous of you wouldn’t be furious or resentful in the first place. The person you’re arguing with things the same righteous nonsense you do. So never use that argument, it simply doesn’t hold water.
I hope you enjoyed the read. I liked it very much so thought would share the same with my readers. 🙂
Another quote about anger before I leave, ‘When you are angry, count till ten. When you are very angry, count till a hundred’. 🙂