Mr. Yuck Stickers
Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the VESSEL in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured. – Mark Twain
Do you want to stop the habitual, knee-jerk childlike anger reactions and finally get a hold of yourself? Do you want to avoid the constant and rampant stink-eye of every person from here to the moon? Do you want to act older than five, and be treated accordingly? Do you want to end the cruelty to people, intentional or not, because they (on purpose or not) reminded or triggered within you something not healed (acknowledged and worked through)? Do you want to finally find some peace for yourself? Do you want to have better health, wealth, and luck?
If you don’t, then congratulations and well done on the attainment of your successfully anger filled life!
If you do, keep reading for some suggestions, and/or where to start. Take what sounds good to YOU. Leave what doesn’t.
Stuff happens in life. That’s fact, and one you can’t generally get around. What determines how your life PLAYS OUT, however, is HOW YOU DEAL WITH THE ‘STUFF.’
Even in the face of the gravest injustice, redirecting your focus inwards is precisely how you go about empowering (or re-impowering) yourself.
Clever people know how to use the anger caused by their hurt to their own benefit. Artists, activists, athletes, entrepreneurs, etc., they’ve successfully channeled their energy into something PRODUCTIVE. Something that takes focus off the other person or situation and back on to YOU, where it should be. For many successful people, their pain became their gain – they didn’t wave the white flag and give up or give in, they thrived from their adversity.
If you know you have anger… challenges, and more than likely unresolved issues, and want to change that for a better/happier rest of your life, you can choose differently.
Pause. Pause and choose something different. You can choose to deal with and maybe even harness this anger, this RAW energy.
It’s going to be teeth- grittingly hard, at first. Not only because you’re consciously moving toward positive change – congratulations to you – but because the Universe is going to throw a ton of things at you right away, like a barrage of bullets, for you to flex and strengthen that muscle. Normal behavioural patterns not only have to be recognized, but consciously stopped and re-directed. When you’ve done this a couple of times, and you won’t be a perfect 10 in a row, you begin to see the benefit of self control. YOU’VE taken control – of your ACTION, not reaction.
You’ve trained yourself to react poorly, and you see where that’s got you. Retrain yourself – yes, even in mid or late life – and act from a place of strength, in control of your anger, not your anger in control of you.
Try PRACTICING – because it’s never just one and done – one or more of these suggestions to deal with your anger, and give YOU the better life you want and deserve. This is by no means an all inclusive list, but only some suggestions on starting to untangle the anger necklace:
- Forgiveness – the best and biggest way to alleviate YOUR anger. (Details in next post) This is a big concept that will do nothing except add to your life when you practice it for yourself.
- Self Control – Be honest with yourself and see where you can benefit from this. Hint: It’s basically in ALL areas of your life. Learning and practicing self control for anger, will only enhance other efforts in your life. Good begets good, bad begets bad – for the most part. You can’t use your anger effectively or productively if it controls you. Gain self control and your actions will be self-good rather than self sabotage – A good rule of thumb – Self-sabotaging behaviour results from a misguided attempt to rescue ourselves from our own negative feelings and when in attempting to solve or cope with a problem, it develops new problems, clouds and obstructs long-term goals, and destabilizes relationships.
- Realize that anger comes from within. YOU have to value yourself, or you’re going to be SEVERELY undervalued, used, and frustrated your whole life. Basically the opposite of what you WANT to feel. Write your own agenda. Most people act mean towards others when they themselves feel threatened, demeaned, or bullied. Realizing that when you act mean, it’s really your issue and not someone else’s, can help you determine whether your mean words or behaviour are appropriate in the situation.
- Rewire your triggers. Know that you’re going to be seeing your family – those that don’t see you as a human, but the family jester, there only for their benefit and entertainment? Work to stifle, or mitigate, the go-to response of eating yourself into oblivion and bloating, and instead work out and off the expected anxiety and anger (don’t deny it’s there, it’ll just make it worse) in other, perhaps proactive, ways. Ways that are preferably non-addiction forming.
- Channeling anger is a helpful way to coping with it. It helps when the activity that needs to get done is physical (i.e. requiring you to use your hands or body) since anger tends to speed us up. It’s important not to do anything that requires too much thought since our minds are likely going to be clouded by the anger and we will not be able to make sound choices.
- Triggers CAN develop into good habits – If I’m angry, I can train myself to breath, do yoga, go for a walk, do photography, or ANYTHING ELSE THAT SINGS TO YOU (that’s not habit/addiction forming!) in order to FOCUS on something else. Again, don’t resist it, don’t deny it – IT IS THERE. Accept this and go from there – Work with what is.
- Brush up on communication skills – In particular, being assertive. Read ASSERTIVE, not AGGRESSIVE!! Learn to make sure your voice and needs are heard and met, in a productive and fair manner. News flash – It’s up to YOU to see that your needs are met. Most people can’t read minds, so why make it harder on yourself or them by making your wants and needs into a scavenger hunt that no one wants to participate in?
- Don’t Expect ANYTHING – Don’t expect anything from anyone (including politeness) except YOURSELF. Say it with me… You are the only person you have control over! I know it ‘stinks,’ but this is where most of the anger comes from – your unfulfilled (and perhaps unrealistic) expectations of people, god, situations, etc. Problems and frustrations are BASIC FACTS OF LIFE. The sooner you reconcile this, the sooner peace will enter your life. Why prolong a problem, no matter wherever/whomever it came from, by stomping around saying it shouldn’t have happened? Accept that it happened and get on with it! Be a solver, not a whiner. EVERYTHING goes so much better when you accept and work with what IS!
- Remember Karma. It literally starts and ends with you – you reap what you sow. Do your current and future selves a favour, and try not to make any more for yourself. One sure fire way is to develop and hone that anger addiction into bitterness!! If your goal is to have as much karma to sift through as Ted Bundy, then by all means proceed!
- Question your ‘entitlements.’ Analyze the situation, and KNOW the basic equality of all sentient beings. Don’t think you should have to wait in traffic? Yeah, what’s the reality of it? Why, exactly, do YOU deserve to go/be/do/have it first, rather than someone else? Everyone has their own speed. Accept and deal with the situation from a place of power, not cringe worthy infantile behaviour.
- Patience – Somewhat related to entitlements. Practicing patience will only serve you in everything. At the very least, it prevents you from a world of hurt, should you misunderstand someone or the situation. You have no idea what someone else’s journey is or has been. Others want happiness, just like I do, and others make mistakes just like I do. Others are also confused, angry, scared, and attached, just like I am at times. Is this person struggling, like I do at times? More than likely, yes.
Again, PRACTICE is the key to overcoming your anger habit, developing better coping skills, and enjoying your life again. You’re not going to have significant muscle growth doing this half-assed or haphazardly. Commit to it – commit to YOURSELF. That’s why you’re practicing – to have a better you and better tomorrow. It’s not really for anyone else, but everyone benefits from keeping your anger in control.
And so, a big question now becomes: can you really get RID of anger, rather than just manage or deal with it? Yes and its number one on this list. It’s the ‘F’ word: Forgiveness. We’ve been dancing around it too long here at CC and our plastic CEO can no longer kibosh the cover – the CEO likes to chew on and hold on to anger much like a dog with a bone, except the dog’s more endearing.
It’s been skimmed across in a post or two here at CC, casually recommending finding your own ways to forgive and heal, but, needless to say, ladies and gentlemen, the end has come. It’s time to forgive. Next time we’ll explore what forgiveness is and is not, and WHO it is and isn’t FOR.
Oh, and suggestions on HOW to do that!