Anger is a frustrating thing. It’s not an emotion. It’s a condition. You can’t be angry unless you’re hurt first. If you really look at where anger comes from you’ll realize that fact. In the past when I got angry I would let it spin out of control. I wouldn’t stop and think about why I was angry. Wasn’t interested in curbing my anger.
Whether good or bad, it got my attention. And in my desperate attempt to get that attention thinking it was a form of love, I pushed the limit. I thought some reaction was better than no reaction. I would belabor the issue to the point of ridiculous trying to talk myself into believing I was right. In my heart I was but it was my right. Didn’t necessarily mean it was the truth. And in the moment of anger, I wasn’t interested in the truth because it was too painful. And I wasn’t ready to address the pain.
I was once told “You get crazy and they go to lunch. Learn how to go to lunch.” I didn’t think they were being sensitive to my needs when in fact they were giving me some of the best advice I ‘d ever been given. That still goes through my mind when anger is about to strike. But now I am older and hopefully wiser and walk away more than not.
No one was more surprised than I was when I started going to lunch. I actually started getting more than I expected. And I started realizing that most things were not worth getting so upset about. My behavior most of the time didn’t change anything except my blood pressure. The attention I wanted and needed was happening because I didn’t get angry! Now some things do make me angry but on a much broader scale. I get angry with the obvious…social injustice, lack of respect and lack of integrity. But that will always be there so I must learn how to live my life trying to alleviate that anyway I can.
I check myself as much as I can when I feel the anger coming on. Whether it be in traffic ( my biggest challenge..LA is the worst!) or whether it’s something I feel that has been done to me. Most of the time it really is in my head and not directed towards me. I just feel like it is. Oh yeah, the ego. My self-importance. And yet if you ask the person involved it wasn’t even about you. It was their attempt to get attention. We do crazy things to be noticed.
So what makes you angry and why? What hurts you first to make you angry? Think about what would happen if you would let it go and move on. I know it has made a difference for me. I am finding more calmness and direction by putting my energy into something positive and productive. I’m learning how to go to lunch.