Anger…It is your Fault!

The modern condition.

There you go…if we are honest, i think the world has gotten to that point.  People are more easily offended.  We seem to think it is ok to aggressively vent our views on everything from how to make scrambled eggs correctly (Gordon Ramsey) or the latest political issue that has everyone in a total rage.  Instant access to the latest news about everything is screwing with our minds, especially since it obvious that the media is more concerned with sensationalism than in reporting accurate facts.

And you are busy as hell.  I’m not.  I’m retired…hahahaha.  I have enough to do around here and have no desire to take on anything that relegates me back to a daily, calendared existence.

But you likely do not have that choice.  You are constantly under pressure -at work, in the car, with the family- and so the pressure builds.  And the neck muscles tense, and the shoulders tighten into knots…and any pain you have is heightened.  Whether it is physical, emotional or spiritual pain it is heightened every time we get angry.  The accompanying stress is tough on everything, so angry people are often tired.  Pressure.  Pressure. Pressure.  And then the pressure cooker blows.

Do i sound like i have some personal experience in that area?  Yup.  For example:  every time i drove anywhere in the city, it seemed like some asshole was in front of me, or behind me, or beside me.  In front of me is the old guy who thinks it is a crime to drive anything faster than 40km/hr.  That is the speed inside our town limits and…now…it suits me just fine.  But then?  No.  Not then.

The one beside me is the guy signaling furiously to get out of the merge lane.  He wants me to let him  cut in front because he refused to pop in back there where there was a spot, because other people know how to merge.  How do i know this?  Because we go to work at the same time every day and every day i see him do this asshole maneuver.  Let you in…maybe in another star system.  Asshat.

And the one behind me?  He is the guy who is in a terrific hurry.  You would think this guy is a superhero who has to drive everywhere because he has no special motor skills, like running fast or flying.  Yeah, Batguy…i see you back there, craning to look around me, as if the other 60 cars around us in three lanes are ALL slowed up because of me.  i so badly want to slam on my brakes and see if you wear your seatbelt.

Yeah.  i have anger issues.  i have had my whole life.  i was raised by an angry man.  Angry?  That is an understatement.  My father taught unarmed combat, jumped out of planes and drove motorcycles.  He was a military man, through and through, and i admire what he has sacrificed for our country.  He has been blown up in different parts of the world.  He’s been in war zones where everyone hated him and enemy and friend looked exactly the same.  On top of that, it seemed like the local folks really did not want him there.  I guess that could give you some anger issues.

And my dad expected obedience.  Unquestioning obedience.  Or there were the “side effects” most of us grew up with in some fashion or another.  i still shudder when someone starts to adjust their belt.

And what about society?  When i played hockey, i would fight and people would cheer and it was fun.  When i went to the bar with buddies, it was not uncommon for some two of us to get into a fight outside.  Guy says uncle, you are done, and you go drink beer together.  No one gets really hurt, right?

Wrong.  You get hurt, others get hurt and the whole of society moves down the angry slope together.

Hollywood extols violence.  Especially vigilante justice, when the hero sets things right.  Nothing like a self-righteous anger spree that destroys half a city to avenge some injustice.  Yeah.  That’s healthy Avengers.

I remember one place i “vacationed”.  We were in a class in anger management and someone said they had been told to hit something inanimate, like a pillow.  A pillow.  Not like the door frame i decided to teach a lesson a couple of decades ago.  Got a boxer’s fracture on that idiot move.

And i know how to drywall and paint.  They are the only real “guy” skills i possess.  Again, the consequence of anger released in unhealthy ways.  Back to the pillow.  No.  Never.  If, when you are angry, you solved it by hitting something…well…i’m sure you can see where this is going.  You reinforce the idea inside youvthat aggressive behaviour is a good way to deal with anger.  Exercise?  Good.  Hitting things?  Not so much.

In another post i said anger is a secondary emotion.  Something else lurks behind.  Guilt or fear or something else is driving us, motivating us.  And it wants to hide.  Whatever we do, we cannot let people touch whatever it is that is causing our emotional distress, so we react.  We protect ourselves.  And it becomes a terrible pattern, fixed in place through mental and chemical processes created within our own bodies.  That is fact.

And religion?   Well.  It tells you not to let your anger run your life, that you need to repress it, suppress it and shove it down nice and deep.  Yeah.  That works real well.  Let’s just throw a hand grenade in there, while we are at it.  Nothing like a little passive aggressive bullshit to stir up a relationship.  And internal anger?  We call that depression.  i will hurt me.

The main thing for me to understand is this:  when i am angry, i am blaming others for what is inside me.  That little piece of me feels nicely protected as long as i am angry and pointing at you, making you responsible for my pain.  It’s lazy.  It’s hurtful.  It’s non productive.

i was seriously depressed until a little while ago and it was caused by anger at myself.  i was forgetting more and more things daily.  And my body hurt everywhere.  I could not concentrate.  I was failing at everything.  And i thought people were mocking me, as i became more feeble.  Yeah, i was pissed at life.  i guess that came across to others around me.  Go figure.  I’m feeling much better now.

i still get angry sometimes, but i’m not angry as often anymore.  i still get angry sometimes, but the more i age, the more i see that most issues can be handled in more positive ways.  EVERYONE GETS ANGRY, SOMETIMES! (like the caps?)  H0w i handle my anger…that is up to me.  I am going to get pissed off occasionally through life, so how can i begin to change the way i react to my anger?  Deal with the root of it?  Sure.  If you know.  Often that can take time, therapy, honesty…can i get a quick fix here?

i promise you i don’t have any magical cures.  It takes hard work and commitment.  Most of those internal issues do.  I believe that “changed behaviour leads to changed attitudes”, so if i want to work on those hard-wired connections, i’m going to need to develop some skills and strategies.  This list of strategies has helped me, and i’m not one to reinvent the wheel,

Anger management: 10 tips to tame your temper

Keeping your temper in check can be challenging. Use simple anger management tips — from taking a timeout to using “I” statements — to stay in control.

1. Think before you speak

 In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to say something you’ll later regret. Take a few moments to collect your thoughts before saying anything — and allow others involved in the situation to do the same.

2. Once you’re calm, express your anger

 As soon as you’re thinking clearly, express your frustration in an assertive but nonconfrontational way. State your concerns and needs clearly and directly, without hurting others or trying to control them.

3. Get some exercise

 Physical activity can help reduce stress that can cause you to become angry. If you feel your anger escalating, go for a brisk walk or run, or spend some time doing other enjoyable physical activities.

4. Take a timeout

 Timeouts aren’t just for kids. Give yourself short breaks during times of the day that tend to be stressful. A few moments of quiet time might help you feel better prepared to handle what’s ahead without getting irritated or angry.

5. Identify possible solutions

 Instead of focusing on what made you mad, work on resolving the issue at hand. Does your child’s messy room drive you crazy? Close the door. Is your partner late for dinner every night? Schedule meals later in the evening — or agree to eat on your own a few times a week. Remind yourself that anger won’t fix anything and might only make it worse.

6. Stick with ‘I’ statements

 To avoid criticizing or placing blame — which might only increase tension — use “I” statements to describe the problem. Be respectful and specific. For example, say, “I’m upset that you left the table without offering to help with the dishes” instead of “You never do any housework.”

7. Don’t hold a grudge

 Forgiveness is a powerful tool. If you allow anger and other negative feelings to crowd out positive feelings, you might find yourself swallowed up by your own bitterness or sense of injustice. But if you can forgive someone who angered you, you might both learn from the situation and strengthen your relationship.

8. Use humor to release tension

 Lightening up can help diffuse tension. Use humor to help you face what’s making you angry and, possibly, any unrealistic expectations you have for how things should go. Avoid sarcasm, though — it can hurt feelings and make things worse.

9. Practice relaxation skills

 When your temper flares, put relaxation skills to work. Practice deep-breathing exercises, imagine a relaxing scene, or repeat a calming word or phrase, such as “Take it easy.” You might also listen to music, write in a journal or do a few yoga poses — whatever it takes to encourage relaxation.

10. Know when to seek help

 Learning to control anger is a challenge for everyone at times. Seek help for anger issues if your anger seems out of control, causes you to do things you regret or hurts those around you.

Here is the link:   https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/anger-management/art-20045434

These are healthy, practical strategies.  Maybe all of them don’t “speak” to you.  Pick out a couple and work at them.  Remember:

Kindness and goodwill to you, my friends.

John

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s