We all get angry; it's natural and we’re entitled to be. It occurred to me, though, that we may not be angry for the reason it seems.
For example, you get mad at the dog because he chewed up an old shoe that you didn’t want anyway. Is that really why you’re mad, or is it because you had a bad day at work and were in a foul mood when you found out about it?
Your spouse comes home and doesn’t close the garage door. You get angry because of the risk of a break-in, but is that the real reason? Or is it because you are worried about your mother’s latest health problem and were already upset when he came home?
This concept works both ways. Let’s say that you come home from work and your spouse yells at you because you didn’t close the garage door. Your knee-jerk reaction is to get defensive which would start a big fight, but maybe the real reason he’s upset is something that happened that day and that’s why he got angry when he normally wouldn’t have.
When you get upset about anything, it’s important to understand why so that you can address the real problem. One sure indicator is being angry about something that you normally wouldn’t be. In the example above, you didn’t really care about that old shoe and under normal circumstances it wouldn’t have mattered that it was ruined. Scolding and punishing the dog won’t help resolve the situation because that isn’t really why you’re angry! You’re angry about your bad day at work, so you need to address that anger and try to calm down.
And so it goes when you are witness to someone else’s anger. It’s hard to remain calm around someone who is angry, but a little understanding and questioning might help you help them deal with what’s really bothering them.
Awareness of the real cause of anger, either yours or someone else’s, is critical order to address it properly.
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Edited by Alison Stanton