Anger Management


To answer that question, we must first understand that our emotions are attached to our thoughts. We do not have an emotion that is not preceded by a thought. Thoughts of danger for example, precede the emotion of fear. Thoughts of disapproval and unforgiveness precede anger.

Anger is often caused by thoughts that include the words “should or shouldn’t.”

“You shouldn’t do that!”

“You should think and believe like I do.”

“You should stop doing what you’re doing and do what I want you to do.”

We must be very careful when we hear ourselves choose the words “should or shouldn’t.” It is our attempt to demand that people do what we want them to do. It comes from our irrational belief that others should do what we want them to do instead of doing what they want to do.

I call this type of anger “controlling anger” because we want to control those around us. Controlling anger is the emotion we feel when a car cuts us off on the interstate. We say to ourselves (and maybe to the other driver), “You shouldn’t have cut me off like that. You are bad person, and a bad driver, and you deserve to be punished.”

Anger Managment

What does anger do to my day to day life?

This type of anger leads us to such actions as road rage. This may seem extreme, but with less intensity he could apply to a conflict at work or in the home.

There’s only one antidote for this type of anger. It is giving the other person your personal permission to be who they are (they’re going to be who they are anyway); to be less-than-perfect (they’re going to be less-than-perfect with or without your permission); and even to be wrong-in your opinion. Who died and made us the boss of everyone?

Once we recognize that all people are fallible and capable of making mistakes, we can relax to the point that we don’t feel the need to control others. When someone cuts us off in traffic, instead of giving expletives and hand gestures, we can say “oh well, at least he didn’t hit me.”

People who infuriate themselves seem to drag anchors of anger around all day and make themselves miserable. Those people who give others permission to be imperfect learn to let it go and not suffer in the same manner.

Another type of anger is “revengeful anger.” This is caused by unforgiveness. We are given choices: one is the choice of forgiving others for their misdeeds, the other is the choice of carrying a grudge against others for their misdeeds-sometimes even seeking revenge.

If I were to advertise a seminar on “how to forgive,” very few people would show up. Many people think “I don’t want to forgive, I want to get even.”  They mistakenly believe that getting even is the solution.  It is not.