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.”