I feel angry about 30% of the time. While I don’t want to feel angry, there are tons of things that I encounter on a daily basis that make my blood boil: pedestrians that pretend like there aren’t cars on the road, slow post office workers, people who cut me off in traffic, people who park in my paid parking space and I can’t get ahold of the towing company, or when all of my socks have holes in them but I don’t have the money to buy more.
Sure these are silly things and most likely can’t be fixed (I can, however, honk to my heart’s content), but what truly makes me angry are the things that I can change, but I am only one person. The refugee crisis, senseless violence, bombings, school shootings, the rich buying a second yacht as opposed to donating to charity, racism, sexism, domestic abuse, sex trafficking, child labor, pollution, rising food and housing prices with a stagnant income, these are things that truly throw me into a rage.
But wait, if these things or people make you angry, that means that you’re giving your power over to them and they end up controlling your whole life! You have control over your emotions!
Whoever said that, or things like that, needs to calm down. I believe that being angry is a good thing. Of course, I don’t want to be angry 100% of the time and I don’t believe that we should act in anger, but this negative feeling is a natural response to something that matters to you. It shows you that you believe that something is wrong and needs to be remedied.
For example: Your significant other says that you’re fat and you get angry. Why are you angry? Did he say it in a mean way like “You’re such a fat slob! I liked you better when you were skinnier!” or did he say “Sweetheart, I love you but you’re getting fat. I’m fine with a little cushion and I love you no matter what, but you’re starting to become unhealthy. Maybe we should go speak to the doctor . . .” Are you mad because he was rude or are you mad because he’s right?
If you’re in the first situation, you may become angry because he was rude and you need to dump this schmuck. If you’re in the second situation, you may be angry because they are right and you are starting to feel unhealthy or slower than you used to. Or maybe you love your new body and you can tell your S.O. that you’re happy with the way you are. In both of these situations, it’s okay to be angry for a little while so you can understand what needs to change within you or within them.
I think anger gets a bad rap because we have seen far too many people act on their rage in violent ways. This violence often leads to more violence and inevitably more hate. It also often places you in a negative light. You are seen as the villain and your whole bigger purpose is lost in the destruction.
I don’t believe that shooting up an office building because you were recently fired is any way to deal with your anger. I don’t believe having a riot in a Chuck E Cheese’s because someone else looked at you funny is good either. I don’t believe that assaulting people in the name of a good cause is a good way to spread your message.
For example: You see a young boy being bullied by some teenagers. You most likely feel at least a little anger. What does this anger motivate you to do? Stop the teenagers from bullying the smaller boy. Of course, you wouldn’t fly into a rage and start beating up the teenagers like The Incredible Hulk, but you would do what you could to stop the teenagers be it speaking to them, call the cops, or physically move them aside and rescue the child.
Keep in mind, most of these choices are more diplomatic and non-violent, but sometimes you have to choose violence (physically moving them aside for a rescue). This violence or physicality is the last resort (of course if there is something more life threatening, you do what you have to do immediately).
When you feel anger, take the time to analyze why you’re angry. What needs to change? Once you figure that out, figure out a plan of action. Sometimes, part of that plan of action may be getting rid of the excess anger. Call a friend and vent, go to the second-hand store and buy some crappy glass plates for a dollar and throw them on the ground. Once you sweep up the pieces, take those plates (your anger) and either (carefully!) throw them out and move on, or make something of them. Most things that make us angry can be dealt with simply and then we can move forward.
Other things take a lot of effort to fix. Just like making a mosaic out of broken plates, they take painstaking effort, patience, and maybe some cuts along the way. Channel your anger into something else, empathy, sympathy, work, or creativity. Anger is a great first step to creating change, we just need to know how to use it correctly.
For now, I try to donate what I can to the refugee crisis, I try to be tender when listening to a friend about their abusive husband and try to help them get out of that situation, and if you’re still walking across the crosswalk and the light is green, I WILL honk at you.
What are things you could do to better use your anger? Comment below with your answers or for requests for future discussion topics.
Have a wonderful day!
P.S. The stock photos I use are from Pexels, great free stock photos (not sponsored, just giving credit).
(Originally published on TheMiniMeditatingDragon.blogspot.com 10/05/16)