“Anger is eating me up.”

"Basso Profundo" by Mimi Stuart ©
Live the Life you Desire

Anger is generally a signal that indicates that you or somebody is being treated unfairly or being harmed. Once angered, it does no good to dwell in the hell of repeatedly going over the betrayal or wrongdoing that has occurred.

You need to deal with your anger or it will consume you.

There is plenty of unfairness and personal injury in life to make us angry. Therefore, we serve ourselves best by paying attention to anger and taking the following steps rather than falling in the pit of obsessive brooding:

1. Understand the motivation of the perpetrator.

Understanding does not mean accepting harmful behavior. The behavior may have been caused inadvertently, by unfortunate circumstances, or a by personality deficiency (selfishness, envy, greed.) Making sense of wrong-doing is not easy, but when we do so, we move out of the position of being a victim. Understanding the motivations of the perpetrator frees us of some of the toxicity of festering rage.

2. Change your expectations of the wrong-doer.

Anger should push us to change what we expect of particular people. Most people have weaknesses and we need to become more aware of the signs of various weaknesses. Anger can signal us to pay attention and tune into similar circumstances in the future.

3. Act so as to avoid further harm.

The disappointments that trigger anger should not leave us bitter. Instead learning about people and life should cause us to grow and become better prepared to navigate through life’s challenges.

4. Focus on other more fulfilling, life-enhancing activities.

When we focus exclusively on how we’ve been harmed, indignation festers and grows. Once we’ve taken to heart the lessons of our experience, we can free ourselves from torment by embracing more enriching friends, activities, and ideas.

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.

~Buddha quotes

by Alison Poulsen, PhD

Read “I don’t want to get angry anymore.”

Read “Transformational Vocabulary: ‘I’m angry, totally confused, and an emotional mess over these overwhelming problems.’”

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2 thoughts on ““Anger is eating me up.”

  1. Edward T. Smith

    THANK YOU for these incredible insights into our human nature. I am in the midst of being angry and upset within our dysfunctional family: History of alcohol and drug abuse….I am the “responsible one” in my estimation and other siblings get the “FUN” from our aging Mother and I get to be care taker to all the seniors with little or no support and NO recognition. This has hurt me so many times and I go to counseling to take steps to change my reaction to these persons who do nothing but criticize me for what I do even when they do nothing constructive…not even show up when they say that they will cooperate and be helpful. THANKS for your messages…Ok Ed Smith

    1. Alison Post author

      You’re welcome. It will be quite liberating for you to back off from being the over-functioning responsible one in the family. I am really interested in this topic and have listed a few of the articles I’ve written on this subject. Please let me know how it goes. All the best!

      1. “Order vs. Chaos;
      Responsibility vs. Spontaneity”

      2. “Overfunctioning and underfunctioning:
      ‘If I don’t take care of things, nothing will ever get done.’” https://www.sowhatireallymeant.com/2011/12/06/overfunctioning-and-underfunctioning-%E2%80%9Cif-i-don%E2%80%99t-take-care-of-things-nothing-will-ever-get-done-%E2%80%9D/

      3. “Over-functioning:
      ‘I do everything well and give my family a great life. But they still do not appreciate me!’”

      4. “Too responsible to enjoy.”

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