i generally have quite the anger problem at work. when im at home stores or on the road its never a problem but at work i just want to literally rip peoples heads off. to put it simply im 10 years older than the average person in this nieghborhood. these are mostly college kids and most are drunks and druggies or behave in ways that to me seem spoiled. i have had my drinking days but never ever did i get spoiled growing up nor did i do drugs . . . i think i just cant relate. moreso i tend to generalize who they are. i have tried to rewrite my views about my customers nieghbors but god its hard.
This is something I wrote a few years ago for someone about anger. I thought maybe you might find it interesting. I don’t agree with everything I wrote back then, but most of it I do.
Anger comes from a loss of control. All feelings of anger people get boil down to feeling like or know that they don’t have control of a situation. Sometimes people get angry because they don’t understand why a situation is happening or why someone is doing something, but this too boils down to wanting to change a situation but not understanding it, thus not being able to control it. I will go into more detail about that, just keep it in mind.
Another thing to keep in mind is what I emailed you about communication. Ill sum up the important part here.
One form of communication is language. When someone speaks French you know they are saying something that you cant understand, so you don’t think they are just babbling made meaningless sounds. Same goes if someone talks about quantum physics or something else that you don’t know much about – you recognize that you don’t understand what the person, but that the person is saying something coherent and intelligent. But religious people often hear other religious people speaking English but using different words and they think they are stupid. I gave the example that karma is the same thing as “reaping what you sow.” In many cases, they DON’T recognize that the other person is, making sense, they assume they are wrong.
Ill come back to the communication thing later.
So as I said, anger comes from a feeling of losing control. Here are some examples:
->You trip on a rock after a bad day, and get angry and start yelling, either at the rock, or God, or just plain everything.
-You do not have the ability to go back in time and make the unpleasant experience of tripping on the rock not happen. Nor do you have control (or feel you have control) over the bad day you had.
->You are speeding way over the speed limit, and you get angry when you get pulled over.
-You may try to justify your anger, saying that cops are stupid, or you had to go fast for whatever reason, and maybe your anger is justified. But the anger comes from not having control over getting pulled over, having to wait, getting a ticket, and maybe being embarrassed, and whatever else is unpleasant that you don’t have control over.
->Some random person you don’t know says you are ugly and fat and whatever else.
-Maybe you can justify your anger because the person was mean. But you are actually angry because well a number of possible reasons that lead back to a feeling of not control. Maybe deep inside you think you are everything they said, if you got angry in that case it might be because you feel like you are insecure about your looks and don’t have control over how you look (or not enough) Or maybe you are not insecure, and the random person was a ten year old. Most people wouldn’t get mad, but suppose you did. Maybe you are mad that the kids parents didn’t raise him better, or if its not a kid, that they would say something so mean (even if you know its not true) to a stranger. Either way, you want them to be nicer but cant control them or their parents or how they think, or their past to make them nicer.
->A friend insults you.
- You don’t believe the insult, but maybe you don’t understand why they said it. as I said in the beginning, “Sometimes people get angry because they don’t understand why a situation is happening or why someone is doing something, but this too boils down to wanting to change a situation but not understanding it, thus not being able to control it. “In this case, you probably don’t want to “control” what your friend thinks in the way we normally think of the word control. But you might be hurt that they would say something. Or you don’t understand why they said it. In the end you probably want your friend to agree with you on their own, and you don’t want to force them to agree, you want them to do it on their own free will. Obviously you don’t have a lot of control over that and it can be frustrating.
OK, so up until now I’ve just tried to show that one way to look at anger is that it comes a from a loss of control. If I haven’t convinced you of that, or you don’t think the concept makes sense, don’t read on because you probably wont agree with what I’m trying to say.
When you get angry, you are actually getting frustrated with yourself, for not being able to control whatever it is you want to control. First, I want to say that By “control” I don’t mean everyone is a “control freak” in the way we normally think of, but rather people naturally have a desire for the world to work in a way that is pleasant to them. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, its just part of humans. We want to world to be nice to us.
Generally we think of other things making us angry. The rock was in our way, thus causing us to be angered. The person shot our dog; rear ended us, shot a spit wad at us, said we smell like used toilet paper, or fired us from our job. Maybe we are mad because we were going to go play soccer but it starts raining, or we are mad because a flood came and destroyed our house and killed everyone in our family.
Now, I’m not saying its stupid to get angry, life sometimes sucks, and humans deal with our problems and stress by expressing out emotions. Getting angry at the rock you just tripped on is a natural mechanism humans have to relieve stress.
So. perhaps you are thinking.. “That’s stupid, I’m not frustrated at myself, it was that guy who cut me off that I’m mad at.” But what you actually mean is that you are projecting your frustration onto the most logical thing you can think of to project it onto: the guy who cut you off”. You are projecting that frustration onto him in the form of anger, or expressing it to him as anger. This is how humans naturally relieve their stress. It works pretty well too. It’s incredibly important not to hold in your emotions, you’ll fuck yourself up (I did). But there are different ways of expressing your frustration.
First I’d like to give an example to help show you that you are in fact frustrated with your general inability to stop something from happening, or make something happen.
ts true that people do stupid things and that could make us angry, but I can basically prove that’s not why you get angry. Suppose someone hits you and you get angry.
Question #1 Are you mad because that person tried to hit you, and they shouldn’t be such and asshole?
Question #2 Or are you mad because you didn’t have control over the uncomfortable experience of getting punched.
Well lets slightly alter the scenario, so the first question is still true, but the second isn’t. Supposed the person tries to hit you but misses. Are you still angry? In most cases you wouldn’t be and if you are its because of a different reason. For example, if your close friend is trying to hit you, you might be frustrated because you thought they wouldn’t want to hurt you. Now you might say “SEE! There, in that scenario I got mad because my friend tried to hurt me!” But if you look deeper its because your friend tried to hurt you, you don’t want him or her to hurt you, or want to hurt you, so you are angry either because you cant stop them from wanting to hurt you, or you don’t understand why they would want to, and thus cant stop them from wanting you, or bother of those reasons, or some other. The possibilities are endless but as far as I can tell it comes down to feeling helpless to stop an event or thing from occurring, be it an emotion, a physical pain or anything else.
If that does not work to help you understand then imagine everything that you’ve ever gotten angry at. Some things you get mad at are inanimate, or not alive. They don’t think, and don’t have morals or a conscience. Such as if you trip on a rock or there is a flood that kills your family. You can get just as mad at those things as you do people.
This next example might confuse you… Pretend that everyone besides you is actually a very complex android (smart robot), that is programmed to react to you in exactly the way that they do. Every time someone cuts you off, or dumps you or anything else, they are just following a programming course that determines their every move. It’s not logical for you to get mad at them and yet you do.
thats how it is when we get mad when a friend or family member dies, or we trip and fall down or we get cancer. It doesn’t matter if the thing that causes our self frustration is a person who should know better, or a rock sitting on the ground. We give zillions of reasons for each different scenario, but it actually just oils down to the fact that we cant change it. If we had the ability to stop whatever bad thing happened from occurring, we wouldn’t be angry.
Recently I saw a trailer for a movie I think called “The Invasion” Aliens or something got into the bodies of humans, once in they showed no emotions. Soon almost everyone on earth was an alien. If the humans wanted to stay undetected, they had to show no emotion. People showed emotion, even though it had no positive side for them. I think this is a good example of how we let anger and other emotions control us even when there is no upside to it.
- Also, the human brain has a gland that produces chemicals which make you feel various emotions when they are released into your blood stream. This is why people literally ans physically “feel” emotions rushing through their body.. because it really is rushing through your body. You cant force yourself not to feel anger, but you can choose your actions. The Buddhists say don’t try to ignore your emotions, or letting them control you, instead, observe them, feel them, but then choose your actions instead of letting your anger chose your actions and response. you can observe the feeling of anger and the chemicals rushing through your body and note to yourself “I am angry” but then note “and I have an endless number of ways to respond to this problem, and don’t have to let my anger choose for me”.
Well, if you read that, I hope you got something out of it.