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“Speak when you’re angry, and you’ll make the best speech you’ll ever regret.” Lawrence J. Peter

“Whenever you are in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude.” William James

 When one feels the smoldering inside of them because another person has ignited some kind of fear, the first thing we might do is question ourselves. That may sound ludicrous but an immediate question may find the reasons why we begin to flare up in anger. I am by no means saying our annoyance is due to another person’s agitation. Just because another person infuriates us does not give us the right to speed our temper. Controlling our anger is our problem.

To make sense of it we need to understand what triggers our irritation and then work on that. If another’s tone of voice angers us ask why. Do we recall a parent’s or spouse’s or sibling’s tone in that voice? Did they make us feel inferior or even stupid at another point in time? That would explain why we tend to overreact when we hear that tone from another. Understanding helps us  comprehend and let go of our quick negative overreaction.

Anger usually originates from fear. We fear losing control. We fear losing respect, an object, a person, power, friends, position etc.. The list goes on but the fear is basically the same for most of us just varying degrees of reaction. If we get cut off when driving a car do we begin to think, the other driver deliberately tried to do it and wanted to prove they were crafty. In our minds we visualize them laughing at us, making fun of us. The flame inside of us burns stronger until we feel the need to attack in some way. This might be verbally, causing a barrage of profanities in front of our family or worse we recklessly race to try and cut them off at another area of the road.

reasoning why it bothered us so much may explain the real truth. They were simply taking their shot to move ahead and get to where they were going. We as a person were not intricately involved in their thinking. Most of the time, road rage has nothing to do with an individual person. It’s more to do with winning or getting ahead or trying to make time or a zillion other reasons that have nothing at all to do with us. Our reaction has everything to do with our insecurity at being bested. We are equally competitive with friends and family.

Why does it bother us when another person gloats about their vacation or job promotion, or new whatever? Does it make us think that they assume they are better? Can we remember a time when we gloated about something, anything? Did we want to bother or upset another person? If we can say no to that question, then we should acknowledge that most likely people are overjoyed about their current situation which brings them joy and happiness. They do want to brag because they feel good about themselves and their life at that moment.

Parents who pitted child against child during their growing years successfully created a competitive environment. The boasting may not harm us physically but it sticks in our mind that we just lost some kind of mind game.

Reflect on your anger when you have some time. Especially reflect when you get angry with your kids. Did they interrupted a movie or time with our spouse? Our kids may be acting in ways that reflect our own childhood when parents were admonishing us for a similar situation. We don’t want to hurt our child but we lash out at the imitation of ourselves doing what we did when we were their age. The past events are now ingrained in us and considered immature.

If we are trying to fix something and it still doesn’t work, will yelling at my wife, husband kids make the situation better? Maybe it is time to walk away from the thing and ask for help or work on it when our mind is refreshed. Don’t fear putting plans off for another time when our mind is more relaxed and prepared. Nothing ever goes according to schedule. There really are no deadlines. When one realizes that our fear of not accomplishing goals and objectives in our chosen time frame is unavoidable the frustrations won’t lead to anger. Ask yourself a few of these questions today before you fan your fire.

“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end.” Denis Waitley

“Discipline is the habit of taking consistent action until one can perform with unconscious competence. Discipline weighs ounces but regret weighs tons.” Jhoon Rhee


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