In a candid moment around the dinner table discussing personality traits, my kids told me I can be angry. I protested but they had a point and I had no excuse. You see, whether you have one child or five, whether you work in the home or out, we all can get frustrated and angry at one point or another. Anger has a way of sneaking up on us. Somehow small moments of frustration can quickly escalate into anger. Getting to the root of our anger will help us all to deal with the emotions in a healthy way.
It can be easy to disregard our anger and push it aside without ever getting to the root cause of that anger, but I think it is important to stop that. We need to take the time to ask, why am I so angry? Not just as individuals but as a society we need to ask this question as well. If we don’t get what we want when we want it, we get angry. Anger is becoming so much more acceptable—think road rage, the political landscape, or battles between law enforcement and the citizens they are intended to protect. Just because something is on reality TV does not make it acceptable; so the next time the Jersey Shore contestants lose it, don’t think that is okay behavior.
Let’s drill down on how anger applies to our families and relationships. Gary Oliver writes on the effects of ignoring your anger. He compares flashes of anger to the warning light coming on in your car. If you ignore that flashing light you will have far bigger problems down the road. The same is true for any emotion that we bury. It is never really gone and will express itself physically, mentally or spiritually damaging not only us but those around us as well, unless we face it. Here are 3 steps on how to get rid of anger.
When is the last time you were angry at something or someone? Do a lot of things come to mind or just one thing? It’s easy to identify anger in someone else. What are common ways the people around you get angry? Do you get angry in the same way? If people are telling us we are angry, especially more than one person, then they are probably onto something.
We must find the root of the anger that is lodged deep within us. Some of those things might be fear, pain, or frustration. For example, some people become angry in reaction to uncertainty with a job, or pain from friends. One of the roots of my anger is a lack of control or misplaced expectations. You have to let go of things that you cannot control because if you don’t, then bitterness will take root. If this is something you struggle to identify then ask a someone close to you to help you analyze your anger. Mark is my go to person for this, as my husband he can give insight into my anger. Lastly, go see a counselor if you can’t find the root of your anger or if it is too complex.
Figure it out
Writing out the roots of your anger can help you to figure it out. As a parent, fear is a big one for me. Fear leads to worry, which leads to anxiety, which leads to panic and then anger over losing a sense of control. Writing it out and reading scripture will help you turn over those things you can’t control to God. Dealing with pain, which is typically emotional pain, needs to be met head on. Talk with the person who caused you that pain with a mediator if needed. Even if that person doesn’t hear you, talking it out will benefit you. Once you get it out, it is your choice to release it. Check out Mark’s blog about forgiveness to help you make that choice. The other prevalent root of anger is frustration. Figuring out frustration often has to do with reevaluating your expectations. Make sure they are realistic and show grace if they are not fulfilled. We can’t control everything that happens in life but we can control how we react.