Sunday, March 22, 2009

Anger: Who is in control?

How often have you used the phrase, "You made me mad"? I certainly have. Many times. But, I have learned that people do not make me angry. Situations do not make me angry. In fact, there is no external force in existence that makes me angry. What makes me angry is what I tell myself about the situation or about what a person said or did. In other words, anger comes from within my heart. Not from some where or someone else. As long as I live my life with the idea that anger comes from external sources, those external sources have power over me. That makes me a victim. Which makes me feel helpless. I then have to use anger to re-gain control. But now that I understand that it is my own heart's desires that generate my anger, I can control those desires and thus control my anger.

When I say, "You made me mad", I have given you responsibility for my anger. That means it is your fault, not mine, that I am angry. Therefore, it is you who must do something about my anger, not me. So, if you do not appease my anger in the way I want you to, I am justified in attacking you either verbally or physically. And if I do attack you, it is your fault, not mine. But, if anger is entirely my own and, therefore my responsibility, I cannot blame you for my actions. I must accept the anger as entirely mine. I must accept that only I can change what makes me angry. I must accept that any actions I commit while angry are also my responsibility, not yours.

This is the short version of my introduction to the Anger Management class I teach. If anyone reads this blog, let me know your thoughts about what I have said about anger. Do you agree or disagree? Answer the question, "What makes you angry?" Let's talk about why. Once you understand the why, you will be on your way to taming that beast within.

1 comment:

  1. A brand new blog! Great. I'm looking forward to reading it. I hope you put some articles on there you have written about anger. I am a minister in Kansas and am always looking for material on anger, resentment, etc.

    My blog: