My amazing friends and young philosophers, you are just absolutely rad for clicking the link and choosing to listen in.
Your willingness to open your mind and your heart to learning a little more about yourself, and also about how to manage those hard core emotions inside of you, is honestly just genius.
Your question is "Why am I angry all the time, and what can I do about it?" is just awesome.
I can't say enough about your honesty and courage to open up and talk about something that you may be struggling with, and that you clearly want to do something about.
Anger is a powerful emotion.
I like to compare it to fuel... the kind of fuel that can launch a rocket into space, but also the kind of fuel that if you don't manage very well, can be explosive and create a mess for you and for those people around you.
Listen, learning to deal with, relate to, and respond to your emotions in an awesome and disciplined way is critical in this life, and perhaps that is something that I would like to begin with right away, is the idea that you are not powerless against your thoughts and emotions... in fact, some cognitive theories would say that you are not your thoughts... you are not your emotions.
In other other words, just because you think or feel something, it doesn't mean that it's real or an accurate representation of reality.
I wonder what you think about what I just said?... you are not your thoughts?
You are not your emotions?
Just because you think or feel something, it doesn't make it so.
I promise, I'm not trying to confuse you, I just want to lay the groundwork and foundation for some of the skills that I know will be critical as you develop some psychological and emotional discipline in your life.
I know that discipline can be a scary and intimidating word, but you don't need to be scared of it... to be disciplined, just means that you are powerful, and that you can make decisions that are wise, intelligent, and that create more freedom and opportunities for you, instead of just being blown about by every wind of emotion that you feel, or every thought that comes into your lovely brain.
There is a quote by Viktor Frankl that I would love for you to remember, "between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom."
Let me break that down for you... between what happens to you, and how you respond, there is a space... and my friends, that space is sacred... because in that space is your ability to choose and decide what you will do.
This is your space!
This is where your power and freedom is! And finally, what you do in that space, will either contribute to more freedom and growth, or a lack of freedom, and disappointment.
Now you know that I'm not here to scare you... in fact I'm incredibly optimistic and hopeful about you and your future, but I also have to be real with you.
What you do matters... Period! I mean think about it... whether it's your favorite athlete, or artist, or hero, or singer, or actor, or anyone that you look up to... these people are disciplined... that means that they place the things that matter most first, and the things that matter less, they are secondary.
Their life isn't driven by every emotional whim... their life is driven by their goals and objectives, and by the values that matter the very most to them. By the way, I don't expect you to become this marvel of discipline from one day to the next... you have your whole life to work at this, and to slowly by slowly become better and more in control of your life, so don't fret, we're just looking to grow a little here and a little there, I just need that to be the overall direction of your life... you got me?
Alright, now that we've laid the foundation... now that you are aware of your power and influence, it's time to talk about some tips and ideas that will help you to realize where some of your anger comes from, and how to deal with your anger, bitterness, irritability, and overall moodiness... you ready?
- I find that angry people have too many rules. They have too many rules about what people should do or shouldn't do. They have too many rules about how people should treat them, or not treat them. They have too many rules about how people should drive on the road, or dress, or behave at school, or how they should think or behave... and anytime that someone breaks those rules... the inevitable outcome is anger, frustration, disappointment, and irritation. Now listen, I'm not afraid of rules, and I'm not suggesting for you to not have any rules about yourself and your life, I just want you to realize that the more rules you have about other people, and what they should do and not do, the more upset and angry you will be. So stop worrying about how kind, or honest, or disciplined, or cool, or respectful other people should be, and instead, turn that amazing power and energy, toward making sure that you're kind... that you're honest, respectful, optimistic, cool, and disciplined... know what I'm saying? In other words, be a little more focused on your efforts, instead of constantly being critical and obsessed about other people and what they do. I think you'll find yourself being so much happier, more productive, and more at peace with others around you.
- "You're only as angry as you believe you have the right to be." Ok... let's unpack this idea for a second. You're only as angry as you believe you have the right to be... in other words, most of the times we justify or rationalize why we're angry, and by doing so, we give ourselves permission to be angry: "well iuri, I'm angry because my teachers are just the worse," or "If I didn't live in this stupid town," or "my coach is so unfair, he's playing his son or daughter, instead of putting me in," or "my friends are being the worst right now," or "my parents don't know anything," or "school is worthless." My amazing friends listen to me... you are not puppets! The world doesn't control you. Others don't control you. You're not here to be entertained. The world doesn't owe you anything! Circumstances don't control you! You are the boss... the chief... the captain of your soul, and the sooner you make the decision to make awesome choices that are intelligent, optimistic, empowering, and wise, the more in control you'll feel over your life, and the less angry you'll be. Just because someone does this or that... or just because something is fair or unfair, doesn't mean that you need to become this angry, and bitter person... get a hold of yourself... summon your most awesome self, and do the things that will make your friendships and circumstances better. Stop coming up with reasons for why you should be upset and frustrated all the time! Be powerful! Be a peacemaker! Be your own motivational speaker! Be a source of optimism, instead of a source of pessimism and negativity. Give it a try.
- It starts with a desire to be less angry. Look, your desire to be less angry is a great place to start. Just that little seed of an idea... of a desire, I believe will grow in you, and help you to achieve your ultimate goal, of feeling more in control of your life.
- Build on that desire. Much like the seed that I just described in the last step, we have to nurture that seed... we have to give it water, sunshine, and take care of it. Remember that the goal for you isn't just to be less angry, the objective is to be more cheerful, calm, content, at ease, cool, joyful, upbeat, friendly, lighthearted, pleased, happy, more understanding of others, and giving people a break. We build on that desire... we nurture that seed, but deliberately and freely making a choice to be the things that I just listed. It's not just about stopping anger... more importantly, it's about you growing your skills to be at peace with yourself, and with others. I promise you that those personal and relationship skills, are just as important, if not more important than any degree that you gain in this life, in part because these skills, will help you to attain the life degrees that you are seeking... think it over.
- Remember this phrase... "If you want it, give it." I think sometimes we are just too focused on the way others treat us, and I believe that this quote can help you to keep your mind and actions focused in the right place... and that right place is "what YOU can do, and what YOU bring to any situation." It's simple. If you want to be treated with respect, give respect. If you want to be treated in an honest way, be honest. If you want people to be kind and fun with you, be kind and fun to them. Now remember, there are no guarantees here, just because you give something, doesn't mean you'll get it back, but i guarantee, it will increase the chances that you will, and in the end you'll build a solid reputation for being someone that is friendly, approachable, fun, and reasonable, instead of someone who is unfriendly, unapproachable, prickly, and unreasonable. So stop waiting for people to treat you in some way... and instead, you be the instigator, and bring the goodness.
- Learn to listen to people, instead of talking over them. Listening has to be the most primary and foundational characteristic of communication. How will we ever understand each other, and negotiate with each other, if we are not seeking to understand what other people have to say? Close that mouth of yours, and listen. Give yourself time to think before you start popping off something that is sarcastic, attacking, demeaning, and meant to hurt the other. Remember that people don't think the way you think! Their opinions are different. They believe differently than you. Their life experience is different. What they want is different. Be less condemning of others... stop throwing rocks at people, and instead be a little curious, and listen to what they have to say.
- People, places and things. Whenever possible, if there are people, places, and things that are constantly pushing your buttons, and trying to instigate conflict and fighting, do what you can to create some distance from those circumstances, and start investing your time and energy with different people, places, and things that encourage a whole different vibe.
- Repair, repair, repair. I want you to become a pro at repairing. When you become emotionally flooded, or overwhelmed, you may end up saying and doing things that don't match your values and ideals. When this happens, own it, and go repair. We're not looking for perfection. Emotions are hard core, and they are challenging to manage, so when you and I fall short, don't overthink it, instead get busy apologizing, repairing, and rebuilding. This is the way of the peaceful warrior.
Well, I think we need to wrap it up.
Remember that anger is powerful.
Anger can get us to move, to shift, to take action.
Anger can help us to protect ourselves and people who are being bullied and harmed by others.
Be brave, but learn to manage this emotion so that it can become an asset to you, instead of having it manage you.
Good luck, and remember that the goal isn't just to not be angry, but to build on the skills to help you be a peaceful, calm, and cheerful person.