If you're a man, chances are you have some anger. But what do you do with that anger, do you lift it out....run it out...drink it away....or deal with it until you explode on someone. If that summed you up pretty well, then i'm glad this page found you.
Anger, much like any emotion happens without much warning...or does it? I'm here to tell you today, if you feel yourself getting angry for no reason then it's time for some self-reflection. All emotions can be predicted once you know yourself(sure Eric, that's easy enough-insert eye roll). What do I mean by that, just like you know that spending time with friends and/or family (depending on how much you like your family) will bring you happiness and you look forward to it, the same goes for anger. You may not know it yet, but once someone knows what makes you angry they can trigger you whenever they want....well shit. However, that opens up a MASSIVE opportunity for you to do some self-reflection and figure out the last time you got angry.
Chances are when you do that exercise, you'll find out that it probably was a time when something happened that you didn't want to happen. Expectations were missed, and that made you pissed. Or, maybe it was a time that you thought you were right and turns out you weren't, shit again. In these instances, what's really happening is that the ego (part of the self that strives to be right) is taking over and just like the bull in the picture the anger lens comes on and it's hard to take those buggers off! That angry feeling tends to play over and over in your mind and it starts influencing your decisions....how you speak, the looks you're giving people and what you eat/drink/decide to do. We tend to say "blowing off steam" however it's a short term fix for a long term problem.
If you never address what's causing the anger and address that (root cause) then you'll keep going through that exercise of getting pissed, blowing off steam, pissed, steam, pissed, steam and you get the point. That anger actually triggers the hormones of adrenaline and cortisol which slowly degrades the cells in the body. If you think i'm lying, then look at any president or high stressed CEO and watch how quickly they look like their aging.
So although exercising is healthy (yay! you're jacked) but the rest of yourself is falling apart all around you...pain in the neck, pain in the lower back and worse yet chest pains and shortness of breath. So what's the answer?
It's certainly not hoping that the next time you won't get upset, because we all know that's just the definition of insanity and i'm not imagining you are wanting people to call the folks in the white jackets to haul you away.
It's all about perspective. Oh boy, if it was that easy, don't you think it would have been done already!? (I'm imaging you yelling that right now-cue anger?). I'm serious, how often do you get upset at something in the office or with a partner and then a life altering event takes place and all of that anger just vanishes and you forget all about it? Personally I know i've had moments when i'm cursing at traffic and then you see there was a serious car accident and then the guilt and empathy comes in. Boom, change in perspective.
Now you might be saying that it's easy when life threatening experiences happen to shift perspective but how will that help me when i'm back to back meetings and I can't take a moment to clear my head. In those instances, what would be a different way of looking at that situation-enter empathy and curiosity. Two INCREDIBLY POWERFUL emotions.
When you're in a place of empathy and curiosity then you're trying to understand and looking for solutions. Even if the same disappointing event happens, presentations aren't prepared, people are late and traffic sucks, being curious will allow you to seek a solution. How could I make sure the presentations are done next time (training, opportunity for leadership, better direction) or stuck in traffic (could I learn something while stuck in traffic, call someone to catch up or plan for what you want to do the next day)
So next time you get angry, know you always have options. If you're intrigued by that, but still not sure how to incorporate that into your life. Or maybe you've got a tough nut to crack or even so many areas of anger, then i'd encourage you to reach out for some coaching. Coaching has proven over and over again to make MASSIVE shifts in people when they struggle the most and those shifts turn into lasting change. If you're done with being angry and looking for ways of being happy in stressful situations, get some time on the calendar, here, or email me at email@example.com and we can get some time to chat.
Remember, you always have options...just depends on what you want to do. Till next time, keep moving forward...
-Eric at Man of Class