Is your ‘fuse’ too short? You may accept anger as a part of your life, but do you recognize that it serves no utilitarian purpose? Perhaps you’ve justified your short-fuse behavior by saying things like ‘it’s only human’, or ‘if I don’t express it, then I’ll store it up and have an ulcer’. But anger is probably a part of your that you don’t like, and needless to say, neither does anyone else.
Anger is not ‘only human’. You do not have to possess it, and it serves no purpose that has anything to do with being a happy, fulfilled person. It is a kind of psychological influenza that incapacitates you just as a physical disease would.
Anger is an immobilizing reaction, experienced when any expectancy is not met. It takes the form of rage, hostility, striking out at someone or even glowering silence. It is not simple annoyance or irritation. Once again the key word is ‘immobility’. Anger is immobilizing and it is usually a result of wishing the world and the people in it were different.
Anger is a choice, as well as a habit. It is a learned reaction to frustration, in which you behave in ways that you would rather not. In fact, severe anger is a form of insanity. You are insane whenever you are not in control of your behavior. Therefore, when you are angry and out of control, you are temporary insane.
Like all emotions, anger is the result of thinking. It is not something that simply happens to you. when faced with circumstances that are not going the way you would like them to, you tell yourself that things shouldn’t be that way (frustration) and then you select a familiar angry response which serves the purpose. And as long as you think of anger as a part of what it means to be a human being, you have a reason to accept it, and avoid going to work on it.
Whenever you select anger as a response to someone else’s behavior, you are withholding from that person the right to be what he chooses. Inside you head is the neurotic sentence “Why can’t you be more like me? Then I would like you, instead of getting angry”. But others will never be the way you want them to be, all the time. Much of the time people and things will not go the way you would like them to go. That’s the way the world is. And the likelihood of it changing is zero.
So, every time you choose anger when you run into someone or something you don’t like, you are deciding to be hurt or in some way immobilized because of reality. Now that’s silly, being upset about things that aren’t ever going to change. Instead of choosing anger, you can begin to think of others as having a right to be different from what you’d prefer. You may not like it, but you don’t have to be angry about it.