There are various reasons we get angry but how we react when we are angry is more important than the cause of the anger itself at times.
Feeling angry when things don’t go as planned is a natural reaction but the expectation that everything will go exactly as planned is an unrealistic expectation. Not being prepared to handle things if they don’t go as planned is one of the major flaws in planning that most of us make and in turn this causes anger.
Taking into account that everything will not always go as planned should be the first premise for planning. It is a planning flaw for the following reasons:
If you cannot fix it FACE IT.
Anger is mostly caused by our refusal to face facts. In most cases, the reason for our anger is a fact about which we cannot do much. The helplessness and powerlessness cause anger. The simplest way to deal with this anger is to face it head-on and accept things as they are. But most plans have no wriggle room for acceptance. So you see the flaw now?
Reacting when you are Angry
The cause of most conflicts, arguments, and misunderstandings is some underlying anger. In most cases, the anger is caused by an entirely different issue. The ideal solution is not reacting when angry, but we are humans after all, so the next best option is to keep a check on yourself and examine your behavior for wrongly channelized anger. None of our plans have provisions for mistakes hence there isn’t any room for unpleasant situations. Pre-empting the possible conflicts and creating the buffer is a good planning strategy.
A change in Perspective
A lot of anger is also caused by our expectations of others. Things we assume they should be doing. More often it is likely that we are missing out on something. Try and look at things from a different perspective. Trying to find a solution is always better than expressing anger. Our plans aren’t flexible to accommodate the changed circumstances. Having a plan that works in the real world is the only kind of plan that will work.
Anger causes Anger
This is one of the most basic things yet at times all of us forget it. Rewind and replay the last heated argument or fight. Most of the things had been said out of anger. You don’t even believe them to be entirely true; you exaggerated because you were angry. Don’t let anger be the cause for more anger. Knowing this fundamental principle, with better planning and better subconscious training we can easily avoid flare-ups.
Anger becomes Frustration
We tend to think of all the bad things that are happening to us when we are angry. Unnecessarily linking unrelated problems and making it into one giant rolling snowball. All of us are guilty of enjoying being angry and overthinking and creating a mountain of a molehill. Not having thought of possible stress points in the plans and their solutions causes’ anger and frustration.
Most of the anger is Momentary
Anger like most strong emotions is time-bound and so are our plans. A slight deviation in the timeline doesn’t mean failure. Many times the easiest way to calm the anger is to let the moment pass. Keeping calm for a few moments is what can make all the difference. Deciding to deal with the anger later is a good solution. Rather than making hasty decisions that only cause regret making a conscious decision to put it off until you have the time and energy to handle it.
Anger and Guilt
Anger and guilt are like two faces of the same coin. I am angry because I am feeling guilty about being able to do enough. This is something I deal with on and off. Also, at times I feel guilty because I was angry and people had to put up with it. It was no way I was supposed to behave. Trying to keep the two separate can solve this unnecessary trap of anger leading to guilt and vice-versa.
1. Be open to changes in plans as well as the behavior of people.
2. Recognize anger and deal with it before it does real harm.
3. Work on different ways to release anger without causing damage to people or feelings.
BONUS TIP: Being angry doesn’t give us the liberty to behave in any way we deem fit but usually we end up taking it out on the people closest to us. My trick to not let anger cause anger is letting the people around me know that I am angry or upset. This admission alone helps me calm down plus I also get some leeway in case I don’t behave normally (which is anyway bound to happen if you are angry haha!!)
Anger in its real sense was an alien emotion to me until very recently but having had a face-to-face with it, this is what I have learned. Hope it helps you too. As I see it, each one of us has challenges and nobody’s life is ever perfect neither will it ever be. As they say when life gives you lemons make lemonade.
Anger is a powerful emotion and can drive us to do wonderful things but more on that in an upcoming article. For now, realizing that there is something that is causing anger and resentment and either fixing it or facing it would do the job. Changing how we plan and allowing room for failure, changes, and uncertainties can help us overcome a lot of anger very easily.
Dealing with such strong emotions is never easy. Walking through rough patches isn’t either, but we must do both at times in life. If by slightly altering our perspective, our planning process we can take a lot of unpleasant situations on a lighter note then it is an effort worth making. Anger is such a basic emotion and when out of control such a difficult one to deal with.
Every emotion has its place in our emotional well-being. Suppressing any emotion is always counter-productive. Giving emotions the proper expression and outlet is one of the most effective ways to managing them.