The biggest mistake we all make while dealing with our anger issues is assuming that anger is the core issue. Why I call it a mistake is because, though anger does cause complications in our lives and relationships, it is not the root cause. The root cause is violation of some belief or hurting of our ego. Anger then springs in its defence.
For any person suffering from short temper or violent anger issues, anger is a defence mechanism. Something inside has been hurt and we show anger to defend ourselves. Over time it could become a habitual defence, meaning it becomes a habit and we keep getting angry for even small matters.
By understanding that anger is a defence mechanism we have taken a successful first step towards resolving our anger issues. Because, we can now look beyond anger and deal with the actual issue causing it.
The second awareness that you need to have about anger is that it is your anger. Let me explain what I mean by that. When I get angry I show it on others; I blame others for my anger issues. But the truth is, no matter what the provocation, I chose to be angry. We choose our reactions. And in cases of short temper, the provocation is often trivial and our reactions are in excess.
It is very easy to say others are provoking us. But at the end of the day we are the ones who are left in misery and it is our relations that are getting strained. So unless we acknowledge that it is our anger and our problem, we cannot take charge of the situation.
The third important point to keep in mind about anger is that it spreads like cheese. When we get angry, we tend to carry it forward across time, situations and people. And more often than not, we end up showing our anger on somebody else who it was not meant to be upon. The anger at office is taken home and displayed there. Anger at the life partner is shown with children.
We often falsely assume that our temper issues have gone out of control when we start getting angry with everyone. But the truth is we are simply carrying one big anger from one person or place to every other place. We are just venting one this one big emotion in bits and pieces all through the day. Once we find the root issues that are causing this anger and work them out, our anger becomes very manageable.
In the next part I will discuss two powerful techniques that can take us a long way in managing our anger issues as well as identifying the root causes.