No big deal, right? Everyone loses their temper once in a while.
But what is anger, really?
Anger is a reaction to not getting something you want, and blaming someone else for it.
No one can make you angry and no one can make you yell, throw things, hit things, or otherwise behave with violence.
You don’t act angry because you care so much.
You don’t act angry because you’re right.
You don’t act angry because you can’t help it.
You act angry because you’re thinking about what you want that you’re not getting, and you have abandoned control over your behavior because of it.
Anger is hatred in action.
Anger makes the subject of your anger an idol, and the object of your anger an enemy.
The only justifiable anger is the righteous kind, which is a response to an evil that harms an innocent, and is meant to lead to action to stop that evil.
However, most of our expressed, daily anger is itself an evil that harms an innocent.
And most of our expressed, daily anger is unjustifiable.
Hinduism says that “anger comes … when what we ardently desire remains out of reach.”
Buddhism teaches that “anger… is one of the three poisons.”
The Bible tells us, “in your anger, do not sin.”
Common sense makes it obvious that anger produces pain, damage, and more anger. Like breeds like. Always.
Do you have a problem with anger?
Would someone in your life—your spouse, your child, a coworker, a parent—say you do?
If either of those questions are answered, “Yes,” then you have a problem with anger.
I’ve had a problem with anger.
The world has a problem with anger.
Anger is a problem.
So, what are you going to do about yours?
The Dance of Anger: a Woman’s Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships, Harriet Lerner, William Morrow Paperbacks, 2014.
Anger Management Workbook for Men: Take Control of Your Anger and Master Your Emotions, Aaron Karmin LCPC, Althea Press, 2016.