Learning how to cope with anger and five years later does it matter anyway?
How can I help you cope with anger?
I very rarely get angered at someone. Why not?
Step one I guess you can call it. First and foremost I put myself in someone else’s place. No that’s not literal. It’s a mental exercise. How is that possible you ask? If I can understand their perspective, their position, the facts they rely on when making the assumption that I have somehow unintentionally wronged them… If I can figure out how to put myself in their shoes, I simply can’t get mad at someone …no matter how much a fool they make of themselves. I am so good at analyzing behavior as I have been doing it for years that I very rarely get mad. If I get mad it’s not for long.
This is such an integral part of my behavior that after the analysis takes over I forgive and truly forget. In the past my husband would get really mad at me because I could not later remember why he was mad or even that he was until I saw his face with his lips pouting. Then I would have to ask, “Why are you mad at me again?” Now he realizes that I truly have forgiven and forgotten.
Fundamentally, each person comes into the world with his or her own perspective as upbringing, his own history of interactions and reactions with other people, the very essence of his or her day to day existence. I unconsciously analyze them for this. Each person is raised different and has different morals. Each person has different iInfluences – school, work, home, church, clubs and just daily interactions with others. As you know, but perhaps never considered, how did they get where they are? Why am I fortunate to not be there? How far did they go in school? What type of jobs have they had? Who have they been working with? Why did they make the choices they made to end them up here? Something happened in their lives to bring them to this point. What is the most logical reason that they are mad at you right now? Analyze.
Step two – If you still can’t figure it out ask them. Often they won’t know. They can’t rationalize. They are mad. They aren’t thinking straight.
Step three – As soon as I figure out how or why they are mad I don’t retaliate. I forgive. I forget. I move on. Life has more than anger for me. I am not going to waste my time further on a fruitless endeavor of getting someone un-mad. This is a process that they have to get over themselves. I say, “I’m sorry. It’s all my fault it if’s little and really doesn’t matter.
Step four – If all that fails what else do I do? I analyze for myself, will this matter in five years?
Step five – If you can’t forgive and forget at this point, go to a counselor, write a letter and throw it away. Whatever you do don’t retaliate. Don’t lower yourself to their level. Don’t curse back. Do defend yourself if they are hurting you. Do call the police if necessary. If you can walk away, walk. It’s easy. Put one foot in front of the other. Walk the other way.
Below here are some links to many similar quotes.
Somewhere in word press there is an awesome Budda quote which I will repeat here as I have no idea how to find it again but the quote was:
Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Budda may or may not have said this.
Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die. Alex Witchel 1998 How a Rogue turns himself into a saint.
- “In fact, not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.” Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith(1999)
- Hanging on to a resentment, someone once said, is like drinking poison and hoping it will kill someone else. Alice May, Surviving Betrayal (1999)
- “Charles had once remarked that holding onto a resentment was like eating rat poison and waiting for the rat to die.” Anne Lamotte,Crooked Little Heart (1997)
- “I think resentment is when you take the poison and wait for the other person to die.” M.T. A Sponsorship Guide for 12-Step Programs(1995)
- When we hang on to resentments, we poison ourselves. As compulsive overeaters, we cannot afford resentment, since it exacerbates our disease. Elizabeth L. Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters (1992) Given that two of our earliest sources by M.T. and “Elizabeth L.” are from the 12-step traditions, it seemed possible — likely even — that the quote had “Anonymous” origins.
And this vague suspicion of an AA origin for the quote remained with me for a long time until Joakim (see the comments below) helped me out with a reference, telling me that the quote was to be found in a 1930’s book calledThe Sermon on the Mount, by Emmet Fox. That didn’t seem to be quite the case. The exact quote isn’t there, but there is a passage that is an obvious prototype.
Mitch Albom > Quotes > Quotable Quote
“Holding anger is a poison…It eats you from inside…We think that by hating someone we hurt them…But hatred is a curved blade…and the harm we do to others…we also do to ourselves.”
Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.
Life is too short to hold a grudge, also too long. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
He who angers you conquers you. ~Elizabeth Kenny For every minute you are angry, you lose sixty seconds of happiness. ~Author Unknown
Anger is one letter short of danger. ~Author Unknown Anger ventilated often hurries toward forgiveness; and concealed often hardens into revenge. ~Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton People who fly into a rage always make a bad landing. ~Will Rogers Never write a letter while you are angry. ~Chinese Proverb Get mad, then get over it. ~Colin Powell The world needs anger. The world often continues to allow evil because it isn’t angry enough. ~Bede Jarrett Never go to bed mad. Stay up and fight. ~Phyllis Diller, Phyllis Diller’s Housekeeping Hints, 1966 Where there is anger, there is always pain underneath. ~Eckhart Tolle Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured. ~Baptist Beacon Under certain circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer. ~Mark Twain, a Biography Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die. ~Malachy McCourt
Take no revenge that you have not pondered beneath a starry sky, or on a canyon overlook, or to the lapping of waves and the mewing of a distant gull. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
If you kick a stone in anger, you’ll hurt your own foot. ~Korean Proverb Anger as soon as fed is dead— ‘Tis starving makes it fat— ~Emily Dickinson, from “Cupid’s Sermon,” 1881 Not the fastest horse can catch a word spoken in anger. ~Chinese Proverb Anger dwells only in the bosom of fools. ~Albert Einstein No man can think clearly when his fists are clenched. ~George Jean Nathan Anger is short-lived madness. ~Horace Anger and jealousy can no more bear to lose sight of their objects than love. ~George Eliot Before you give someone a piece of your mind, make sure you can get by with what is left. ~Author Unknown
If you’re angry at a loved one, hug that person. And mean it. You may not want to hug — which is all the more reason to do so. It’s hard to stay angry when someone shows they love you, and that’s precisely what happens when we hug each other. ~Walter Anderson, The Confidence Course, 1997 When I get mad, I stop being mad and be awesome instead. ~Author Unknown Do not teach your children never to be angry; teach them how to be angry. ~Lyman Abbott Anger blows out the lamp of the mind. ~Robert G. Ingersoll
Get angry, get furious but never crumble to resentment. ~Dodinsky,www.dodinsky.com
Sometimes when I’m angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn’t give me the right to be cruel. ~Author Unknown Spite is never lonely; envy always tags along. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960
Always write angry letters to your enemies. Never mail them. ~James Fallows At the core of all anger is a need that is not being fulfilled. ~Marshall B. Rosenberg Anger and folly walk cheek by jole. ~Benjamin Franklin Temper tantrums, however fun they may be to throw, rarely solve whatever problem is causing them. ~Lemony Snicket If you are patient in a moment of anger, you will escape one hundred days of sorrow. ~Chinese Proverb You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger. ~Buddha If you get upset when the toast burns, what are you going to do when your house burns down? ~Author Unknown I don’t have to attend every argument I’m invited to. ~Author Unknown Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. ~Buddha Malice drinks one-half of its own poison. ~Seneca
Can anger survive without his hypocrisy? ~Terri Guillemets Anger is a killing thing: it kills the man who angers, for each rage leaves him less than he had been before — it takes something from him. ~Louis L’Armour Never strike your wife — even with a flower. ~Hindu Proverb Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret. ~Ambrose Bierce
Changing from ‘kind regards’ to just ‘regards’, to indicate that you’re rapidly reaching the end of your tether. ~Rob Temple, @SoVeryBritish (Very British Problems: Making Life Awkward for Ourselves, One Rainy Day at a Time, 2013)
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Consider how much more you often suffer from your anger and grief, than from those very things for which you are angry and grieved. ~Marcus Antonius