Growing up, I was an angry kid. Now I’m an angry adult.
You see, that right there is the key living life to its fullest, consistency.
And I found myself adhering to it like a religious zealot would to his religion of faith. If anyone criticised it, I’d lash out at them, telling them the only place they’re headed towards is hell. I viewed it with pride and treated it like a privilege, since it kept me safe. Or at least I thought it did.
I didn’t kid myself too much, I knew how destructive religion was, and decided to set it aside.
- Table of Contents
- Back to the Topic of Anger
- What it Morphed Me Into
- I’ve Struggled With it and…
- Steps to Overcome Anger
- Lets Review!
Back to the Topic of Anger
I knew it wasn’t good for me.
But even so, I understood why I was angry. I had genuine reasons to be upset at what I had to live through, and looking around only solidified the fact that I clearly wasn’t leading a normal life.
While my friends got to spend quality time with their family, I’d spend quality time with my computer; with my parents in the background, busy engaged in a silent war. While my friends dined out with their family every weekend, I was holed up in my house and only went out when my mother needed someone to carry her groceries.
I could have spent that time grinding experience on an MMO I was addicted to at the time, but my mother dragged me out of the house telling me I needed some “sunshine”.
Sunshine is for kids! Escapism is for teenagers.
I hated going out, since going out meant having to come in contact with normal people. People who had something I didn’t quite fancy. I think it was called “sanity” or something. They also didn’t have those big round black circles I had around my eyes. Few are fortunate enough to receive this. You have to spend days, or even months straining your eyes in front of a computer or TV, and screw up your circadian rhythm enough for your body to go, “You know what, I’ve had it. Sleep deprivation it is.”
To me it was a medal of honor, to them it was a sign of affliction.
And people being the nosy little pests they are, commented on my appearance telling me I should go out more, get some fresh air and maybe do a little cardio on the side. Listening to all that did a good job of blowing my lid off, as I went off on a rant telling them that, to remain healthy, one does not achieve it by exercising and maintaining their diet, but by minding their own goddamn business.
What it Morphed me Into
I was a mean little kid who’d bite at anyone stupid enough to point out that the emperor had no clothes on, and looked like a stick figure with dark circles decorating his eyes. The more time I spent in that toxic environment, the less receptive I was to going outside. I feared the sun, and survived by drinking sugary soda. I became so thin that the mirror stopped casting my reflection. I hit all the checkmarks of a vampire. A sweet-toothed vampire.
What got me to this stage was my refusal to look myself into the mirror and see what I’ve become. I couldn’t even recognize myself anymore, or even find anything remotely resembling me. There was nothing there. Its like I was invisible. Okay, I think I’ve taken that joke too far, and now you’re sitting there cringing at me. Hehehe.
My anger behaved as a knee-jerk reaction; a sort of safety device for my awareness to stop sending signals that could potentially crack into my ego’s thick dome, and shine some light into its decrepit lair.
Anger twined itself onto my psyche and blocked my better judgement. I could only see triggers, and nothing else. I was waiting for people to pull those triggers, and jump right at them for no real reason. Those triggers I placed there were imaginary.
Let me give you an example, if I had my seat taken in the bus, I’d automatically react like Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory Show would. I’d also think this guy took my spot on purpose, just to mess with me. Truth of the matter is, I was a little loose in the head. Me expecting some random guy to know this was my spot is nothing but a terrific display of narcissism from my side.
That narcissism was allowed to run wild because anger was in control. The floodgates were left open, and no one could stop the waves from coming in, no matter how small and benign they were. Ripples alone were enough to start a cascade of unprovoked reactions, as they made their way into my flooded castle.
It took me a while to realize this was a problem. But when I did, I tried whatever I could to stop myself from blowing up like a feminist does, anytime a man smiles at her and categorizes it as a form of sexual assault.
I’ve struggled with it for years, and can now, with utmost certainty say, that I still struggle with it.
But not as much.
I realized what was wrong.
Anger is not something you compartmentalise. It is there for a reason, and you have to find out what that reason it. From my experience, I realized my anger stemmed from expectations that were left unmet. If I opened up a Pepsi and it fizzed all over my shirt, I’d get mad and toss it aside, after which it spreads its sugary goodness all over the carpet, making me go ape-shit after which my mother would walk into the room and go ape-shit over me for spilling Pepsi all over the carpet.
I expected the Pepsi to not spray itself onto me. I should have instead made sure I didn’t shake the bottle like I were playing for a mariachi band. I didn’t pay attention to what I was doing.
Step 1 – Pay Attention to What You Do.
This sounds simple, but it is difficult to put into practice. You will be faced with some uncomfortable truths about yourself as you start shining a flashlight into the things that motivate you. For me, I was trying to escape into my games, and if anything obstructed me from going into my fantasy realm, it would trigger me because it would snap me back into the reality I was running away from.
I didn’t want to play the hand that life dealt me, and was looking to shuffle it back and draw another pair. Life didn’t work that way, so I tried drawing my own pair by pursuing fantasies. That didn’t get me anywhere. Anywhere other than right on top of the MMO I was playing, but that left me feeling empty. It wasn’t something I could proudly bring to the table and brag about.
It was a waste of time. I could have spent that time learning how to play the guitar, or improving my writing but my anger convinced me otherwise. I squandered away the one resource I could never acquire back. Time.
So start by looking at the things you do each day that keep you comfortable, because chances are those activities are behaving like a smokescreen that the issues you are really struggling with are hiding behind. If you skip this step, then you will be unaware of what drives your negative loop and remain stuck in this vicious cycle.
Hoping you have made your way past Step 1, lets proceed.
Step 2 – Controlling the Beast
The first thing you need to know about controlling emotions is, you can’t control your emotions.
They are beasts that can’t be controlled to behave in accordance with how you want them to. Sorry to break it to you, but the sooner you internalize that, the better.
Emotions are best thought of as indicators. They are telling you that something is terribly wrong, and if you ignore their message, it won’t be long before the ego steps in and uses it as a shroud to protect itself from harm. Instead of, “Maybe I was a little mean to Timmy. I ought to apologize to him.” It will morph into, “He asked for it! He should have known that was my spot he was sitting in!”
Your good sense of judgement will get dragged into the mud and come back out as arrogance. That arrogance of yours will pave a road to destruction. People will hate you for it, and push you away.
What you can do, is channel it. Even lions can be tamed with the right approach. Don’t treat it as a disease that needs to be neutralized, but instead as a powerful source of energy that can be put to better use.
I still get angry, but not as often. In those instances that I do, I write it all down
with the blood of the person who angered me. I try to pinpoint what exactly it is that triggered me and review it next day, only to realize I’ve been childish in my assessment of the situation. It embarrasses me, and I make sure to never repeat them again.
I get to study my deep-seated fears and engage in many forms of catharsis, ranging from working out, listening to music and writing, to sweating out through my eyes. Some call the last one crying, but I call them “manly tears of sadness”.
By working out, I get the physique I want, and show the beast whose boss.
By listening to music, I get to wind down, and calm the beast.
By writing them down, I receive content I can put into my blog and teach the beast some neat tricks.
You have to release the pressure from time to time, or it will damage you from the inside. Release them through outlets that bring you something in return; something you could put to good use.
Step 3 – Pay Attention to the Beast
This might seem like a combination of the above two statements, but there is a tiny difference. With this step, you perform both activities at the same time in real time.
When you find yourself getting angry, you watch that anger rise, and direct it along a different route, keeping your focus on it. Its like a tide, and with every high, comes a crash; its that crash you are waiting for, and until then, you pay attention to it.
Once you get the chance, review the situation that triggered those waves of discomfort, and ruminate on them.
Did they make you feel good? Or did it pull you down? Was it what he said that bothered you? What about it?
You keep poking yourself with those needles of self-doubt like an acupuncturist would, to release the stress build up inside of you. This requires self-examination, and an honest evaluation of what you discover.
Let us review!
Step 1 – Pay Attention
Control Tame the Beast
Step 3 – Pay Attention to the Emotions You Channel
Work on Step 1, then move onto Step 2.
Work on Step 2, then move onto Step 3.
Work on Step 3, then move onto living freely.