Anger: Punishing Yourself for Another’s Error

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Anger is a complex emotion that affects us all. When things don’t happen the way we want, anger can arise. The things that we can easily control are our activities. This means that anger results from someone else’s actions rather than ourselves.

Anger: punish yourself

Anger is pretty much like closing the stable doors right after locking the horse. We feel harmed letting the unfortunate experience happen.

I was interviewed once to engage stakeholders in the delivery of many services. The first interview was planned with a contact person for the interview. To my surprise, I was called to two male interviewers without the staff representatives being present.

At Question Time about the three-step interview process, I was told that this would be my only interview. I’ve done my best to be composed in my further interaction.

Instead of being desperate or letting in negative emotions, I wrote to the interviewer (I had a photographic memory at that time) and expressed my hope that a weak point in my interview would not put me at a disadvantage. I also gave a much better considered answer. As a result, I received unexpected feedback on my performance.

Anger often leads to unplanned actions. It becomes a driving force behind an avalanche of activity once the action is triggered by anger.

When manipulative people want to bring about change in order to benefit from a pressure point, we are often the trigger for anger.

We may not be able to control events that affect us, but we can certainly control our reactions to them. Training to react rather than react helps us deal with the automatic anger response. The first workout is with the tongue. Anger often makes us say things that we might never have said had we not been guided by the emotion.

Even if we have suppressed the initial anger response, we must have some means of timing out in order to get the correct response. Anger often focuses on the event that caused the emotion to the exclusion of everything else. The ability to prioritize and maintain priorities in these situations is vital to maturity in dealing with the events that trigger our angry response.

If limiting the damage is our priority, we are on the way to react instead of reacting. Control remains in our hands rather than outside of us.

Where our focus is on guilt, events quickly become even more destructive activities. This is all the more true as all parties want to blame. This is the quickest trigger for violence.

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