General Question

pleiades's avatar

Have you ever suffered from anger? How did you beat it?

Asked by pleiades (6576points) December 11th, 2013

Or do you know someone who was always angry but made some life changing adjustments?

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25 Answers

Mama_Cakes's avatar

Going through a bit right now. Hurt rolling into anger. Come to the conclusion that I don’t need cynical/negative types in my life and am droppin’ em like it’s hot. They’re the ones who have sucky, sad lives, not I.

tom_g's avatar

Sure. I experience anger. But years ago anger would consume me. I didn’t really notice it until I had spent some time with my meditation practice. Then, I would see how the anger would just eat me up – like some damn dog. I could see it right there taking a bite of me and destroying me, like a rabid dog. Once I could really see what it was doing, I realized that I had a choice. I could let it devour me and hope for the best, or I could recognize it, let it do its thing, and move on. I chose the latter. It’s as though I took the teeth out of that dog. He’ll still bite, but it doesn’t need to do as much damage as I would let it before.

El_Cadejo's avatar

I used to be a really angry person in general. That changed after the first time I experimented with hallucinogens. I still obviously get angry at times but it no longer consumes me. I know how to handle it in a way that doesn’t result in me doing or saying anything rash that I will regret later.

“Now I’m sure you’ve had times when you’ve felt down or angry,
Wanted to lash out, punch a wall and be manly,
But the question I pose now will offer you a plan B,
And maybe some peace and quiet for your friends and family,
How hard is it to decide to be in a good mood,
And then just be… in… a good mood?
That’s all I have to say because it’s a straight up fact,
You control your emotions it’s as simple as that”

pleiades's avatar

@tom_g What is it for you that angers you? For me, things out of no where and that catch me off guard is what I need to deal with better… mainly with people. I need to learn to digest the issue before getting defensive about things… I know what my issue is, it’s just super hard to stop the initial feelings, frustrations that come with being a defensive person like I am.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I let go of people and issues that were keeping me angry. Of course being a Christian and releasing all that to God was a big part of letting it go.

tom_g's avatar

@pleiades: “What is it for you that angers you?”

Just stuff – the average stuff of life.

@pleiades: “I know what my issue is, it’s just super hard to stop the initial feelings, frustrations that come with being a defensive person like I am.”

What if you don’t try to stop the initial feelings, and instead turn your attention on them. Observe them as an outsider would observe them. With enough practice, it’s possible to see them for what they are – simply thoughts and feelings about people and events that have either happened in the past or you anticipate happening in the future. Your anger will likely take on a cyclical form and just keep spinning, like a tornado, pulling in more and more if you allow yourself to reside there. But if you step aside and really observe it, you might see how powerless it really is. And in this process, you might find some real insight into what is truly fueling your anger. It’s likely not what you believe it is. This can be liberating, because you’ll find that you do have the power to choose how to react to these facts you reveal about yourself and the true source of your anger. And you’ll find that you have the power to choose how to react to those initial feelings that seem to grab you and take control.

XOIIO's avatar

I didn’t suffer, I thrived.

YARNLADY's avatar

I get very angry at injustice, but it only lasts briefly. Anger is very unpleasant to me and I try to get rid of it as soon as possible. It takes a lot of practice, but eventually you can learn to override it.

gary4books's avatar

Anger is a response to your environment. So you change the environment or your responses. Or both. But it is very seriously difficult to change the self. Most will look for ways to move to a better environment. That may mean a new job or place to live or both. Where are you angry? Why? What should change? If so, when? How?

You can do it. But for mot of us, it takes a lifetime of work to make serious progress. If you are lucky, you can do it sooner.

rojo's avatar

It has been a while since I experienced real anger. These days it is more frustration and disbelief.
When I was younger I would lash out until I learned to meditate.

ibstubro's avatar

I think there are some people that thrive on anger, metabolically, and controlling the anger can be near on impossible. I used to fly into blind rages periodically, and I felt so good and clear afterward. Being in a blind rage was like the ultimate ejaculation…I’d actually urinate and defecate within an hour after, and my mind was never so clear or clever. I suspect it’s the result of a natural born ‘risk-taker’ personality being crammed into a factory-worker box.

Unfortunately, I also have a bad valve in my heart. I flew into a rage one time and hours later my heart was still making a “bert, bert, bert…” noise that could be heard by other people. That diagnosed my heart condition and nearly ended my blind rages. In the 15–20 odd years since, I’ve certainly averaged less than one every year or two. I know each one is potentially life threatening, and at the time I no longer care. The rest of the time I get angry, I vent and slough it off.

It took me a long time to realize that my father was exactly the same…blind rage and heart condition. You can certainly force yourself to manage your anger, and trying to give it up entirely might not even be good for you.

Just my life experiences.

JLeslie's avatar

I am going through some anger problems right now. It comes out as being very on edge and having trouble staying calm when I am triggered, but I never am violent or lash out physically in any way, I have never been like that. Anger for me is a mix of feeling hurt and feeling life is become too dissappointing and unfair. To overcome the anger I try to adjust my expectations to be more realistic. Sometimes that can make me feel run over by a truck though, which can be depressing. It’s tough. I try to focus on the good things, that seems to help. My sister who tends to be very angry saus my expectations are too low and I settle. If I have to choose I’ll take the low expectations, feeling calmer, and getting along with people more easily.

You have to find the underlying cause for the anger and deal with that. How you feel. Not just the anger, but what specifically happened to make you angry and why it makes you angry. Do you feel taken advantage of? Does it trigger a feeling of when you were a child and felt powerless. Are you angry as a form of defending yourself before someone else takes advantage of you? Just some ideas.

gailcalled's avatar

Happily, I find I no longer get angry. Looking back over the decades, I can see where the anger of my youth did nothing for me or the situation. Being old helps; I can make very good choices for me without having to defend them to anyone. If people close to me disagree with my choices, we can discuss them calmly (and briefly…no more ruminating for weeks over something).

Today I spent a lot more time at my surgeons’ office than I had planned because I had some last-minute extra services provided, which was good, but I had to wait a long time in between, which was not so good. I thought about how to feel; then I used the extra time to do several of my PT therapy exercises…using the counter at the sink and the back of the chair.

Then I read all the magazines, opened the door and snitched some from the empty room next to mine.

I got to read O, Consumer Reports of both Dec. and Jan., and three Money Magazines. I know which top loading washing machine, small AWD SUV, and hand-held small vacuum to buy, should I go on a spree, which I will not (and that Fidelity does tax harvesting as part of their management philosophy.)

gondwanalon's avatar

When I was a young boy I had a violent temper. I really don’t know how I stop being angry all the time but after one particularly violent temper tantrum I could somehow see myself and I didn’t like what I saw. I thought “I don’t want to be like this” so I made an effort to try to change my ways. It didn’t happen easy or quickly but I got through it an nowadays people who know me will tell you that I never get mad which may not be healthy either. HA!

wildpotato's avatar

I have had anger issues in the past, but no extreme rage events for several years now. I think what made the difference for me was getting my dog. She is very attuned to me, and it really helps. I’ll sigh or growl unconsciously in despair and anger and Molly will look at me and lay her ears back and wag her whole butt because she’s worried I’m mad at her. I’ll reflexively tell her she’s a good dog and because with dogs you have to act the emotion with your voice even if you don’t feel it, this forces me to break out of the angry thought cycle.

ibstubro's avatar

LOL @wildpotato I once had a manager who prompted my comment “He’s so happy if he was a dog, he’d wag his whole butt instead of his tail!”

hearkat's avatar

I used to get angry and combative for many or any reason, and I know others who have had this problem as well, including my son. One thing I find as a common thread in those of us with the worst anger problems was low self-esteem and many of us had bad childhoods.

In my observations, anger is a mask for other feelings – frustration, hurt feelings, sadness, disappointment, etc. For most of those I know with anger problems, we never learned how to express our feelings in any way other than anger. This is also culturally more common in males, since for many generations, they were taught to toughen up and not cry or they’d seem ‘weak’ or ‘girly’ or ‘gay’.

For me, getting past my reflexive anger was partly due to dealing with the self-esteem issues and healing wounds from my abusive childhood. In the heat of the moment, it helped me to ponder what difference the issue at hand would make in my life in five years. Most often, the answer was none – because most anger and arguments were over petty things. Then I contemplated why I was getting so mad about nonsense? That is when I realized that I wasn’t so mad about the actual issue, but rather because someone did something that I perceived as disrespect, or caused me frustration by not listening to what I had previously said, and so on. That was when I decided to address those bigger issues.

In some cases, that meant disengaging from those who had a pattern of disrespect – who might be prone to pushing my buttons because goading me would give their ego a stroke by feeling superior or powerful (the real revelation was that I found myself also guilty of those behaviors for that reason; and I stopped being so disrespectful of others, as well). Once this occurred to me, I would start to laugh when people attempted to push my buttons – that didn’t go over well with them… and those who didn’t grow and evolve too are no longer in my life.

I still don’t handle confrontation or being disrespected well, but it happens so rarely that I know it’s not just a reflexive response of a delicate ego, it is because I have been actually disrespected. Because I have learned to accept myself, and like myself and even love myself – despite all the warts and wounds, faults and flaws – I am no longer easily manipulated by others and I have found that those types of personalities that thrive on drama have faded from my life. I am no longer drawn to them and they are no longer drawn to me. I really like my peaceful life now.

susanc's avatar

I was vry angry as a child and chose a husband who was the same. Our rule was that anger was allowed between us. We enjoyed fighting, we enjoyed each other’s courage and were tender with each other’s fear; we enjoyed being allowed to behave badly. But after awhile we got worn out by all the drama and began trying other ways to work out frustration, hurt, and so on.
The other ways were good too, but we were lucky to be allowed to choose the other ways instead of being punished for choosing to fight in the early years/
These days, in my 70’s, I think a lot about Nelson Mandela and how he worked out his anger on the rocks he and his fellow-prisoners had to break up in prison. He said he took out all his anger on the rocks and came out the other side – became a great forgiver. He said the key to everything was trust. Trust people, trust situations. “You might be disappointed…. Let it go.” Trust will not give you what you want, but without trust you will not get anything. He said.

ibstubro's avatar

…and you can almost visualize it, @susanc. An angry young man attacking the rocks, imagining them the heads of his oppressors. Until, finally, he’s more tired of being angry than he is of breaking rocks. It plays in my head like a movie.
Morgan Freeman. Shawshank.

mattbrowne's avatar

We can’t avoid anger triggered by something happening around us. But we can learn to picture anger as a fire that we can either let burn down or keep alive by our destructive internal thoughts.

susanc's avatar

…. and my mother, one of the classic angry housewives of the repressive 1950’s, used to go up in our attic and pound nails into the floor as a way to offload her anger. One day when we were moving out of that house, my father and I went up to get all the junk that was stored up there. We turned on the light and the floor lit up, a continuous sheet of shining metal.

pleiades's avatar

@susanc Beautiful writing

gailcalled's avatar

@susanc: A pity that she wasn’t able to use that particular rage therapy in building you a new house. Today she’d have her own construction company.

susanc's avatar

@pleiades: my mother would be happy to know you think so. Me too. Thanks.
@gailcalled: I built my own new house. She loved it. : )

ISmart's avatar

screaming in my car works well

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