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Anger Can Steal Your Happiness (If You Let it!)

Picture this –

You just board an airplane.  You realize that the passenger in the row behind you is sitting in your seat with her mother and two children (one is on her lap) and the seats in the row in front of her are empty.  She realizes her error and asks if she could stay in your row/seat and you just take her seat.  You oblige.  It’s early.  You’re flying from California to New Jersey.  You can barely keep your eyes open because it’s so early and you’re very tired.  As you plop into the seat, you realize there’s a problem…the woman behind you is allowing her son to kick and pull your chair.  You’re exhausted, frustrated, annoyed and everything in between because the mother clearly knows her son is doing that, yet she continues to allow the child to do this.  You’re trying hard to keep your Christian composure by keeping your hands to yourself and not snatching that child and scaring the life out of him.  You politely turn around and say to the mother, “Can you keep your child from pulling and kicking my chair?” The parent obliges by saying, “Oh, I’m so sorry. Joseph, stop that!!”  The funny thing is, she’s telling Joseph to stop as though she never saw him doing that in the first place.  Therein lies the first moment of anger albeit unnecessary because the parent could have diffused the problem from the beginning. This scenario is an adaptation of what happened on a flight I took a few years back.

Another scenario –

A pedestrian walking down a busy street steps into a crosswalk, with the flow of traffic, crossing at an intersection, gets yelled at by an extremely irate person sitting in the passenger’s seat of a car.  The passenger of said car yells at the pedestrian, “DON’T YOU SEE THE CAR?!”  Confused, the pedestrian stopped in the crosswalk, did a neck snap turn around, looked straight at the yelling passenger, pointed at the walk sign and said, “THIS SAYS THAT I CAN WALK!!!!!!”   With his tail tucked between his legs (so to speak), the passenger did not respond.  The pedestrian delivered the message to the passenger in the same tone showing the passenger that he could not intimidate her with his yelling tirade.  As absurd as this scenario sounds, this happened to me recently.

What would cause this man to become so unnecessarily angry with me?  After all, I was the pedestrian who was in the right because I was crossing with the flow of traffic and had the white walk sign in my favor.  My question is why so much anger?  I wondered about the level of anger since this occurred, and it made me think that in so many instances in life, people are so angry.  When one person is angry, sometimes their anger can rub off on the person they are directing their anger toward causing that other person to become as angry or even angrier.  The truth is most often anger from one person sparks an angry response proving that anger can be like a virus or bacterial infection – easily spread.

One of the problems with anger is that a situation can escalate quickly causing tragedy in some cases.  The situation that I was in could have become dangerous if the person wanted to retaliate against me for standing up to him.  We have seen news reports time and time again showing how angry situations escalate and become deadly.  This happens too many times.  Many people are angry every day and some people do not know how to manage their anger.  Anger has so many levels.  It happens because of impatience, insult, assumption, inappropriateness, misunderstanding, tiredness, mistreatment, hostility, annoyance, displeasure and physical action just to mention a few.    It’s a natural human emotion often triggered by a specific event.  It can lead to physical health problems if not properly managed. Anger affects people differently.

One potentially “angry” situation may not affect two people the same.  For example, if a person steps on another person’s foot, the person whose foot was stepped on may become extremely angry even after the perpetrator apologizes.  In that same instance, another person whose foot was stepped on may not be angry after the perpetrator apologizes.  It all depends on the temperament of the victim.

As previously mentioned, there are different levels to anger.  Anger starts off with pre-anger, which causes you to gear up for the emotion.  According to Kirsten Chen, you become annoyed then move to frustration, infuriation, and hostility.  It is often triggered by a specific event, and it can lead to high blood pressure and other health problems if not controlled.  I found out something interesting.  Dr. Jeanette Raymond said anger is necessary, it’s how you use it that counts!  I interpret this statement to mean if you express yourself appropriately in a situation that causes you to be angry without being disrespectful to the person who may have angered you, you keep yourself from harboring resentment and keeping that resentment bottled up creating physical and emotional problems for yourself.  You shouldn’t allow yourself to be a doormat in any situation.  However, if you express yourself in a way that helps the person focus on your point instead of your anger, you will put yourself in a better situation in the end.

In the two scenarios I previously mentioned, I made my statements to the people involved without disrespecting them or calling them out of their name.  I just expressed myself in the most diplomatic matter-of-fact way getting my point across and releasing it from my body and spirit.  Letting things go is often a good solution to making sure that you do not end up seething over something that is just not worth it.

Oftentimes what I have found in my experience is that anger directed toward one person most likely has nothing to do with anything that person may have said or done.  The anger that one person has toward another may stem from a deeper situation that the angry person is not dealing with.  If you find yourself or anyone you know struggling with anger issues, it may be beneficial to see an expert in this field to try to get to the bottom of the issue.  If you find yourself in this situation and do not understand why you may “fly off the handle,” you may find it helpful to speak to an expert who can uncover the reasons why this may be happening to you.

As mentioned, anger is a normal human emotion it is how you deal with it that matters most. Expressing yourself is critical in making sure you do not contribute to stress-related illnesses by keeping anger bottled up.  Many situations can spark anger in a person today.  Unfortunately, so many angry situations turn deadly.  We just witnessed a young girl being beaten to death in her high school bathroom.  I ask the question why?  In the moments after this tragedy, I wondered if the girls involved had regret for this situation or if they felt justified in their actions because they were angry.  I pray for all involved in this to seek God for wisdom and strength regarding this situation and hope in this angry world that we live in that these situations become less and less.   Live, laugh, love and pray.

God Bless You with Good Health and Wellness,

Antoinette

Antoinette Shar’ron Johnson

antoinette@writingsbyasj.com

writingsbyasj@gmail.com

http://www.writingsbyasj.com

Blog: http://www.livinginyourmoment.wordpress.com

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“Empowering, inspiring, motivating and uplifting your mind, body and spirit!”

Image Source:  Original Wordle by Antoinette S. Johnson

Article Sources:

http://thoughtcatalog.com/kirsten-chen/2012/07/explaining-the-stages-of-anger/, Explaining the Stages of Anger, by Kirsten Chen

http://www.drjeanetteraymond.com, Why Anger is Necessary, by Dr. Jeanette Raymond

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