For many years, there was a magnet on my mom’s refrigerator, saying
Getting angry is just punishing yourself for somebody else’s stupidity
My older sister thought this was a very smart quote that should be repeated whenever anyone got angry. I wonder sometimes if my sister was not the person who hung it there in the first place.
I do not think I understood it very well when I was a kid. It was just a way to call someone stupid and it felt good – for a while. I remember myself being angry a lot. I think that when I was a kid, not being angry was rare. I was sick a lot, I used to scream a lot, I used to fight with my siblings a lot and I was very very frustrated. Only later, at the age of 16, I understood what the saying on the magnet meant.
Being angry at someone is like handing over the reigns of your emotions
– Ronit Baras
Anger is a result of missed expectations
As I examined the idea of being angry in such a way, I finally understood why I was thinking, behaving and feeling the way I did. I gave the control over my emotions to other people. And you know what? They were not even aware they had this control. They were only doing what they thought would be good for them and it did not fit my expectations.
Try this: ask yourself these questions to understand the dynamics of anger:
- What am I angry about?
- Why am I really angry about it?
- Why did I expect it to be different? Based on what?
- If you expected it to be different, does that mean it must be your way? Says who?
If you look into your anger, you will find that you had expectations that were not fulfilled – as simple as that. Unfortunately, instead of changing what they expect, most people get angry at the world for not living up to their expectations.
Who gets hurt?
Sadly, when you are angry or hold a grudge against someone, you are the main person getting hurt.
Holding a grudge against someone is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die
– Malachy McCourt
I have to say that when things are put that way, being angry feels not only useless but masochistic. Why would you hurt yourself for other people’s actions?
Anger is one of the most draining feelings that only hurt its owner.
If you kick a stone in anger, you’ll hurt your own foot
– Korean Proverb
If this has not convinced you that anger is unhealthy for you, I hope this one does:
For every minute you are angry, you lose sixty seconds of happiness
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Life is short, enjoy it!
Smile, it will be a good start.