How To Get Rid Of Anger

Anger is an emotion, yes. But the only kind of anger that I see is one that comes out of a place of confusion and fear, of frustration that can never be solved and one that can only lead to the destruction of someone else.

Anger is an emotion that, like fear, is also a basic human response to some situation or event. It is, however, a highly irrational response when combined with other emotions, especially fear. Anger is a highly ineffective way of dealing with conflict as, in the mind of a victim, anger is seen as a personal affront. A victim of anger is often unable to control the anger, but may find it impossible to act with restraint.

This anger that can’t be controlled can and does lead to a whole array of other unfortunate occurrences that happen in and around relationships. It’s not hard to look up an example of this. In the case of my girlfriend and I, we would argue. We never did. We’d argue some more. We’d argue for hours and some days over trivial issues, some serious. But eventually we’d get our arguments down and the fight would be over in a few minutes. 

As I wrote my previous blog on relationships, we’ve seen many arguments between partners over trivial matters. For example, it happened during one argument that she said something negative about me after I had helped her unload an antique bookshelf. (I had helped her unload the bookshelf so her mother did not feel burdened with taking away the beautiful and valuable antique books from the house. I’d told her that she had just unpackaged it. She said, “I have not unpacked it,” and I told her that she had, in fact, unpacked it. It had taken me a while to unpark it, but she then went on to unpack it. It turned out to be a new book that I’d never seen and which was a treasure. I had been thinking about it all day.) After she said everything was okay and that it was just a matter of the bookshelf, I suggested that she call the people I mentioned above because they were helpful to her and perhaps we should continue to see each other. She got angry. She started saying that we could not have a close relationship with someone that was this disrespectful to all of us and was too stubborn to call us back. I said that we could and that there could be a possibility that she could change if she was open to it and, in that case, we could discuss it. She was not in a position to change as far as I could tell, so I said, “You’re right. If you are willing to do the hard work to understand and overcome your anger, I’m willing to discuss it with you so it can be resolved on a more fair basis for both of us.” Over time, I came to admire her for her ability not to give up and to continue to make a positive difference in the world.

What struck me about this was that when she told the people that my girlfriend’s mother was helpful, how I had helped her unpark the bookcase, it’s likely that was the final straw for her that would lead her to start fighting with me as I am here to tell you she did. As I’ve said before, I’ve seen this happen in many relationships.

Now I don’t need to tell you this story with anger from my perspective, because what happened with that woman in the garage has absolutely nothing to do with us as people or our values.

As far as I am concerned, that is an uncharacteristic, irrational reaction, an out of control emotion, and I’m convinced that the anger she expressed toward me was not based on any understanding of how to live a peaceful and harmonious life with me or, for that matter, with anyone else.