Learning how to overcome anger can be a struggle, but you can definitely do it if you put your mind to it.
I was thinking about all the people we know who get mad. You know who they are. They are the ones we are careful around because we don’t want to get them upset. They are the ones who get mad out of nowhere and then there is a problem.
We all know someone or some people like this. Maybe it’s you. I know it’s me. When I was a little girl if something didn’t go my way I got mad. This is what I saw my mother do when she was disappointed or frustrated. This is what I learned to do too.
Learning How to Overcome Anger Starts with Unlearning Bad Habits
Everyone in my family got mad. That’s what we did. We were fine until someone got upset and then there was madness all over the place: yelling, tantrums, and more. I was especially good at getting mad. I was very loud and really good at yelling over the other person who was yelling. So I was really the best mad one. Naturally, that made my journey of how to overcome anger that much longer.
This status is not something to brag about though. For many years I had to carry the label of “the angry one.” I always felt ashamed when I heard my big sister say this. I felt something terrible inside my stomach, like there was something wrong with me.
Recognizing That Mad Makes a Mess Is the First Step to Cleaning It Up
Now that I am grown up, have worked out how to overcome anger, and have different responses to getting my feelings hurt I am really sensitive and sympathetic to people who are always the “mad” ones.
When you are locked in a system where mad is the only response you know, you always make a mess. I know that nothing gets solved when someone is mad. Even though the mad person thinks he or she is solving a situation with their anger, I know that anger usually causes additional problems.
How Mad Makes a Mess: Lost Rest, Respect, and Relationships
When I look back on my angry outbursts, especially in a work environment, I get a little embarrassed. I remember getting really mad once and slamming doors and people seeing this. At the time I just thought, “Well now they know that I am upset.” That was the extent of my thoughts. Now I think, “Wow, everyone must have thought, What’s wrong with Linda?”
You see, no one understands what is eating at us to make us mad. All they see is the mad. They can’t see that you were wronged, or taken advantaged of, or rejected. All anyone sees is your anger. And the saddest part of all, YOU get missed. The anger and the mad are so big, people just don’t know what to do with you and they end up staying away.
That’s why it’s so important to learn how to overcome anger.
How to Overcome Anger: Be Observant, Mindful, and Diligent
I didn’t even know I had a problem to work on until I wanted a relationship that wasn’t working because of my anger. I knew I would lose the one relationship I was willing to fight for if I didn’t do something different. So I learned about my triggers, and I learned about the sadness that always accompanies mad.
When we unwind ourselves from the inside and look at the pain we have carried, we get some healing. And that healing lets us choose something different, like telling our mate how our feelings got hurt, so they can hear it. And that’s quite different than blazing with rage.
Learn How to Manage Your Anger in Relationships
Read a Book About Communicating Peacefully in Relationships
Can’t make it on Monday? Learn more about how to avoid letting your anger loose on your partner, by reading Linda’s book, Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It just might help you learn to take the time you need to communicate when you’re ready, and teach you a softer approach to communication, which will help your relationship last and thrive. Ready to give it a read?
Get Couples Counseling
Come in for couples counseling. Couples counseling can help you and your loved one get the most out of your relationship. It'll equip you with coping strategies and tools for communication that can help you argue less and love more.