Anger = Expectation + Interpretation
Do you easily get angry at what someone else says or does? Their offensive behavior (such as someone insulting you, or your child disobeying you) is a “trigge eventr” for your anger.
You don’t need to pull that trigger! You really CAN manage your anger. And by that I mean reduce its intensity, or eliminate the angry feeling altogether in any specific situation. How?
Your anger is the result of your own thoughts about the “trigger event” (that offensive thing someone else did or said).
Your Expectations Set You Up. Were you caught off guard? Or did you expect
- Were you caught off guard? Or did you expect him/her to do something different? If you expected to be treated a certain way by that person, and then you were treated differently, your expectation was not met. If you expected your child to obey, and she disobeyed you, you had an erroneous expectation. Did you perhaps expect your alcoholic spouse to stop drinking because he said he would? How many times has this happened? How many times must the same thing happen before you start to change your expectations?
- What’s important to recognize is that your expectations always precede the occurrence of a “trigger event.” While it is common to think of the “trigger event” as the thing that made us angry, the reality is quite different. It’s the expectation we have in our head about another person’s behavior that is really the thing that sets us off.
- The definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” (Albert Einstein)
- Change your expectations* of what the other person will do. It will change your life for the better.
Your Interpretations Knock You Down.
- Do you think his/her offensive behavior reflects on you?
- Do you take it personally?
- It’s your own behavior that reflects on you. His/her behavior reflects on him/her.
- Change your interpretations* of other people’s offensive behavior. It will change your life for the better.
Do you see how you cause your own anger? Empower yourself with this insight. It will change your life for the better.
Your anger is a game that is won or lost in your own head. Your mind set (expectations + interpretations) constitutes your thoughts that spur your adrenalin in your brain, which is what directly causes your defensive emotional response: your anger.
5. You have complete power over your own thoughts. Use it!
- The power of your thoughts can greatly reduce, even eliminate, your anger.
- This will change your life for the better and improve your relationships.
- How? Use self-talk, mental gymnastics. Like, “I’m not going to take this personally.” I”m withholding judgment here.” “It’s just not worth getting angry over.”
3 Steps to Parent-Child Harmony is my book that describes in detail the differences between the Old School Parenting model and the New School Parenting model. Please see these links if you are interested in more information or wish to purchase.