Letting Go of Anger

Your anger is holding you back. It’s time to let it go. A lesson in anger management. 

It is clear that some people just like being angry - or they are afraid of letting go of their anger. Probably the latter.

I deal with a lot of people and in some of the work I do, it isn’t unusual to meet some really angry people. The people who are the maddest are usually the ones who have been the least successful at accomplishing their objectives.

It isn’t that they are angry that they failed. It is because they are angry that they failed.  Their anger doesn’t allow them to consider other ways to solve their problem because the problem isn’t with them or their approach. The problem is with other people who thwarted their efforts. This sort of thing happens all the time and it’s really sad to see people continue to suffer because they won’t let go of their anger for long enough to consider changing tactics. To be successful you need to learn how to control your anger. 

About 90% of our problems arise from our interpersonal interactions. In other words, they are a result of conflicts or disagreements with other people. And even if they aren’t, you still need other people to help you solve your problem. If you get angry with them and write them off as useless out of anger, even if you have good reason to then you are going to not take advantage of the resources other people might have that will help you solve your problem.

Anger also blinds people and keeps them from seeing possible solutions. Angry people are so focused on the object of their anger, that they don’t notice what else is going on around them. This is like hurling yourself against a brick wall trying to get into a building because you never took the time to go around the corner to see if there was a door. People like this get angry that there is no door and getting even madder when people tell them if they just calmed down and walked around the corner they would find the door they are looking for and their problem will be solved. Angry people are usually so invested in their anger they will yell and scream and refuse to even look because it is easier for them to continue doing something that isn’t working than admit to themselves that they were mistaken and rash and behaving poorly in the first place and that they brought most of their problems on themselves.

Anger also keeps people from seeing or understanding nuance. And the nuances matter when you are trying to solve a problem. The devil is in the details and if you can’t deal with the details, you won’t be successful. You’ve heard of the adage, if all you have is a hammer, every problem is a nail. Effective problem solving requires flexibility – sometimes, you need a screw driver, not a hammer. Clinging to your anger may feel good, but it might not be the right tool to help you solve your problem. Taking a step back from your anger to see whether your assumptions are even true can be the difference between success and failure.

Anger holds us back. If you are holding onto residual anger, love yourself enough to let it go.

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