How to handle anger

How to handle anger. I’m no expert but this is what I have learned.

We are not angry at the person but at our own expectations. We believe that we should be treated in a certain manner, and when we are not, then we feel frustrated. The thing is that we may have never communicated that to another person, so how could they be aware of those expectations?

We get angry because we interpret¬†how others treat us through our own experience. If Bob doesn’t pick me up when he promises too, then we feel that Bob doesn’t care about us.

What I have learned is that often what angers us most in others is what we have in ourselves. So for example I have a friend who is sometimes forgetful. That is a problem for me because I remember most things very well. When they forget things then I feel frustrated because their forgetfulness affects me now. An example. I was tired one day and my friend forgot something in my car he needed. So I had to drive back to him to drop it off to him. However to be honest, I sometimes forget things as well. So not only am I angry at him, I’m angry and reminded when I forget things as well.

We get angry because we feel that we give more to the other person than they give to us. Which is interesting because our perception of what we give them is different than their perception of what they receive from us. We know what we give up to be with them. I could go with Bob and have a nice dinner, or stay home and play video games or something else I enjoy. Bob knows that I have a choice, and when I choose to spend time with him then he should feel special.

We get angry because we feel frustrated and we don’t always have a good way to direct those feelings. I get frustrated when I drive more than 2 hours a day. My back starts to hurt and that affects my generally happy mood. I don’t like that, and so when I am asked to drive more than 2 hours a day I try to minimize¬†that. Its not easy, but it really helps in my happiness.

I think we mostly get angry because we are being challenged in what is comfortable to us. Sometimes relationships are the most difficult because they challenge us at a deep level. It takes maturity and wisdom to know how much we can grow, and how much we can deal with at once. Sometimes we get overwhelmed and we have to be patient and kind to ourselves as we are challenged and changing.

Being angry is ok as long as it isn’t the only way we deal with life.

New equipment sometimes means hurt feelings

New equipment sometimes means hurt feelings.

Let me give you an example. I once worked at a company that was pretty cheap. They didn’t spend money on regularly refreshing their equipment, so it was years old and very slow.

One day I was asked to upgrade some people to have two monitors instead of a tiny 15 inch one they had. As I did this, many people asked me if they were getting a monitor. I said that I had a list and only the people on the list got one. So there were lots of hurt feelings because they didn’t feel important enough to get a second monitor.

So guess what? A few days later one of the older monitors breaks. Now in any other company this would be an opportunity to just upgrade it with the new larger monitor. However in this case the political climate was to get the permission of their manager so that any hurt feelings could be addressed before this was done. Interesting isn’t it? Normally you would just replace something that is broken and let people deal with it as best they can.

In one way this is nice. It is nice that a company is aware of peoples feelings. In another way this is kind of treating people like children. Children don’t have the emotional capability of regulating their feelings like adults show, so you have to treat them more gently than an adult.

Of course the next day the monitor got replaced. However I see this happen in every company. Once someone gets something, everyone else seems to need it too.

It is a fascinating thing to watch. The person with the broken monitor said how terrible it would be if her monitor broke. Now that it did, she seemed kind of upset and nervous about the attention she would attract. She did attract attention.

It is ok to have feelings at work. However if your neighbor gets a new monitor or whatever, it doesn’t mean that you are less valuable. It just means people make decisions for reasons we aren’t always aware of.