“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson
We’re human – our natural reaction when someone does us wrong is anger and how best to get even, whether that someone is an ex, colleague, friend or even a family member.
It’s self-defense. How can someone, whom we allowed to gain control of our deep, fragile selves, betray us? Our immediate reaction is anger. In that instance, our mind is thrown off, disappointed, angry, upset that we believe the best way to overcome such emotions and prove our value/power is by getting back at the person who made us feel this way. It’s the way our mind works at the moment of anger. We feel humiliated and vulnerable and in order to not feel these delicate emotions, we try to project them towards the other person.
“The brilliant French psychoanalyst, Jacques Lacan, taught that aggression results as a psychological defense against threats of fragmentation.That is, as infants, we are just a jumble of diverse biological processes over which we have no authority, and our first task in life is to develop a coherent identity which “pulls together” this fragmented confusion. This identity may give the appearance of a unified personality, but it really is just a psychological illusion that hides our essential human vulnerability and weakness. And so, when anything or anyone threatens us with the truth of our essential fragmentation, the quickest, easiest, and most common defense available—to hide the truth of our weakness and to give the illusion that we possess some sort of power—is aggression.” – via http://www.guidetopsychology.com/anger.htm
But it’s in that moment that we need to take a pause until all our crazy, erratic emotions simmer down.
Whatever emotions that animate during these situations are temporary. Our mind is thinking emotionally, not logically, and everything seems more amplified than it really is. Our mind is flooded with clustered, irrational thoughts and it replays those words or those actions on repeat. We may even be in the shower later and think of 50 other things you should have said during the argument or could have done differently that would have resulted in you “winning”. That anger, if not approached with calamity, will only continue to grow.
The amount of impact anger has on our mind and body is destructive. It can cause stress, headaches, insomnia, depression and other adverse effects. Ultimately, with revenge, who really “wins” then?
“If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.” Chinese Proverb
Someone close to me once told me that that stuck through: view your life zoomed out, not zoomed in. Five years from now, a year from now or even a day from now, will that thing that that one person did be that significant anymore? Think about it: when you were in school or your old job or with your ex boyfriend or girlfriend, they must have said or did something that infuriated you. In that moment, you must have cried, yelled, kicked and screamed and thought this is the worst thing that could possibly happen to you. But now? Did you think about this memory before reading this? Does that memory trigger any negative emotions? Do you still find that situation detrimental to your life?
If we can control ourselves in the moments of anger, we can achieve inner peace. Getting back at someone for their hurtful manners towards us won’t provide us with anything except a long-term wound that will never heal.
Respect yourself enough to allow yourself inner peace. You are the sole holder of it. Don’t waste a precious part of your life by ruining your mind and body with such emotions and thoughts. The best we can do is be patient and calm; and for the ones that hurt us, hope that one day they realize their mistakes and grow into better human beings.
Free yourself from the cycle of bad behaviors and bad reactions and learn to love yourself enough to let go.
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