Story: A man from Michigan had an idea for removing a stump from his yard. He decided to use a few sticks of dynamite he had stored away in his house. First he tried 6 sticks of dynamite but that did not do the job. Next, he tried 9 sticks of dynamite and that did the trick. It turned the stump into an airborne missile that traveled 163 feet downrange before crashing through the neighbor’s roof. The stump opened a three-foot hole in his roof, split the roofing and pushed it through the ceiling of his dining room.
We, too, have sometimes, used explosive power to try to solve problems. We do this when we resort to anger, which can cause worse problems than the situation that upset us in the first place. It may get some action but it leaves much damage in its wake. Anger like dynamite is explosive. Take care to handle it with wisdom and self-control. When a man’s temper gets the best of him, it reveals the worst of him.
We should be aware of our own anger because anger can destroy our physical wellness, our relationships, our spiritual growth, and our emotional balance. This inside anger comes from our hurts, fears, bitterness, and disconnecting with our families. Remember, the way you “think” determines how you feel; the way you feel determines how you act.
We do live in an angry world. Sport stars get into fights and spit at umpires or kick dirt on their shoes. Customers yell back at salesclerks who do not help and sometimes, salesclerks yell back, too.
Blowing your top may get attention but it usually doesn’t get you what you want. Anger is meant to intimidate other people and usually does. But being intimated also makes them uncomfortable, defensive, or hostile. Anger generates a poison in the air long after the root cause has been forgotten. Even if you do not make a public display, being angry can focus your mind on negative attitudes such as blaming or revenge. As a result, you may begin thinking of yourself as a victim instead of working toward a constructive solution. Remember, when anger becomes chronic, it can also impair your health.
Is anger always destructive? No! So why do we have anger?
1. Anger energizes us or helps us deal with conflict. We have confidence to express.
2. Anger helps us to express our negative feelings towards others. You can tell what frame of mind others are in.
3. Anger provides us information about people, children, and situations.
When anger or temper crosses the line or becomes destructive:
1. It becomes too frequent like being embarrassed by the boss, friends that cross you up, the road rage (1,500 road rage victims yearly).
2. When it is too intense. (Ex. George on Seinfeld who is always on edge)
3. When it lasts too long or makes things hard to reconcile or settle.
4. When it leads to aggression like verbal abuse, parents screaming, physical hitting, pushing, and shaking a child, or when fits of rage get out of control that damages the people and children around us.
How to tame your temper:
1. Resist destructive labeling. That is putting qualities of people into stereotyping or global judging. My husband is a hot head. That worker is lazy. My wife is stupid. Or we are right and they are wrong.
2. Stop mind minding. She said that to get back at me. We invent motives and assumptions like he or she doesn’t care about me.
3. Eliminate magnification. Exaggerating the insignificant and blowing it out into terrible proportions.
Getting a Grip on Anger by:
1. Resolving to manage it or to cast it, throw it away, and or give it up.
2. Realizing the cost. You can’t take back what you said.
3. Reflect before reacting. Be slow to speak.
4. Release it appropriately.
5. Express it in love.
6. Re-pattern your mind. We take things too personal
A young boy and his friend were walking on the beach and they came upon hundreds of starfish, which washed up on shore and were drying out. Immediately, the young boy began to pick up the starfish and throw them back and his friend watched in disbelief. “What are you doing? There must be hundreds of them here and it doesn’t manner!” The young boy held up a starfish and said, “It does to this one.”