Dealing With Anger


Based on Dolpo Tulku Rinpoche's "The little Buddhist Life Coach", this time I'm sharing something that I learned from the book about dealing with anger. I oftentimes struggle with this because I can have quite a big temper at times and lash out, which I never mean to do but keep catching myself doing it and then feeling bad about it afterwards. Maybe this will be helpful for some of you as well since the chapter in the book about anger really put things into perspective for me.

What is anger?

Anger is an agitated condition that won't allow inner peace. We get angry for a moment but once that feeling is over, we don't analyse it further. We could explore the reason for our anger and how it changes our mental condition. Answers to these questions will help you with insight in the long run on situations that mean trouble.

If we were to analyse anger, we would see that our pulse is increased just like when you go for a jog. The only difference is the disturbance in our spirit. This condition will make us perceive things in a faulty, subjective way and ignore the good things.

Consequences of anger

If we are angry and start acting aggressively, it's safe to say that our discussing partner will react the same way. This won't benefit your defense or problem-solving. You will want to win the debate and the conflict won't be settled unless one of you wins and the other one loses. Our awareness which determines our behaviour moves in the background. After we're done being angry, we'll feel ashamed and sorry and feel the need to apologize for lashing out.

Anger affects the relationship we have with others, especially that with our loved ones. We say things we don't mean and hurt people. Saying sorry isn't easy and won't make things undone. Everyone feels bad in the end.

The origin of anger

When we were younger we would get upset when we were cold or too warm or when we couldn't have the candy bar. Thing is, we didn't get upset because something was against our beliefs or opinions, we got upset without thinking about it because we felt simply uncomfortable. Psychologically it can be explained like this: When someone else is lucky, we feel jealous. If someone interfered with our luck, we'd feel upset too. This is the circle and the game of sorrow causative emotions.

The antidote to anger

Patience with painful experiences

This means to be able to accept difficult situations, not to add unnecessary sorrow to put yourself through. This is about inner strength. If we're too thin-skinned, we will see little things and make them into big ones. If we were to see things grimly habitually, it will be hard to find the positive in them. We will feel irritated in any difficult circumstance, we believe we have to change other people or groups to gain back our comfort. This attitude is like expecting and wanting to get mad again over and over again. So gain inner strength by gathering watchful information about yourself and how you handle situations, what sets you off on a regular basis.

Patients with people that harm us

There are always going to be people that won't, well, click with us. With anything you say or do they can put you in question or make your life hell. If we tried to defend ourselves by harming them, we'd act impulsively.

Finding your own happiness in the misfortune of others is impossible. If we feed our grudge, we'll produce more and more as time goes by. Usually in the moment, we'd think the people who want to pose problems to us find joy in doing it and are doing it intentionally. That's why we have to ask ourselves first, how's the situation actually? Did we really understand each other or were we talking in two different rooms? Did the other person really intent to harm me? That's what is called the analytic meditation. Putting everything into perspective before we break out in our emotions. Most of the times we'll realize that the other person didn't actually mean to upset us. Nobody really wants to harm their loved ones and partners. In certain circumstances we just act loveless and aggrieving.

What did you think about this post? Any thoughts are welcome below in the comments.

Until then – stay calm,

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