Understanding Anger – an analysis


I was talking to a client, who asked me how to handle their anger. I spoke with this client, and instinctively went up to the whiteboard and drew a diagram in the form of a “flow chart that would help them understand the causes of their anger, and hopefully, help them handle this better. This client then asked me if I could actually create a diagram for them and give it to them. I did – and this article is a result. The diagram has been made a little better, and with a few things being added, after having fine tuned it.

Anger & Irritation Flowchart (1)

Anger – this is an emotion that almost all of us have had, are having, and will continue to have, as long as one is alive. The disclaimer here being that only the most “enlightened” souls might be able to truly say that they do not get angry at all. For everyone else, it is a question of how well they are able to mask the anger, and more importantly, to recover from the anger.

When one analyses anger, one will realize that it is always about the “past;” Unless of course, one is planning to making an “advance booking” of anger for an event that MIGHT or MIGHT NOT happen in the future. The underlying cause for anger is disappointment. And the cause of disappointment is “expectation.”

Cryptically the diagram can be expressed:

  1. Expectation – if met, Happy; If not met, Unhappy, Angry, Frustrated etc.
  2. If not met, evaluate if expectation justified
    1. If Expectation Justified – check ability of the person, and then intention / inspiration to give what one wants.
    2. If Expectation not justified, alter expectation go to to 1 above, and be happy!
  3. If justified, evaluate ability of the person to give what one wants;
    1. If ability exists, Check inspiration and intention of the person (4 below)
    2. If ability does not exist, take responsibility to ensure that the person has the ability (and then move to 4 below)
    3. If the person will never have the ability, alter expectation, or find someone else who can give what one wants (subject to values, morals, ethics etc., being intact)
  4. If ability exists, evaluate “intention” and “inspiration” of the person to give what one wants.
    1. If inspiration exists, then one would have got what one wanted.
    2. If inspiration or intention does not exist, take responsibility to ensure that the person is inspired to give one what is wanted, and then
    3. If the person will never be inspired, alter expectation, or find someone else who can give what one wants (subject to values, morals, ethics etc., being intact)

Regardless, one’s expectations keep varying with each experience of either getting what one wants, or altering ones’ expectations, or even in some cases, giving up what they thought they wanted. And as always, awareness is key and if one were to analyse the reason for their anger, they might be able to express their anger a little better. For more on this you could take a look at: Anger, and how it might be possible to handle it

 

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3 thoughts on “Understanding Anger – an analysis

  1. Anger is usually due to our instant “reaction”. I used to be upset while driving due to the chaotic traffic. But now I “respond” differently by controlling what I can .. which is the way I drive and not about what I cannot .. which is the way others drive. As Steven Covet said we have the “response ability” to control anger.

  2. Pingback: Stay focused, achieve excellence! | Cheenu's Blog

  3. Pingback: The two sides of feedback | Cheenu's Blog

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