It seems almost natural to blow off steam, especially when our anger is coupled with fear. An example of this would be a near accident that was the result of another’s careless driving. The words or gestures that are used at a time like this are reactive, seemingly almost instinctive. This recently happened to me, with my family in the car. Thoughts, that I had after the near miss, generated this post.

All of us want to lead better lives. We try to do this by correcting some of the things that we see as faults. One of my biggest faults is being quick to anger. Those times when I respond instinctively, almost always, cause harsh words, impromptu actions and sometimes a feeling of utter rage. An immediate negative reaction is probably normal. But the feeling of anger, or rage is definitely not. Here again, is an opportunity to learn from our negatives. (See Why Do we Dislike Some People, an earlier post.)

Well, it is easy to find the negative in this situation, namely, the anger, the rage that resulted from the near miss. What is it? Why is it? The response could have been, should have been a concern for everyone’s safety. “Is everyone alright?” But no, instead it was anger, bordering on rage. What was I feeling that caused this outburst? What emotion, inside me, spilled over? Not the anger, but what caused the anger? The event didn’t cause the anger. The anger was inside of me. Something more personal, more basic to me, caused the anger to flow. Pride? How dare they do that to ME! Tired of being bullied? I am not going to take it anymore! Not wanting to be here in the first place? If I didn’t have to go to so and so’s house, this wouldn’t have happened! There is always a hidden cause of an outburst, that doesn’t fit the event, so to speak. When we think we have found that cause, we have found out something about ourselves. We know the area to reflect on, to help eradicate the outburst.

This bit of self analysis may be a trite example, but it is typical of what we should be doing to get to the bottom of our motives. Obviously, I am not perfect, nor anywhere close to being so. What I have written is to give you an idea on what you can do to better understand yourself. All of us are on a quest to improve ourselves. What do you think?

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