There’s really no flattering way to put this; I am a very angry person. I find that in my daily activities I experience a chronic, anger towards the world. Even when I am at peace and content it only takes a small inconvenience or frustration to send me spiraling down into hours of anger. I don’t lash out…yet. But I’m actually holding off on a romantic relationship because I’m scared of how I will eventually act. Can you help me?
You are taking the right step by addressing your anger issues. A relationship can only be as healthy as the emotional health of its weakest partner. In this case, your anger management problem would make a relationship extremely risky. Out of the many divorce autopsies eHarmony has performed, anger issues have been a significant contributor to the vast majority of cases. It is an epidemic.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.” You mention how your anger often comes upon you quickly, in a flash. I believe it is important that you learn some techniques to dissipate your anger just as quickly. The secret is to make sure that you have become an expert at dealing with this emotion in your life. In order to become an expert, you have to work hard at it when you are not angry. Many communities offer anger management classes and there’s no shortage of books on the subject, if you need a little extra help.
You need to understand that anger is always produced in response to hurt, frustration and fear. Moreover, you need to recognize that the goal of anger is to reduce this primary pain in your life, to make it unnecessary for you to have to re-experience the suffering that produced the anger in the first place.
If you manage your anger quickly and skillfully, you will discover that it can promote a resolution of your conflict which will result in a richer and richer relationship. Deal with it early, skillfully, and respectfully! You will be amazed at how powerful you can be in turning a difficult moment into a moment of meaning and fulfillment.