Peace, Paix, Paz, Pace, Frieden, Vrede, Pax

Creative Commons License photo credit: Pink Sherbet Photography

The other day, I took a wrong turn while driving in a parking lot. I immediately realized my mistake, but before I could wave “sorry” to the driver next to me, she was beeping and cursing me out furiously. If this had happened in the grocery store with a shopping cart instead of a car, I hardly think most people would unload that kind of anger. It would be quite shocking and scary if they did.

When I saw the look of rage on this woman’s face as she drove by me, it was still shocking even though I couldn’t hear her. I just wanted to say sorry, but she didn’t give me the chance. Then I felt angry at her impatience. And then I thought about it. I’m sure I’ve done the same thing to other people myself. *shame* In fact, I was doing it immediately to her. Maybe she was having a bad day.

The bottom line is this. Anger helps no one. For yourself, when you are angry it is the equivalent to drinking poison. For the person receiving your anger, it only creates either anger or sadness in the other person, and probably doesn’t get you the result you really want, which is what? What are we looking for when we are angry?

The Goal of Anger

When we are angry our first reaction is we want to strike back and deliver equal “hurt” to the person who hurt us. The problem is this doesn’t bring us peace. Even if you could squish the person who “hurt” you like a bug, it still would leave you with anger in your heart. If we look deeper, what we really want, what our heart wants is acknowledgment of our pain, an apology, and a promise of the hurt not happening again in the future.

Sometimes it is possible to get one or all three of those things. We must do something first in order to get it. We must soften our hearts and show that to the person who hurt us. That means letting down our guard to expose our pain instead of covering it up with anger. “I feel hurt by X. I wish for Y instead.”

Sometimes we can’t get any of those things from the person or thing or group that hurt us. Sometimes we have to do the healing work ourselves. In that case, we must find compassion and some level of understanding for the other person. Try these questions.

  • Why did they do that?
  • How can I avoid this in the future?
  • How can I can I avoid feeling this way when this happens again (if this is inevitable)?

Freeing Yourself from Anger

Obviously, there are all kinds of “hurts”: big “hurts” (betrayal of a friend or partner), little “hurts” (being cut off in a parking lot), and other “hurts” (your sports team or political candidate lost). It might not be possible to always curb your anger, but it is possible to minimize the amount of time you engage in it. Here are some tips on how to do that.

  1. Give the benefit of the doubt to others.
  2. Before you react to small slights, ask yourself “Was this really a big hurt and worth getting upset over?”
  3. Seek to understand why something happened.
  4. Ask yourself “How can this be turned into a positive experience? What have I learned?”
  5. Take a walk to cool down before discussing.
  6. Get perspective. On chronic anger-triggers, ask “Is this something I can live with if I change my view of it?” – If not, take action to move away from anger-triggers that are unacceptable to you.
  7. Ask yourself “What is my role in this? What can I do to make things better?”
  8. Have a general attitude of patience and generosity towards others, so that if, for example, someone steals your place in line, you have already given it to them.
  9. Plan to arrive early always. When you are not in a rush, you can be more patient with how other people drive.
  10. Choose to be amused at annoyances, rather than angry. Smile more. Fake it til it becomes a habit. (It works!)
  11. Be kind to others.
  12. Be kinder to yourself.
  13. Meditate daily. (It’s easier than you think)
  14. Take breaks to give you the energy to be patient.
  15. Be aware of your reactions. Awareness is the key to unlocking the door of change!

If you work on these daily, you will find yourself more often reacting with compassion instead of anger. This will vastly improve your life. You’ll probably live longer and happier. And you will be elevating the overall level of peace and happiness in the world! Your actions are that powerful!

I’d love to hear what you have to say about this!

Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

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  1. 1
    January 22nd, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Words of wisdom for our angry world. With so much fear in the current atmosphere, anger is never far behind. When I get the evil eye, or worse, while driving, I smile and wave, blessing them in my mind. Maybe it works to defuse it, maybe it makes them angrier, but at least I feel I have made some positive contact.
    Keep up the great inspirational writing, Kristin!

  2. 2
    kc govens
    January 24th, 2010 at 3:21 am

    Anger is a subject i found out about 20 yrs ago. You see when you are angry you are not listening to anybody
    you do not care what anyone thinks. You fly off the handle…without hearing what the other person point of view is. You are grumpy irritable and wants everything your way. When most people who do not deal with their
    angry will soon or later get in trouble with the Law,
    usually over a traffic incident or you get into a fight with family friends or co workers what ever it is if it is not taken care of the Law will eventually send you to anger management. Once the Law steps in the problem will get resolved one way or the other.
    So avoid the hassle get your Anger in check…love your Family and they will love you.

  3. 3
    January 24th, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    @kc – good point. I’ve noticed bad things, like accidents, happen when I’m angry. There’s no winning with anger. Thanks for commenting!

  4. 4
    January 24th, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    -Katrina –
    Thanks! I think you have the perfect way of handling those situations.

    Thank you for sharing that!

  5. 5
    tony ramirez
    January 24th, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    10. Choose to be amused at annoyances, rather than angry. Smile more. Fake it til it becomes a habit. (It works!)

    ..The funny thing about that is that it really does work!

  6. 6
    January 24th, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    @Tony – thanks for the validation!

  7. 7
    February 2nd, 2010 at 11:27 am

    Yep!thank you !

  8. 8
    Bhandari Group
    February 4th, 2010 at 3:14 am

    A perfect post to handle the anger. The goal of anger & to freeing from anger helps us to move a great way in life. You have proved that anger can be managed with the state of mind.

  9. 9
    February 8th, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Thank you very much. it is really important to stay cool in situations like that

  10. 10
    February 22nd, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    Nice idea, you need to fight your anger to make your work good.

  11. 11
    Gourmet Living
    February 23rd, 2010 at 8:17 am

    It is nice that you wanted to apologize, I think that in itself is rare (and unexpected) they may have thought you were going to be aggressive hence their reaction.

  12. 12
    motors wiper blades
    February 24th, 2010 at 8:33 am

    Smile more. Fake it til it becomes a habit

  13. 13
    February 27th, 2010 at 1:06 am

    Thanks a lot for this useful and great article.
    You’re my favorite.

  14. 14
    Bulgaristanda Egitim
    March 1st, 2010 at 12:10 am

    The funny thing about that is that it really does work! isnt it..

  15. 15
    family dentist
    March 1st, 2010 at 6:15 am

    The Anger helps nobody and everyone knows this but they seems not to be able to control their anger. I use to get angry easily before but I have learned to control my anger overtime and it has helped me stay mentally sound.

  16. 16
    Ann Treacy
    March 7th, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    People like that make me so angry! Just kidding, when you have an experience like that it can ruin your day! Good suggestions on how to turn it around.


  17. 17
    March 8th, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    Just smile to everyone you talk to. It will make our world more kind and less angry people will be.

  18. 18
    March 14th, 2010 at 5:06 am

    Thank you, it was really intersting to read.

  19. 19
    March 16th, 2010 at 2:24 am

    Yes, we should pay more attention to the poor people, money, food, all that we could offer. we should do that.

  20. 20
    Australian Detox
    March 18th, 2010 at 1:50 am

    You are ill-tempered irascible and wants everything your way. When most people who do not deal with their mad will soon or later get in involvedness with the Law.

  21. 21
    Jarrod@ Optimistic Journey
    March 18th, 2010 at 2:23 am

    I feel that emotions like anger, are the equivalent to being drunk in that, when we’re angry we’re not in our rational, sober mind. I think that when we’re angry we’re allowing our emotions to take charge instead of rationalizing out the situation.

    There’s a great saying that says something like, “every moment we spend angry is a moment we loose of happiness.” I don’t think we place enough emphasis on what made us happy in life. If we did then you wouldn’t have witness the emotions that the lady express to the extent that she did.

    These are some great points that you made and they really make me think. Thanks for sharing, I’m reading on and on!

  22. 22
    March 19th, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    Get perspective. On chronic anger-triggers, ask “Is this something I can live with if I change my view of it?” – If not, take action to move away from anger-triggers that are unacceptable to you.

  23. 23
    March 22nd, 2010 at 11:31 am

    Thanks Jarrod! Good quote!

  24. 24
    Clint Cora
    May 2nd, 2010 at 10:00 am

    This is in tune with the emotional intelligence concept. It’s okay to feel emotions since we are human. But to be emotionally intelligent is how effective we manage these emotions such as anger. Managing anger effectively will help control our actions as a result.

  25. 25
    May 22nd, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    @ Tony Ramirez; you’re right it works and you wonder why.

  26. 26
    May 29th, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    The peace symbol came into beiing in the ’60′s when I was growing up and it’s still one of the most recognized symbols around the world.

  27. 27
    June 7th, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    number 15 is really valuable. Being aware of your actions can also help stop you from doing something you will end up regretting, since angery can cause adverse impulse behavior.

  28. 28
    June 25th, 2010 at 8:16 am

    A lot of anger comes from people reacting to painful things – big and small – that happen to them. But sadly, some people can be angry pretty much the whole time they are awake!

    And while people who are close to them (eg family) would like them to be happy, they don’t want to release themselves from their own anger. That’s mainly because it’s all they know. Not being angry would be so unfamiliar to them that they just wouldn’t know what to do.

    If you’re involved with someone like that, you’ve just got to get away from them – or at least keep your distance.

  29. 29
    widnes plasterer
    July 9th, 2010 at 3:46 am

    I couldnt agree more. I am someone who suffers from anger, not with people but with simple objects such as if the dvd wont work etc. I find myself getting really angry and afterwards think , what was that about.
    Brilliat post.

  30. 30
    Joey Vaillancourt - Bones To Buff
    July 26th, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    I have always had problems with anger control.

    Luckily, I am not violent towards others, but ever since incoporating some techniques that you have covered here, i have much more control over it.

    Great advice!

  31. 31
    August 2nd, 2010 at 2:53 am

    I came to the point in my life that I felt so depressed that caused anger inside my heart. That experience is very uncomfortable to me. Not until I’ve learned to let go of that anger and to make use of it as a lesson in my life. Now, I’m happy with the result.

  32. 32
    August 2nd, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    Thank you for sharing Janine. Glad to hear you are happy now.

  33. 33
    August 22nd, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    Thanks Widnes!

  34. 34
    Chote Ustad
    August 31st, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    I personally think you are an expert in this field. Keep up the good work. I will must thank the per son who gave the url of your site. Thanks for sharing.

  35. 35
    September 21st, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    I loved the article- very inspirational and uplifting. I find that planning to be early for work or appointments makes me feel less rushed, less stressed and thus less prone to anger at the little nuisances in life. Thanks for writing!

  36. 36
    October 15th, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    Isnt it fascinating how people behave behind the steering wheel of a car. Put that same person on a pavement and bump into them accidently and it would be a complete different story…very strange

  37. 37
    Benny Jacob P
    October 18th, 2010 at 12:32 am

    Mindfulness Training
    This is the primary concern for improved concentration. Doing work mindfully is the idealistic meditation in practice. This helps in impulse control, mental health and emotional well being. Any child who has the difficulty in keeping mind steady will suddenly fall into loss of hope and apathy, lacks in enthusiasm, and finally become perturbed. This leads to incessant obsession to self depressed thoughts and uncontrolled boredom while coming before school lessons.
    Mindfulness training or meditation is developed by ancient sages a practice continuously done through the ages for the fixation of mind at a singular point to attain inner delight, which when put into practice in the present real life situation helps one to concentrate duly on a duty at hand, or when added to a child’s learning habits allows her to overcome the mental stress, unwanted thoughts and mental blocks and helps her achieve the creative flow at work. Mindfulness practice implemented in early childhood allows child complete involvement in learning as she grows up.

  38. 38
    October 19th, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    5. Take a walk to cool down before discussing.

    In addition I count slowly from 1 to 10.

    This is very helpful. Besides, anger will just put unwanted wrinkles on our faces. Thank you for sharing!

  39. 39
    October 24th, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    Thank YOU, Greg!

  40. 40
    October 29th, 2010 at 12:36 am

    wow..!, but i have read about how to kick your anger with self hypnotism, how about that?

  41. 41
    November 12th, 2010 at 7:16 am

    Really it makes people sick.

  42. 42
    Jason Lang
    November 29th, 2010 at 7:30 am

    It is amazing to see the contrast between different peoples lives. You are right to say that something bad might have happened in that persons day or even life. All you can do is laugh, smile and be happy. Somehow I believe you attracted it however you are always in control of the way you respond. Thanks so much. Keep up the good work :-)

  43. 43
    November 29th, 2010 at 8:23 am

    Love your blog, keep up the good work and keep sharing the love around.

  44. 44
    December 19th, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    Thank you Jason.

  45. 45
    December 19th, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    Gourmet – You’re probably right and I should be understanding of their side of things too. Sorry for the late reply! And thanks for commenting!!

  46. 46
    December 19th, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    @Ann – Thanks Annie! Nice to see your comment here! So sorry for the late reply!!!!

  47. 47
    December 28th, 2010 at 5:38 am

    Thank you very much. it is really important to stay cool in situations like that

  48. 48
    December 28th, 2010 at 5:39 am

    Thanks a lot for this useful and great article.
    You’re my favorite

  49. 49
    January 10th, 2011 at 8:06 am

    You sum it up well.
    Also when you start to get angry, you can stop answering a few seconds and take a few deep breaths while you ask yourself: “Was this really a big hurt and worth getting upset over?” :)


  50. 50
    February 3rd, 2011 at 10:54 am

    this article is suits for me. i often had difficulty control my anger. that sometimes people around who do not know anything I scold. I hope this article could help me in controlling anger

  51. 51
    Avalon Cat Cartoons
    March 28th, 2011 at 11:58 am

    I saw a quote today saying that “One minute of anger is 60 seconds of unhappiness”. That’s something we should all keep in mind.

  52. 52
    eas system
    May 13th, 2011 at 2:39 am

    This is very helpful. Besides, anger will just put unwanted wrinkles on my faces. Thank you for sharing!

  53. 53
    June 28th, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Tired and stress can increase my anger. when i get that, i get sleep

  54. 54
    Andy Weiser
    July 26th, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Thanks! I think you have the perfect way of handling those situations.

    Thank you for sharing that!

  55. 55
    August 14th, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    @Avalon – wow! that’s a really good quote. Our anger only hurts ourselves. Thank you for sharing that!

  56. 56
    renaissance group
    August 29th, 2011 at 7:34 am

    thank for a nice post on anger,i love the way your look at the situation. thankns for sharring it !

  57. 57
    renaissance group
    August 29th, 2011 at 7:36 am

    thanks for sharing this, i like the way you see at the situation.
    i like your post !

  58. 58
    Andy King
    September 6th, 2011 at 5:32 am

    Your steps really seem effective.
    I believe meditation is the key. Meditation will help a lot. I would suggest immediate step. When you start getting angry, take few very deep breathe. This will give you more oxygen and time to think and react positively.

    It was very good post.

  59. 59
    jacque smith
    September 19th, 2011 at 3:33 am

    this is very helpful to all of us.i m glad to found this blog.thanks for the nice informative and tips.


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