In Part One we began our look into the character trait of anger with an eye toward overcoming it. In Part Two, we looked at three steps, finishing by imagining a scenario that could help us to very quickly end an anger episode just before it begins.
So, how might you utilize Step #3? If you find yourself in a situation we’re anger is welling up and you feel as though you’re going to explode, first become conscious of the situation based on Step #2. Remember, you’ve already visualized it. Now, don’t rationalize (“rational lies”) to yourself that there’s nothing you can do to stop it. Instead, just recall the scene of the very large, ferocious-looking man with a machine gun threatening you that if you don’t “adjust” right now you’re in trouble.
Now, instead of losing control of yourself and becoming angry, just remember that you could (and would!) calm yourself if the circumstances were the above. And, if you could do it then, you can do it now.
Again, your desire (Step #1) to lose this trait of anger will have to be stronger than the immediate comfort or status quo (actually, the correct term might even be “emotional laziness”) of letting yourself explode into the familiar angry rage.
#4 Build on your small successes. You don’t have to be 100 percent successful in order to take pleasure in your progress. Maybe the first few times you simply don’t get *as* angry. Or, you handle it well a couple of times and then slip up. Then you do it well again. Don’t put pressure on yourself to be perfect. Just do your best. You’re well on your way. Remember, I was there. I’m just suggesting you to do exactly what I did, which I learned from someone else.
On the other hand, while we’ve looked at some ways to keep ourselves from acting out in anger, is that enough to settle the issue, or do we also need to feel less angry about…things? What do you think and what would you recommend?