I get angry often. And I get frustrated just as often. Which means, whether I realise it or not, quite a bit of energy is being spent on getting nowhere. Ever notice that when your mood is down or out, nothing much can happen? Don’t be fooled into thinking the rotating hours mean real work or real stuff is getting done, it only seems like it. The reality is that we need to be balanced and generally in a good place to accomplish something. And anger or frustration gets in the way of that.
So, being in this emotional state often enough, I’ve been forced to confront what I have been putting aside. The reason for this situation. And I’ve come up with a list of possibilities for why this is so. I’ve been thinking – if I can shortlist the reasons why I get angry or frustrated, perhaps I may be able to solve the problem, instead of just facing this situation over and over again.
1. Anger/frustration happens when your expectation is not met.
At the crux of this negative emotion, is a disconnect between what is happening out there and what is happening in your head. The less of an expectation you have about whatever is in front of you, the more likely you are to receive it in the right spirit. It is hard to do so however, if you are not cognisant of this at the time.
For example, being a parent, it can be very frustrating when you know what you know and are trying to teach your children something that is beyond their comprehension. Yet, you have to try anyway. If you relax your standards and expect instead that the road will be long and that you won’t get the results you are after as immediately as you’d expect, the journey is far more pleasant.
2. Anger/frustration happens when you don’t get your way.
Let’s face it – no one likes not getting their own way. But again, this is a tie-in to my first point about expectations. Why should we expect that we do get our way often enough? How are we really to know that our way, as opposed to his way, is that much better?
3. Anger/frustration happens when there is miscommunication – when you don’t feel understood or worse, are misunderstood.
Particularly difficult when it involves relationships that are intense, close, personal or generally difficult anyway, being misunderstood can be the start to many a problem. But misunderstood is also about wanting to be right. Probably you’d be thinking that if they understood me better, really understood me, they would agree. But I don’t think that will necessarily always happen.
4. Anger/frustration happens when you feel overwhelmed/out of sync, burdened, unable to solve your problems.
It is possible that often, our emotions are misplaced. This means that our emotion in relation to one thing is now transferred to something else. You feel burdened by your responsibilities or deadlines and you take it out on someone who cant respond effectively or who won’t respond. Things in one area of our lives have the potential to disrupt other areas of our lives – everything is interconnected in that sense. Greater awareness of this might help prevent you from doing something you might regret later.
5. Anger/frustration happens when you are let down.
Disappointment is only a short turn away from anger and frustration. If you feel that you are being let down, maybe its best you be alone to manage through that process instead of engaging with others unconnected to your situation, who may say or do the ‘wrong’ thing unwittingly.
Knowing this makes me feel better. I am gaining a better understanding of the situation. But knowledge is only the first step for me. I need to put this into practice. Being able to see, feel, manage and live through these thoughts in the experiences I undergo is the true test.