Beating Anger

Expanding the Envelope: A Method for Beating Anger : zenhabits: " . . . let’s look at why anger is so selfish. Here’s what happens:

We want something a certain way.
Other people (or occasionally, the Universe!) don’t give us that something in that certain way.
We get mad.

This is like a little kid who doesn’t get his way. Exactly like that little kid, except we’re grown-ups and are supposed to know better. I’m no different — I get angry just like everyone else. We act like little kids because the part of our brain that’s getting mad is really no different than a scared, selfish child . . . . If you use a phrase like, “Seriously?!” or “WTF?!” or “Really?!” then that’s a sign you need to change your outlook. It’s a sign that you think people should behave the way you want them to behave, and when they don’t, you’re frustrated/irritated/angry. Instead of acting on that impulse, just watch it. Become the observer. When you do that, you put some space between yourself and your angry impulses, and in that little space, you have room to decide. How will you respond? What’s going on here? Why are you so angry about something so unimportant? What fantasy/ideal are you holding onto that you didn’t get, and that’s making you angry? And as you consider your response, you can then Expand the Envelope. Take some deep breaths, calm down, consider your actions. Consider the other person’s point of view, why they might be behaving this way. Don’t think, “They shouldn’t act that way” but instead think “Why would someone act that way?” Now, Expanding the Envelope a hard thing to do on a regular basis. As you widen your envelope of awareness, do it like reducing the sugar in your coffee. Gradually."

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