How To Control Your Anger: Let Go Of The Need To Control Everything

Ever get angry about stupid things? Say yes. We all do. It’s okay to feel angry sometimes, but we must learn to manage our anger to prevent digging dark, lonely holes for ourselves.

Anger is rooted in our need for control

Anger is the result of life not happening the way we want it to.

We have such a strong need to control everything and everyone around us. Being able to control things makes us feel important. Not being able to control things makes us feel insignificant; and insignificance is one of our worst fears.

We stave off our fear of insignificance by controlling as much as we can. But when things happen outside of our control, we become angry.

Not only are we angry at the thing or person we could not control, we are also angry at ourselves for our inability to execute control. We perpetuate our self-directed anger when we act upon our disgruntled feelings and embarrass ourselves in front of other people.

Anger is rooted in fear and insecurity

We naturally fear the unknown. When we cannot control something, we often cannot predict the outcome. Not being able to predict the outcome means that the outcome is unknown. This instigates fear.

We are fearful of uncertainty when we do not believe that we have the capability to manage whatever comes our way.

The solution is not so much about developing the confidence to face uncertainty, but more about emotionally detaching from the unknown. When we do not place so much value in the unknown, we relax in the face of uncertainty.

We must emotionally detach ourselves from the outcome

We cannot control uncertainty, therefore it is wasteful to invest energy worrying about the outcome. The only thing that is certain is that there will be an outcome; and we must emotionally detach ourselves from the outcome in order to relieve our fear of insignificance.

We can manage our environment as much as possible to make the outcome more pleasant, of course, but the real task is to manage our minds during such times. Managing our minds is the hardest part, and it is the most important part.

It’s not about winning or losing

When we “let something get the best of us,” we don’t just accept that we cannot control something, but we go to the far extreme of accepting defeat.

This isn’t a win-lose situation. There is no defeat.

Therefore, accepting defeat is pointless and wasteful.

It’s about continuous motion

Just like all things in life, motion is the key to balance and survival.

Staying active in the face of uncertainty is the best method of managing your personal environment.

Don’t just lie down and let life run over you – because it will. And then you’ll be lying there crying, “Why me? How did this happen? Somebody help me, please!” And you’ll get mad if no one helps you.

Then you’ll just be in a big, dark, lonely hole of anger that you self-directed because you focused way too much on fearing insignificance that you made yourself insignificant to people you think should help.

It’s not worth being angry at yourself

At that point, our natural inclination may be to point the finger at ourselves. We might realize that we are the only viable persons to be angry at; however, being angry at ourselves is still wasteful.

Instead of moping and contemplating how much better our lives should be – how much better we should be – the best method for managing our fears and our anger is this:

Practice letting go of the need to control everything

The key word there is “practice.”

Letting go is a skill that can take a lifetime to learn.

In another article, Letting Go Of The Past: A Logical Method, we discuss a method for emotionally detaching ourselves from the past. This method can also be applied when we face uncertainty in our day-to-day lives.

We discuss the method for letting go frequently at The Be Well Place, as it is vital for our health and happiness. For now, let us reflect on what makes us angry and begin tracing our anger back to our fears and inherent need to control.

REFLECT

What are some stupid things that make you angry? How about someone not replacing the toilet paper roll? (See image above…) Maybe it’s traffic or someone cutting you off on the highway. Perhaps long lines at the grocery store really fire you up.

Really take some time to recognize the triggers that cause you to feel anger. Actively observe the situation surrounding such triggers and how you feel and react.

In order to be better at managing our anger, we must first fully understand what causes anger and trace our anger back to the deep, underlying emotions that bed it down.

2 comments

  1. Chris Mom says:

    If I peel the anger, I find it’s usually fear — that I am not going to get something I want or fear of losing something I have. Great writing and great topic, Rachael!

    • Rachael says:

      Same here! Great observation regarding our fear of losing something we have. Anger, fear, and loss are all very interconnected. Perhaps the more we learn to let go of control, the less loss we will feel as well. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

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