When something provokes your anger, you may struggle not to give in to it. Often what typically makes you mad is feeling powerless in the face of what seems unfair. Your anger is often an attempt at a “quick fix” to right the balance.
Losing your temper when things don't go your way is easy – two-year olds do it all the time. It doesn't require self-control. Allowing people and situations to destroy your self-control through angry acting out has nothing to do with personal power. Rather, it implies emotional weakness and susceptibility.
When you become angry you feel like a victim, it's not giving you back your strength. It may restore your illusion of strength. But true strength is about rising above your situation, not taking it so personally that you react with some adult version of a temper tantrum.
There are many issues related to the immediate reaction of anger. It almost never resolves the issue. Reactive anger is self-defeating. As David Burns, the author of the self-help book Feeling Good, observes: if acting on your anger is to make any sense, it needs to meet two criteria—which, in almost every case, is impossible.
Your anger must: 1. Be directed toward a person who has intentionally(and needlessly) behaved in a hurtful way toward you 2. Be beneficial or advantageous to you (i.e., assist you in achieving a desired goal).
Only rarely can you claim that your anger is both warranted and helpful, whether to yourself or a relationship.
Anger, ironically, is generally a reaction to feeling weak, powerless, and out of control. Personal power has a lot more to do with cultivating the ability to restrain impulses.
What characteristics represent actual strengths versus the artificial strength of anger?
Being able to accept whatever happens to you--without somehow feeling the need to retaliate is crucial. It's essential to learn how to emotionally distance yourself from outward provocations, regardless of whether they were actually intended to rile you.
The qualities that help: patience, tolerance, self-control,acceptance, and forgiveness. These are strengths signifying the kind of self-control needed to discover a sense of well-being.
Happiness is a function of acceptance. Anger is about resisting what is. Habitual anger (or resentment)--isn't simply a weakness. It's a path leading to a lifetime of frustration, dissatisfaction, and misery. With less anger in your life, you’re likely to feel more relaxed and happier too.
Remember that no one other than yourself has the power to make you angry. This emotion is something that’s created in your own mind.
Leon F. Seltzer, Ph.D. in Evolution of the Self
For every minute you are angry you lose 60 seconds of happiness." Ralph Waldo Emerson