Everyone seems to be angry these days. Outbursts of anger have become common.
#1. The Pressure Cooker
Some people bottle up things on the inside and keep it boiling under tremendous pressure. At some weak point the whole pressure comes out with a loud blowing whistle. It jolts listeners and makes them wonder what really happened to provoke such an outburst.
The solution is simple. Have an outlet. Find a trusted friend with whom you can share on a regular basis what is irritating you. That is a safety valve.
“Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control ” – Proverbs 25:28.
#2. Accept Others
One of the surest ways to have conflict in marriage is when one tries to change the other. This simply does not work. Therefore the husband gets angry at the wife and vice versa.
The surest way such conflicts can be avoided is to understand and accept your husband/wife as a person with shortcomings. And love him/her anyway in spite of all faults.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails” – St. Paul (1 Corinthians 13:4–8).
Many people get angry because they think that they are right all the time; and whatever others say is wrong. It is ego at its worst. When combined with pride it becomes destructive.
If you honestly admit, you’ll be able to say that a major percentage of outburst of anger from your part happened because you had the “I am right” attitude.
Why not think there are other people who could be right. And be humble enough to admit the fact that you might not know everything under the sun.
“Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.” — (Ecclesiastes 7:9).
#4. Don’t React Quickly
Sometimes there is a genuine reason why you became angry. But it is good to give yourself time to think. Take a walk and get alone for some time. Do not allow your emotions to do the talking. Think through the problem. And speak (or write) to those concerned after you calm down.
Such a time gap would clarify issues and you’ll be able to deal with the core issue rather than lose yourself in lesser and unimportant issues that can take the power out of your communication.
“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” .” — (James 1:19, 20)
Anger without doubt ruptures relationships. It wounds deeply. Words spoken in anger cannot be taken back. They get struck deep in the hearts of those it wounds.
Is there a remedy? Ask God for help. It might sound too simplistic. But it is always wise to seek his help. For anger, even when one is aware of it as a problem, is not easily overcome.
Anger can have deep roots in a sense of failure in life. It can be caused because you carry bitterness in your heart because somebody wronged you or abused you physically or emotionally.
Anger can come when you feel helpless due to physical weakness or financial lack or shortage. Anger can arise in our hearts when people judge you unjustly, raise false accusations against you and say unkind words of criticism.
Anger can also come when people attribute wrong motives to your good intentions and when they fail to respect you. Let me ask again, is there a remedy?
There might be lots of advice you can find. Common sense, practical advice from friends, counselling; all might help. But these might not address the root cause or causes of the problem.
Personally, I would strongly ask you to seek God’s help in prayer. Cry out to him. Ask him for forgiveness. Seek his help to heal all wounds and hurts and pain caused by your outbursts of anger. Yes, my friend, seek God. You will find mercy with him to help you come out of anger healed!
“Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret–it leads only to evil.” — Psalm 37:8
“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. — Ephesians 4:26, 27.
“An angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot-tempered one commits many sins.”– Proverbs 29:22
“Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself snared.” — Proverbs 22:24, 25. [All quotes above from Bible NIV 1984 edition]