"Who's To Blame For Your Anger?"

Have you ever noticed how angry people seem to be? They can fly off the handle for the least little thing. Insignificant events become valid excuses to lash out at someone or something. The damage they do can be irreparable. The pain they can cause others is inhumane. Sadly, there are those who have an “oh well” kind of attitude, as though they feel justified in lashing out without consideration for those they target.
Some even try to justify their thoughtless outbursts by blaming others for their anger.
“You really made me mad so this is your own fault!” Others relinquish responsibility by claiming they have no ability (power) to control their behavior. “I can’t help it. I have a really bad temper. It’s just the way I am.”
While I do agree that everyone has a right to get angry and that anger is a necessary and useful emotion, I do not believe that anyone ever has the right to use their anger in a destructive manner. No on has a right to hurt another living creature or to damage personal property when angered.
And what most people don’t realize is that they are 100% responsible for how they feel No one has the power to make you feel anything. Every feeling is generated by a thought. Imagine that: what I think determines how I feel.
Yesterday it rained. This summer has been plagued by drought. As the grey skies opened up to release much needed precipitation, I thought to myself “How wonderful! We really need this rain.” I felt a sense of gratitude and appreciation for the soggy weather conditions. Later on, when I spoke to a friend, she was really bothered by the situation. “This stinks,” she said. “I hate rainy days. They’re so gloomy.” She felt annoyed and depressed and somewhat angered. Funny, we were both having the exact same experience yet we had such opposing emotions. If some occurrence has the ability to determine how we feel, then shouldn’t we both have had the same feelings, since the event was the same? But we didn’t. The only difference was in what we each thought about it. And thought is a choice. I alone get to decide what I think. I can certainly choose to look at things the same way my friend did and in all likelihood would cause me to share those same emotions.
I can also change how I feel if I’m not happy at that moment. I can choose to reevaluate the situation and focus on the benefits and beauty of rain. Making that choice can have a significant impact on my sense of well being and fill me with a peace and ease. It’s as simple as that, really.
Life is not about truth and reality. Life is about perception and perception is how we choose to look at things: people, events, our self, the world. Reality has little if anything to do with our happiness or lack of. Anger, as with all emotions, comes from thought. If I change what I think, I change what I feel.
My husband cannot put a dirty coffee cup in the sink (which happens to be where I think it belongs). As intellectually brilliant as he is, he consistently leaves them where ever he takes his last sip. I find them all over the house. When we were first married, I used to get really angry at him (“he’s just lazy, he doesn’t care about me, who does he think I am, his mother?”) All of these thoughts ran through my head and the more I focused on them the angrier I became. And we act out what we feel. So guess what? I’d get angry with him either directly or indirectly. That didn’t help our marriage. Asking him to remember to put them in the sink didn’t work either. Most often, he’d just forget to do it. So rather than let it bother me, I decided to change my thought. Every time I’d see an empty coffee cup lying around, I’d remind myself of how lucky I am to have a wonderful husband with so many great qualities. Add to that a reminder that in the whole scheme of everything in life that is worth getting upset about that this is on the bottom of the list, way on the bottom. A simple shift in perception changed the whole experience for me. It’s that easy to relinquish anger, really.

Author's Bio: 

Janet Pfeiffer’s Biography
Janet Pfeiffer, internationally known speaker and award winning author, is one of the today’s most highly sought after seminar leaders.
As one of the nation's leading authorities in the field of anger management and conflict resolution, Janet serves as a consultant to such companies as the U.S. Postal Service, AT&T, Hoffmann-La Roche, Rutgers University, Carnival Cruise Lines, United Way and more. She is a registered provider for the New Jersey Education Association and works extensively in schools throughout New Jersey. Additionally, she is also a board member for the World Addiction Foundation and is employed as a trainer and program director at a battered woman's shelter and day care center.
Janet has spoken at the United Nations, Notre Dame University (for the NACSDC National Conference), has served as committee member and keynote speaker for the YWCA National Week Without Violence Campaign, and is a member of the National Police Suicide Foundation. She has co-hosted her own radio talk show and has been a contributing writer to Living Solo Magazine, NJ Family, Prime Woman Magazine. She is also a member of NJAWBO, Powerful You, and Visions in Motion Speaker’s Bureau.
As an inspirational speaker and private consultant, Janet is a frequent guest on radio and TV and has been highlighted by NBC News, recently apperared on Steve Adubato's One-on-One and Fox TV. She has been nominated for many prestigious awards including the Russ Berrie "Make a Difference Award", and has been presented with SOS "Positive Life Force" and "AOH" awards. She has achieved recognition as an award winning author, photographer, and race walker. (1994/1995 NJ Gold Medalist; 1994/1995 National Gold, Silver and Bronze Medalist in marathon competition), and is also listed in the "Who's Who in Authors". Janet's books include: The Seedling's Journey, The Angel and The Gift, The Orchids of Gateway Lane, Jordan's Promise, Dying To Be Safe: Ultimate Solutions to Violence, 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life and a soon to be released book on anger management.

In 2001, Janet founded "Reunion of Hearts"; Reconciling and Reconnecting Estranged Families", the nation's first non-profit support group of its kind, dedicated to the emotional healing and reuniting of estranged family members.