Anger is a fiery and complicated emotion we all experience. What we do with our anger or how we respond to it varies. A question that comes up for many around anger is, “Why am I so angry?” and “What can I do about it?” I brought on my good friend, best-selling author and relationship expert Aaron Steinberg to talk about it on the WTF am I Doing With My Life? Podcast.
Here’s what he said:
“It’s hard to answer the biggest reason people get angry, but I’d say, fundamentally, it’s when something happens that doesn’t match our expectations for ourselves or for life. We get insecure and that fear of not measuring up can be masked by being angry at something outside of ourselves. Being angry allows us to direct attention away from us. For example, if we don’t get a job or get cheated on by a partner, we feel betrayed and get angry about that. But in almost all cases, anger is tied to an assumption about that way things should be or the way we should be.”
According to Aaron, understanding our own insecurities can give us power over our anger. I asked him about steps we can take to build our awareness. He shared 4 important introspective inquiries we can make:
- What do the voices in your head say over and over again?
Not being perfect
Not doing enough
I’m an outsider
2. What are the qualities that you find virtuous in yourself or other people? Our insecurity is usually in opposition to what we find as desirable quality in others.
Example: “I should work hard and I admire others when they are hardworking. I get angry when I perceive someone as lazy or when someone says I’m lazy.”
3. Look at your behavior and ask, “How would a person want to be seen that talks and acts like that?”
Example: “I work 10 hours a day and on weekends. Someone who acts like that would want to be seen as hard working.”
4. What’s the complaint that you have about the way people treat you? And what does that represent?
Example: “No one ever helps me with anything.” This could signal a belief that you’re not lovable or worth people’s time.
To hear more, listen to the full episode below:
Links from the podcast:
And P.S. I wanted to give a shoutout to a podcast listener who suggested this topic. I’m listening <3 Keep sharing. And remember, you can email me Kristy@kristyarnett.com
To hear more from Aaron, you can check out his other two appearances on the WTF Am I Doing With My Life? Podcast:
The song featured on the podcast is “Slow Burn” by Autograf.