Anger is a common emotion; we all have been angry at one point or another in our lives. Mostly it is a negative behavior, there obviously is a positive use of such emotion but this is not the subject of this blog today. In this blog I will discuss that when many people are always angry, they just give excuse of their wrong behavior by either saying that this is how I am, or they blame the other person for their behavior and mood.
Anger is described by the experts as the part of the triangle of self-obsession, and I will discuss that with you today. I learned this during the counseling sessions of Alcohol Anonymous (AA), it not just helped me change the substance abuse patients’ thinking but it helped me changed my life as well.
WHAT IS THE TRIANGLE OF SELF-OBSESSION?
The triangle of obsession suggests that there are three emotions that we all carry, and we think that they are normal. However, they are not normal at all. They hold you back and make you their prisoner. We think we are free, but we are not because we are trapped in these emotions. These three emotions are anger, resentment, and fear. Now let’s discuss these three emotions.
The emotion of anger is a feeling we have about the present. When we deny the reality in the present or things are not going according to our wants and needs then the feeling, we develop is called anger. When we are continuously angry, we are self-centered or self-obsessed. That means we are just thinking about ourselves and thinking that we are the most important person and my needs and wants should be met as I want. We tend to forget that there are other people in our lives too and they too have their needs and wants. If we just take time to reflect on this situation, we will realize that we are angry because we are just thinking about ourselves. Anger is not the thing you can get rid of, but you can replace it with love. So, practice replacing anger with love and you will notice your self-centeredness is gone.
Each one of us is important, when we show anger to others all the time, we damage them without even realizing that we damaged other people. If someone is not listening to you, instead of getting angry, try to convey your message with love. You will agree with me later.
The same emotion of anger if it is about the past then we call it as resentment. I once mentioned that in a group counseling session with addiction patients, and one patient disagreed with me and got upset and angry. I told him to calm down and reflect upon what I said, he got back to me in a few days and said, “I thought about it, you were absolutely right, I was living in resentment against my family.” He later thanked me for this suggestion.
Anger and resentment are not different feelings, they just differ in timeline. Remember the same feeling in the past is called resentment. Now, the question is how do we get rid of that feeling? The answer is, by acceptance. There are certain things we cannot change. If someone did something wrong to us, we cannot change the past, but we can accept this reality and forgive the person and change the future. Because by forgiveness we don’t change the past, we change the future. Maybe you are holding resentments, but you forgot that you also hurt others? It’s not always about you, there are other people in this world besides you. We all share this world, and we all make mistakes. Holding resentment shows that you feel you are the most important person and you never hurt others.
The same feeling if about the future is called fear. We are anxious and fearful about what if this happens, what if that happens, what if this doesn’t happen, what will happen to me. It always about ourselves, it’s always about us. If we are engrossed in fear, we are again just being self-obsessed. Finish the fear…. how can we finish the fear? By faith…. if we just have faith in God or Nature, that whatever will happen will be from my God or nature, if bad thing happens that will teach me something, and I will learn. If good thing happens that will be a blessing. If you just keep faith, you will notice the fear will disappear.
Anger, resentment, and fear are the same negative feelings, divided by the timeline. Replace anger with love, resentment with acceptance, and fear with faith.
Dr. Hassaan Tohid