13 Things I Learned From Being Angry


1. Anger management is bullshit.

Things such as meditation, screaming into your pillow or counting to ten are nothing but distraction tactics. They only serve to sweep the anger under the rug, which will emerge later. Anger management doesn’t work. Google it and you’ll know. Instead, it’s important to find out the root cause of your anger.

2. Anger is a secondary emotion, not primary.

So what’s the root cause? Fear? Sadness? A lack of love? It is when we don’t understand where the anger is coming from that we react in anger and start justifying it with all kinds of reasons.

3. If you don’t have the courage to cross the line, you won’t have the courage to come back.

I once started a fight at a bar with this guy I had beef with. It was stupid. I was drunk and seeing him there filled me with rage. But nothing happened. I just shouted at him. I left when the bouncers came running in. It was a bizarre event considering that I always had it in my head that I’d beat the crap out of that guy and win. I consider myself a good person and if you’re like me—good yet angry—then it’s important to check yourself and not cross the line. Becoming the angry person you are in your head isn’t worth it.

4. Violence is for losers.

Nobody ever really wins in a fight. I asked my friends who’ve crossed the line and they all told me it’s never worth it. The reality of violence is a combination of regret, guilt, more anger, lawsuits and going to court.

5. Your thoughts are pretty much your emotions.

If you’re thinking of angry things or plotting ways to exact revenge all the time, then you’re going to be angry a lot. If you want to calm yourself down, then start trying to think of other things.

6. Anger can be an addiction.

That is why you get into the habit of always being angry. Anger is like a drug. If you think that’s your only option, then you can’t blame anyone but yourself for being so angry all the time.

7. Everybody is doing the best they can with what they have.

This to me is the best answer when it comes to thinking about your wrongdoers or bullies. It’s easy to think that they “won” and managed to walk all over you. It’s also easy to think that they’re a bunch of insecure losers who need to take it out on the world to appease themselves. But these only serve to make you angrier since you’re effectively thinking about it. So let it go. Let them be. They’re just doing the best they can, like you. Focus on your own problems.

8. Reality will never follow how you think things “should” be.

I was always angry because I believed people should act a certain way or that I, as an adult, should have let it go by now. But that’s not how it works. There are no SHOULDs in life. You gotta accept that reality functions this way. Loosen the grip on life and you wouldn’t be so angry.

9. Stop hanging out with angry people at angry places.

If you’re constantly going to clubs and hanging out with drunk people who seek trouble, it’s kind of a no-brainer that you’re angry yourself. Things like that rub off on you. Find better friends and change your environment!

10. Therapy is not a cure-all solution.

I’ve come to learn that dealing with anger comes in two packages. You have to find the root cause, but you also need to be consistent in managing your thoughts and emotions. Even if a therapist can help you go deeper within yourself, it’s not going to help if you don’t manage your emotions daily. You need to break out of the habit of anger.

11. Reacting angrily is way too easy.

Breaking things around the house, shouting at somebody, or starting a fight is too easy. Walking away from a fight, staying calm, and being the master of your own emotions isn’t easy. It may be hard. It doesn’t feel great, either, but that’s the entire point. You have to take on the challenge and not cower from the undesirable feelings. That’s how you learn best and grow the most.

12. Anger is good.

Anger can be a force for positive change. Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Rosa Parks harnessed it. Ultimately, it’s good to realize that anger can be positive. You don’t have a disease. Anger is not a parasite. You’re not harboring a monster or demon within. It’s all about how you use it.

13. Anger is not the problem.

Aggression is the problem. Using anger as an excuse to act like a hypocrite is the problem. Becoming violent is the problem. So again, there’s nothing wrong with you if you’re feeling angry a lot. It’s how you see it and how you can change that energy into something good for yourself and the people around you.

Oh, and I just made a new program for angry people all around: Eliminate World Anger.