Anger, Control, and Fear: Untangle the Knots to Find More Time!

Anger KnotsEarlier this week I wrote about enlisting the power of gratitude to transform your anger into something manageable, creative and positive in your life.

Today I’d like to dig a little deeper and explore the roots of anger. I find that they are similar, for many of us; and when you learn how to untangle those roots you give yourself access to time and energy that is otherwise lost to you. (That’s a big win!)

On some level, anger is nearly always about things we can’t control … but think we should be able to.  The choices and/or behavior of other people is one great example. Even everyday things like the weather, traffic jams, and technological glitches can spark flashes of anger.

And quite often, when you boil it down, you’ll find pockets of fear right underneath your anger. Feeling out-of-control is scary for most of us.  And yet, the reality is that the only thing we absolutely CAN control is our response to what life presents us with.  That’s really it.

Given that reality, you can see how letting go – seeing what we do control and what we don’t – becomes a really fundamental and vital skill. When we are unable (read that as unwilling) to let go, we are, in most cases, engaging in a power struggle that is impossible to win.

That’s because, try as you might, you cannot change another person.  Period.

So rather than attempt to control him or her, try untangling your anger, letting go of the impulse to look outward, and look inside instead.  What can you do in this situation?

Maybe you can express your feelings (using “I messages”).  Maybe you can set some boundaries so that you are less impacted by the choice or behavior that is troublesome for you.  Maybe you can let go.

Whatever you choose to do, being self-referenced in responding to your angry feelings is a form of self care. Turning away from control and toward yourself is a big step toward untangling the knots and is a kind of letting go.

You may, as you loosen your grip on control, discover what’s underneath your anger. And again, this courageous step of letting go (as with gratitude) frees you to access your creativity and be more productive.

Putting down your end of an impossible power struggle works … it truly does find you more time!

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  1. I find anger such a fascinating topic. Anger is not an emotion I feel very often so in the past I could never quite grasp the anger from others. Therefore I have been one of the lucky ones who did not get attached to the anger thereby enhancing it. Great post about handling those moments when anger does arise in us.

  2. beautifully worded and put in this post.untangling the knots of angers is needed to live peacefully and happily.

  3. Lisa Mallis says

    Great post! Here’s my nugget for today, “being self-referenced in responding to your angry feelings is a form of self care”. This month I’m focusing on self-care . . . so your post couldn’t come at a better time. New perspective for me – one I’m going to consider throughout the day.


    • Hi Lisa – I love hearing about your focus for the month, and am so pleased that this post was helpful. I’d love to hear what you’re learning – and so appreciate/admire your openness to new perspectives. Good to hear from you!

  4. I love the title, Time Finder, wish I’d thought of it. We both talked about time from different directions. Yet, our subjects aren’t that far apart, anger and pain. I’ll be coming back to read more. Thanks.

  5. Catherine James says

    Very well put, need to share this post with a few people who need to “untangle”

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