The irony of anger is the difference between what we are feeling and how we are acting. Often we feel like a victim inside but we act like an abuser outside. For example if your spouse arrives late to pick up the children which means you will now be late to a meeting, how do you act? Perhaps with a loud voice you might say, “What is your problem? I told you I had to be at the meeting at 6:00 tonight! Are you that inconsiderate or do you just want me to lose my job”? And what is your spouse’s reaction? Perhaps another rather loud and irritated voice replies, “I couldn’t help the traffic being backed up. Besides where do you get off yelling at me, I’ve got things to do too”! And you can hear it escalate from there. You can also hear both sides feeling like victims thinking they have been disrespected, devalued, or at least unappreciated. The problem with anger is that it is usually action-reaction, rather than action-pause-respond. Remember this card, take a deep breath, and try to empathize (put yourself in the other person’s place) before you respond. After all, it is your choice how you want to respond. Someone else may irritate you or make you angry but they don’t make you respond a certain way. God has given you that choice. The Bible says “be angry and sin not”. Often our anger is not the problem, but how we express it is.
Use this card to…
- To help you prioritize what is really important when you are angry
- Help you become more conscious of the sensations your body is giving you to let you know your anger is rising,
- To become more aware of the tools you have to not lose control such as taking three slow deep breaths before you respond or counting back slowly from 10 to 1 and breathing deeply before you respond