The cause of the anger, as previously discussed, is significantly impacted by how you assess or interpret a situation. Anger often results from comparing the actions of others to the expectations of proper behavior. Sometimes it’s reasonable to do that, but more often than not it’s because we have unreasonably high, and sometimes just plain wrong, expectations of ourselves and others.
We can say that anger is created by the difference between what we expect and what we get. We need to figure out exactly what “reasonable” means in terms of expectations of yourself and others. If your expectations are too high, then you probably experience disappointment and anger. Here are five suggestions to adjust your expectations of yourself and others:
Establish what is reasonable
- This may be tricky because different people have different ideas of this. One way to do it is to think about it when you are calm and cool. Many things that seem “reasonable” when you are worked up, later seem ridiculous and petty.
Get rid of the ‘shoulds’
- None of us can control other people, try as we may. People behave the way they do for their own reasons. Use statements like, “I’d prefer if….” instead of “You should….”
Recognize other people’s limits
- Others often behave badly towards us because of their limitations or problems, not because they are purpose tryig to make us miserable. People are imperfect and may not be able to live up to our expectations, or they may have a different goal than to meet your expectations.
Relationships are never perfect
- Studies who that the majority of relationship issues are essentially unsolvable and permanent. Successful couples recognize this and find ways to compromise the issues, rather than enduring continuous conflict.
Tolerance of other worldviews
- Rather than proving that others are “wrong.” Tell yourself they simply see things differently than you do. Anger will not work – they may be as attached to their “truth” as you are to yours.
Explore creative ways to get needs met
- The primary reason we often get angry at others is because we are not getting out needs met. Negotiate for some of your needs.