PART 2: Anger – Finding Strength to Choose Differently

Posted by: Pierre Gallant

When we understand anger is a choice, how do we find the strength to choose differently? When would you want to know that what you thought was weakness is actually the greatest strength.

The Greatest Strength

When I was a young boy and I’d cry, my dad would call me a sissy or worse. Society expects boys to be tough and not to show emotion.

So, when my anger feels justified and my ego is telling me the other person’s wrong in any given situation, the real strength is being open to the possibility that I’m wrong. To open my own heart to the possibility that the story is different.

Be Curious, Not Furious

Strength is then to have a conversation with the other person. Actually listen to them curiously, not just doing it to appease them in any way but to actually say, tell me your side of how you saw things happen. What were you thinking? What are you feeling?

What is it you think I did or said that caused you to be so upset. And then really listen and repeat it back to them to make sure that they feel understood on their terms. It’s hard to do but it’s a technique that’s successful.

Choosing Connection

The most strong, powerful thing a human being can do is say, “I feel sad that we’re apart and I would really like to figure out and make amends” Whether I’m wrong or not doesn’t matter. I’d rather be connected, share experiences and be joyful than to be alone, isolated and angry.

If for no other reason than survival, being angry is harmful to our health. So, if I actually want to survive in a healthy way, I should biologically want to resolve and be at peace.

The Catalyst of Resolution

It’s taking two to dance, but it only takes one person to initiate the catalyst of resolution. Now if the other person doesn’t want to forgive, that’s their choice. But they’ll be ill, because holding onto that anger is very detrimental to health.

Let go of all the acid, acidity in your system and all the negativity. Forgive yourself, forgive the other person and then seek to understand before being understood.

You can only control your own thoughts and your own actions. You are not and can never be responsible to control the words, actions, thoughts of another person.

Control is an illusion, we do not have the capacity to puppet master anyone else. So, if you and I were fighting and I forgive you, I have taken the steps to free myself of my problem. By being vulnerable and authentic, I become liberated, empowered, and very strong.