How do I learn my anger triggers so I can have more control over them?
Old Anger Examples:
Let me give you a few examples of “Old Anger” that has been held in an anger ball so you can better understand this concept.
Example #1 of an Old Anger trigger:
Many years ago, I had a neighbor by the name of “Ruby”. One day, Ruby confided that she and her husband were getting a divorce. When I asked what caused the breakup, Ruby mentioned several things, but one issue is a good example of an Anger Button. Ruby had red hair. While she was growing up, the neighbor kids liked to call her “Red.” Ruby hated this nickname and would tell them, “don’t call me Red call me Ruby.” But most of the time, kids would ignore her and continue to call her Red. This irritated Ruby to no end and she grew up hating to be called by any nickname. When she got married, her husband liked to call her, “Darling.” The nickname would make Ruby very angry, and she would tell him, “Please don’t call me Darling, call me Ruby.” But her husband thought this was a silly request, and he continued to call her Darling. Now most of us may not mind being called an endearing name from our partner. But due to Ruby’s past, this was a sign of disrespect.
It made Ruby very angry to be called Darling because it stimulated an old anger issue. Every time her husband called her Darling, he was pushing her Anger button and releasing the ticking time bomb of the Anger Ball.
Example #2 of an Anger Button:
Let me take you back in time. To understand this story, you have to remember a time before cell phones. When I was a mother of teenagers, we would get a lot of phone calls. 90% of the time it was teens calling teens. If I answered the phone, my teenagers would act irritated that I even picked up. Therefore, I came up with my personal four ring rule. I would wait for four telephone rings before I answered the phone. Time to give my teens the chance to pick up the phone since it was normally for one of them.
One day, the phone rang four times, and it was not answered, so I tried to catch the call. But whoever called had hung up. Within minutes, my teen came running down to see who called because she was expecting an “important” phone call. I explained what happened. She became very upset that I didn’t know who called. I was about to explain to her about my four ring rule when she said “You were close to the phone. Why didn’t you pick it up faster…were you just too LAZY to pick up the phone?” Now, before she used the word “lazy”, I was not angry at all. I was just going to explain about my four ring rule. But when she called me “lazy,” my anger exploded. You see…my Dad was an alcoholic. As his condition got worse, he worked less and less. He was often called lazy. When my mother was upset with me, she would often say, “You are lazy like your father.” So the word lazy had a lot of pain and anger attached to it for me. Therefore, when I was accused of being lazy, my present day anger was increased by ten fold by the power of my old anger.
Continue learning about your anger and how to take back Control from it by reading the rest of this series at www.supportivetalk.com