Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, an 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992, when he had a year sober. He's in his 28th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he often disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Anger Management

A TLC manager who blew up when he got frustrated explains his behavior.

He tells me how his workers screwed up a construction project he was supervising. He'd put planning and effort into it. But they didn't follow directions. And when things went sideways he got angry.

After listening a while, I stopped him.

I didn't disagree that he might have been right. His crew didn't do what he told them. But none of that mattered. His anger is what mattered.

No matter where we are in life or what we do, someone's not going to meet our expectations. Some things are always outside of our control.

Our children do dumb things. Our boss is a moron. We have financial pressures. It seems like we never have enough time, always hurrying from one thing to the other. And there's much more.

But anger only compounds matters. It's hard on our health. It can harm our relationships. And after we engage in it we have an emotional hangover.

We must teach ourselves how to defuse anger. We can learn to take a few breaths. We can reframe situations that typically set us off by asking ourselves "Is this important enough for me to get upset about?"  We can learn to meditate or perhaps take up yoga.

Living with peace and calmness benefits us - and those we live and work with.

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