Anger, anxiety, depression, and grief are among our most common emotions. My blogs over the next few Tuesdays will deal with each of them separately and include calibrations for these emotions along with what most likely triggers them in you, by the stages. To make the best use of these calibrations, notice how your hooks in the lower stages trigger emotions that can throw you off balance in just about any part of your life. The more you can make a conscious commitment to do a better job in managing your expectations of others and events as well as choosing your battles, the more you become the master of these emotions, rather than the other way around.
So today, let’s look at what typically triggers anger in you at each of the seven stages:
- Stage One―Being abandoned, neglected, or deprived by whomever you depend on as your protector, provider, or caretaker. Anger sometimes triggers feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.
- Stage Two―Being caught, punished (or turned in), confined, or called upon to take responsibility for your behavior. Revenge is often the first response to adversaries. Low frustration tolerance or discomfort anxiety regarding anything that’s not going your way will characteristically trigger in you an angry and often vicious response.
- Stage Three―Others who do not follow the same rules or have the same values and beliefs that you do. At its most extreme, this could include prejudice, hatred, or bigotry. Anger at this stage often takes on or results from an attitude of “self-righteousness.”
- Stage Four―Rejection or disappointment from others whose approval or love is on some level important to you, jealousy in relationships, or a betrayal (real or perceived) by someone you thought was in your camp. Sometimes anger is turned inward to create depression or self-esteem issues.
- Stage Five―Things or people you perceive as overwhelming you or throwing your life out of balance or control. At Stage Five, you still have difficulty forgiving adversaries as long as any remnants of an anger-producing situation remain.
- Stage Six―Anything that you believe needlessly distracts you from pursuing your passion. You see forgiveness as a means to let go of an unpleasant situation in order for you to get back to positive emotions and areas of genuine interest.
- Stage Seven―The Injustice or misfortune of others (could be one person, an entire society or any segment of it) who are unable (as opposed to unwilling) to fend for themselves. You also have no problem letting go of (rather than holding on to) your anger at specific individuals or entities through forgiveness. You will not let your emotions interfere with your larger mission.
Whenever anger is more than simply a passing wake-up call, such as in Stages Six and Seven, it’s very much in your interest to bring it under control.