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Understanding Anger

December 25, 2015

I was talking to a client, who asked me how to handle their anger. I spoke with this client, and instinctively went up to the whiteboard and drew a diagram in the form of a “flow chart that would help them understand the causes of their anger, and hopefully, help them handle this better. This client then asked me if I could actually create a diagram for them and give it to them. I did – and this article is a result. The diagram has been made a little better, and with a few things being added, after having fine tuned it.


Anger – this is an emotion that almost all of us have had, are having, and will continue to have, as long as one is alive. The disclaimer here being that only the most “enlightened” souls might be able to truly say that they do not get angry at all. For everyone else, it is a question of how well they are able to mask the anger, and more importantly, to recover from the anger.


When one analyses anger, one will realize that it is always about the “past;” Unless of course, one is planning to making an “advance booking” of anger for an event that MIGHT or MIGHT NOT happen in the future. The underlying cause for anger is disappointment. And the cause of disappointment is “expectation.”


Cryptically the diagram can be expressed as:

  • Expectation – if met, Happy; If not met, Unhappy, Angry, Frustrated etc.

  • If not met, evaluate if expectation justified

    • If Expectation Justified – check ability of the person, and then intention / inspiration to give what one wants.

    • If Expectation not justified, alter expectation go to to 1 above, and be happy!

  • If justified, evaluate ability of the person to give what one wants;

    • If ability exists, Check inspiration and intention of the person (4 below)

    • If ability does not exist, take responsibility to ensure that the person has the ability (and then move to 4 below)

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