The Zen of Anger: 5 Tips to Overcome Negative Reactions

“When you blame others, you give up your power to change.” ~Anthony Robins

I used to be an angry person. And I was happy about that. In fact, I prided myself on that identity during high school.

So devoted to the young and vapid demographic, I would stand in front of the bathroom mirror and practice the eighties version of the mad dog stare. In the eleventh grade, I decided smiling was not hip, so I stopped.

I wore surly like the Goth kids take to all-black attire. My friends thought I was cool because I said what I felt and did what I wanted. “You’re so awesome, Linda—it’s like you don’t care what other people thinkof you.”

Except that I did. I cared so much, in fact, that I buried the vulnerability and the emotional pain from feeling that I wasn’t in control of my life.

The truth is that many teens don’t feel like they fit in during the tumultuous high school years.

Most people mature and evolve as they get older. Except those who don’t. Those of us who carry the smirk and the swagger past the twelfth grade are in for an adulthood of pain and emotional suffering.

True rebels without a cause.

Luckily, in my twenties I had an epiphany, which led me to change my negative, brooding, fly-off-the-handle ways.

One day during a phone conversation, my friend Rachel made a comment that has stuck with me to this day. I was blabbing on about how the car mechanic was overcharging me for a transmission repair.

All of a sudden Rachel interrupted me and said, “Did you ever notice that you get into a lot of fights with people?”

My stomach dropped and my cheeks were hot as I fought back tears.

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