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I lose my temper at my family

zenyattazenyatta Florida New

Hey there. I'm wondering if anyone can help me with my ego and temper.

I lose my temper with my family, especially my little brother, pretty often. I've noticed I seem to sometimes have this 'holier than thou' attitude and it leads me to anger. How can I let these mostly little things go?

Thanks :)

Steve_B

Comments

  • TravellerTraveller East Midlands UK Veteran

    The first thing to do is accept your anger @zenyatta its something that has arisen that is there, its a natural condition. The second thing is to try not to indulge it. A former friend who owes me a few hundred pounds that I could really use at the moment and I'm really angry at him but I haven't indulged that anger. I just accept as there and take it as the object of meditation if it arises on the cushion. Anger will pass same as any other conditioned phenomena.

    zenyattaTigger
  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    I found this article quite helpful when I first started looking into anger. It's got the basics about right. The second part for me was being mindful of the causes of anger... there is a sequence of inquiries, why do I feel angry? It is because I feel I have been slighted. Why do I feel I have been slighted? It is because being seen to be good at so-and-so is important to me. And so on, all the way down until you come to an oh-f*ck moment of realisation where you realise it's all unnnecessary.

    zenyatta
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @zenyatta said:
    Hey there. I'm wondering if anyone can help me with my ego and temper.

    I lose my temper with my family, especially my little brother, pretty often. I've noticed I seem to sometimes have this 'holier than thou' attitude and it leads me to anger. How can I let these mostly little things go?

    Thanks :)

    In a nutshell ....Through patience

    Patience is the buffer zone between conflicting emotions...

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    My teacher Venerable Chodron wrote a book a few years ago called Working with Anger.

    I confess I haven't read it but I would suggest you might want to check it out if you think anger may be an issue for you.

    Good luck!

    Tigger
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @zenyatta said:
    Hey there. I'm wondering if anyone can help me with my ego and temper.

    I was hoping you might have the answer, I could certainly do with it. I was angry today.

    What I find useful:

    • body based outlets, usually means physical exercise
    • return to relaxing and deepening the breath
    • lead a less stressful life
    • move away from the anger triggers until calmed
    • make sure you get enough rest and meditation

    I do all that, still get angry. Nice relaxing bath later ...
    Looking forward to more tips ...

    BunkszenyattaTigger
  • wojciechwojciech I yam whatever you say I yam Veteran

    @zenyatta one thing that helps me with strong emotions such as anger is to journal.

    When anger arises, we often justify our anger by explaining it away. "He did this!" She did that!" and the "HOW" and "WHY" did they do that thing is usually, for me, what causes me to dwell and hold on to that anger.

    However, when i write about the situation that has inspired me to be angry, when i look at it a few days later i realize that it isn't a big deal. It only seems like a big deal in the moment.

    With time given to this practice, i've learned to catch my anger in the moment. it becomes a teacher.

    i can't say that i don't get angry, because i do, but it becomes a source of humor now, that i realize sometimes the smallest things can arouse such anger in me.

    lobsterFosdickzenyatta
  • just_sojust_so Explorer

    Crazy, isn't it? The anger wasn't there a second ago. What happened? You were just sitting there minding your own business when suddenly sounds were coming out of your brother's mouth. The sounds went into your ear, your mind converted them into words then passed them on to the "self" department, which determined they were fightin' words and it was on.

    The whole thing started off with sounds coming from someone's mouth. Just sounds. What happens after that is all in your mind.

    zenyattaTigger
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @zenyatta said:

    I lose my temper with my family, especially my little brother, pretty often. I've noticed I seem to sometimes have this 'holier than thou' attitude and it leads me to anger. How can I let these mostly little things go?

    Little Brother? Is he a monk? ;)

    In fact when anger is our master ... guess who the Master/teacher is? Yep you guessed ... The infamous 'little brother' or other family companion ... <3

    @wojciech said:
    @zenyatta one thing that helps me with strong emotions such as anger is to journal.

    Excellent advice.
    As @zenyatta has a 'holier than thou' attitude we can look forward to her training us unholy Buddhists, lapsed zenniths and Theravadin younglings ... I hope she can help. I was very tempted to angrily kick the cat this morning ... and we don't have a cat ... :3

    Ay caramba!

    zenyattadhammachickOmar067
  • Steve_BSteve_B Far southwest corner of Indiana, USA Veteran

    @zenyatta said:
    Hey there. I'm wondering if anyone can help me with my ego and temper.

    Wow.
    I take it that you're a teenager, living at home, and you observe this arrogance in yourself that you wish was not there. This is seriously awesome. I have never met a teenager with this combination of self awareness and wish for maturity. I myself certainly was not so wise. I only see the arrogance looking back. It makes me cringe now, but at the time I didn't recognize it and wouldn't have put any thought or effort into changing it.

    It is quite possible to achieve what you want. You'll find it frustrating but it is doable. You already have both the self awareness and the desire. Most (or all) of the things that spark your arrogance and anger do not actually justify that response, so the problem is not located with your family, the problem is within you. And the solution is too. So don't trouble yourself analyzing the triggering situations and actions. Focus entirely on your response.

    First, and most difficult, create a time delay between the trigger and your response. You can tell yourself that the purpose of the delay is to study the trigger more thoughtfully before saying anything, but it isn't; the purpose is just to observe your own feelings in that fleeting moment between the trigger and response.

    You will find it difficult to implement this time delay. Teenage brains are programmed for instant response. But it is that response, and its immediacy, that constitute the problem. You need to have that delay.

    Second, when you find yourself responding too quickly, spend some time thinking about what your response was. Not the trigger; your response. And tell yourself right then and there that you need to build in that delay. Thinking about the response, not the trigger, is key, because there will always be triggers. You can't change the fact that the world has triggers. You have to change your response.

    Third, when you do succeed in delaying your response, observe how the delay changes the response. THIS is the path you want to continue to follow.

    Pause before responding.
    Observe internal feelings.
    Notice the benefit of observing.
    Take a breath.

    You will find that many situations, if given this millisecond pause, do not actually require a response of any kind at all. Success!

    VastmindTiggerzenyatta
  • Steve_BSteve_B Far southwest corner of Indiana, USA Veteran
    edited January 7

    Oh, wait. Cat = trigger. Never mind. Cat can stay. Wife loves that cat.

    ShoshinVastmindzenyatta
  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    I've read that when you are able to catch yourself getting angry and let it go, you are reconditioning yourself. The more you catch yourself and let it go, the easier it becomes to let the anger go and the earlier it gets caught.

    Mindfulness training at its best and you're at the perfect age (though I would say that if you were 75).

    Personally, I'm doing much better with anger these days but for me it is all tied up with impatience usually.

    lobsterVastmindShoshinzenyatta
  • NMADDPNMADDP SUN Diego, California Explorer

    I use this quote to help with my anger management:
    “Holding on anger is like you are drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”

    Also, in practicing Buddhism, I use the Buddha power :-). I chant Buddha or Bodhisattva name to calm down. As I am practicing Pureland Buddhism, I either chant A Mi To Fo (Amitabha Buddha) or Guan Yin Pu Sa (Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva).

    A Mi To Fo

    zenyatta
  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran

    @NMADDP said:

    “Holding on anger is like you are drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”
    I chant Buddha or Bodhisattva name to calm down.

    I am going to try that next time I feel myself getting angry, thanks @NMADDP

    zenyatta
  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    @NMADDP said:
    I use this quote to help with my anger management:
    “Holding on anger is like you are drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”

    Also, in practicing Buddhism, I use the Buddha power :-). I chant Buddha or Bodhisattva name to calm down. As I am practicing Pureland Buddhism, I either chant A Mi To Fo (Amitabha Buddha) or Guan Yin Pu Sa (Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva).

    A Mi To Fo

    Yum A Mi To Fu :awesome:

    TiggerzenyattaNMADDP
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    Wonderful suggestions here :)
    For me, I find it helps to go deeper than to just say I am "angry." It can mean many things, and further identifying it helps me to realize that the problem is in how I am reacting and 99% of the time, it is way out of line compared to how serious whatever
    "infraction" was against me.
    Most of the time for me it is frustration, and further it is frustration with having had some sort of expectation and it wasn't met. I expect things of my children (they are 8, 14 and 20) and when they don't meet my expectations, I get frustrated and it results in a non-communicative argument. We never get anywhere, it doesn't solve the problem. When I feel myself start to have those emotions, I don't engage. I just tell my son I need some time to decompress and we'll talk about it later in the evening, or whatever. I do often journal about it, or take a walk or practice deep breathing to settle my nervous system so I can think clearly. Then we can approach the problem from a place of identifying and solving issues rather than just dealing with reactions.
    This might be helpful in further identifying the emotions, I enjoy looking at it sometimes.
    http://atlasofemotions.org/

    zenyatta
  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran

    What helps me sometimes is to not look at the action against me but the intentions of the person. I have noticed that sometimes I have done or said something that hurt someone when that was not my intention. I am sure others do the same to me without intending it.

    zenyattakarasti
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Recently, I have been surprised at the hostile, or maybe defensive attitude from a colleague at work. There have been a couple of incidents where she really took umbrage at comments or opinions I voiced, and I really wasn't rude, intrusive, insulting or disdainful of anything. I just stated what I knew to be correct. Factually correct. Not correct, because I believed it to be so.
    I can't get into her head and discern what has 'rattled her cage'. All I know is that the first time it happened, and she retorted in a hostile manner, it really, really bothered me and I found it very hard to let it go... I confess I did dwell on it rather, mulled over it, and let it trouble me.

    But the second time it happened, I found it easier to release the burden of the issue, by realising that the 'problem' was hers, not mine.
    There is a resentment in her, I believe (though I can't be sure, because, as I said, I can't get into her head) that is manifest because it makes her feel ignorant or inadequate. I'm just guessing, but that's the impression I got.

    And over this time, I've better learnt to release any tension I might have developed, and been more understanding and compassionate of her position.

    I know (if I am right) how she feels.... I remember it from my younger days when inadvertently or otherwise, others made ME feel the same way..... Compassion is easier to cultivate, and Anger easier to dissipate, if you put yourself in the other person's shoes.....

    lobsterzenyatta
  • JaySonJaySon Everywhere in the Cosmos Veteran

    Practice mindfulness.

    That way you don't go on autopilot when you're angry. You might still explode on others but at least you'll have made that decision consciously instead of automatically.

    Tiggerzenyatta
  • NMADDPNMADDP SUN Diego, California Explorer

    @Kerome
    Yum A Mi To Fu will work too :-).

    Actually I posted a story related to A Mi To Fu before. I posted it again.
    A Mi To Fu
    Enjoy...

    A story about mother recites "Wax apple, taro, tofu" and her son survived the shipwreck (told by Venerable Hai Tao 海濤法師, he did a lot animation/cartoon stories related to Buddhism/Sutra,etc.)

    A Filipino maid worked in Taiwan. The owner is a Buddhist who is practicing the chanting of Amitabha Buddha. The maid, listening to the sound of chanting, found that there must be some kind of divine because the owner is always so peaceful.

    One day, the maid asked the owner to teach her the chanting verse so that she can pray for her son from afar on the sea. The owner said: "You know how to say "Namo Amitabha" (in Taiwanese dialect). The maid does not know how to speak Taiwanese dialect so it is hard for her to remember. So she says the words as food items, that she often shops for the owner, that have similar sounds.

    "Wax apple, taro, tofu"
    蓮霧 = Wax Apple sounds like (Namo) in Taiwanese.
    芋圓 = Taro Paste (Ami)
    豆腐 = Tofu (Tofo)

    One day, the maid heard the news that her son's ship was wrecked. She went back home and found her son is still alive. The son told her that when the ship crashed in the storm, he was adrift at sea. Only he was saved by the drifting "Wax Apple" branches. He was drifting for two days and one night. He was passed out several times. He later saw a fleet of dolphins swimming along side some floating boxes. He paddled toward them and found "taro paste" and "tofu" in there. He devoured it and that was how he survived. Later he was rescued by other ship.

    No one is willing to believe his story, and everyone laughed at him, because they think he was petrified, hungry and talking crazy.

    TiggerKeromezenyatta
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    Thick Nhat Hanh mentioned in one of his books that anger has a physiological effect on the body for 90 seconds. He goes on to say if we remain angry after 90 seconds it's because we want to hang onto it.

    Blunt, but probably correct. Everytime I feel myself getting really mad, I keep saying to myself 90 seconds. 90 seconds. And it actually helps, a lot.

    JaySonzenyatta
  • Will_BakerWill_Baker Vermont Veteran

    @zenyatta said:
    Hey there. I'm wondering if anyone can help me with my ego and temper.

    I lose my temper with my family, especially my little brother, pretty often. I've noticed I seem to sometimes have this 'holier than thou' attitude and it leads me to anger. How can I let these mostly little things go?

    Thanks :)

    -One shouldn't get angry at a fire for burning...

    Tiggerzenyatta
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @JaySon said:
    Practice mindfulness.

    That way you don't go on autopilot when you're angry. You might still explode on others but at least you'll have made that decision consciously instead of automatically.

    True...But I would go a step further.....I think if one 'is' practising mindfulness then 'no' explosion (or implosion) will occur ...The causes & conditions would have been monitored and dealt with...ie, nipped in the bud and not nurtured by any unwholesome thoughts that have the intention of charming the mind :)

    Mindfulness leads to patience and "patience is a virtue"

    Just my observation :)

    zenyatta
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