None of us are immune to anger, although some of us are better at dealing with it than others. Luckily, each of us can learn how deal with anger.
All it takes is understanding the 5 facets of anger, that is, the components that make up and create anger for most of us in our daily lives.
A - ASSUMPTIONS
Perhaps the most frequent component of anger, ASSUMING causes us all sorts of grief. We get angry because we assume one thing about a person or situation, and then are presented with facts that differ from that assumption. We buy a new printer, for example, and we assume that everything we need to use the printer, once we get it home, is in the box. We get angry when we open the box and discover that we also need a printer cable that is NOT included in the box. Or we assume that our partner is going to cook dinner, fix the car, pick up the kids, or some other chore, only to get angry when our partner doesn't do that.
N - NEGATIVITY
Facet two, NEGATIVITY, is most often an extension of the assumptions we make.
Think about it: Do you know anyone who gets angry because they assumed something POSITIVE about a situation/person? I don't.
A large portion of our anger comes from us looking at someone from a negative perspective and assuming negative intentions. --Curse that guy who pulled out in front of me on the freeway without using his turn signal! He must not care about anybody but himself.... Darn that kid of mine, once again he didn't take out the trash; he's just lazy and unmotivated...
G - GREED
This third facet, GREED, is a tough one. Tough to face and tougher to accept, that is.
I tried hard to find another word to summarize this aspect, but hey, greed fits (and it starts with a "G" giving me the nice "A.N.G.E.R." acronym)!
Ultimately, we get angry when we don't get what we want. And most of us want a lot. Without question. Often without good reason. If we don't get it, look out, Anger, here we come!
Now, we don't always react with anger when we don't get what we want, but when we are angry, if we look closely, we'll usually see that there is some element of us wanting something different than what we have.
E - EMOTION
This facet, EMOTION, may seem redundant. Anger, after all, is an emotion, right? Well, yeah...
But emotion makes emotion. That is: as we express our anger, we tend to create anger in others. Then we get angrier, which makes them angrier in turn. And so on.
It's also important to think of this facet of anger in comparison to INTELLECT, which we can use to balance our emotional response to anger.
R - REACTION
Finally, the fifth facet is REACTION.
Anger is always a product of our reaction to a real, or imagined (see numbers 1-3), event. The best way to minimize our anger is to get out of the habit of reacting to situations. Yeah, I know: "easier said than done."
Really, though, if we look at the other four facets and how they play out when we get angry, coping with anger gets to be much easier....
Rather than REACTING to events on instinct, we can take a few extra moments to think about what's going on and choose how we wish to RESPOND;
We can take the EMOTION we feel in a moment and put it side-by-side with our INTELLECT to better evaluate the facts and our feelings;
Instead of being guided by GREED, thinking only of what we want, we can be guided by GENEROSITY and think about the other players in a situation;
When we do so, rather than viewing things with NEGATIVITY, we can perceive them with POSITIVITY; and
We can put our ASSUMPTIONS aside and recognize that we may be the ones who are in the wrong.
Of course, this is an over-simplified look at anger, and it doesn't take into account a lot of things (such as "righteous" anger that leads people like Gandhi or Marting Luther King, Jr. to begin world-changing civil and social movements), but it is, I think, a start.