Anger Management

I had a disturbing realization the other day while playing Mario on the Wii with a certain J. Leon Bell.

When playing Mario, if things go south (because of a Bullet Bill or Bramball or Chain Chomp), I react one of two ways: if playing with my wife, I get upset, then frustrated, then mad. If playing with someone else, I laugh it off, or at the very least, don't get upset, then frustrated, then mad.

What is the deal? I don't think I'm unique in that it is easier for me to get angry at/with family than it is at friends. There was a reason why we had to institute the "One Dollar Rule" in the Lambson household- because some of us (foremost me) get really competitive (read: angry) during games. But I venture to say that in the same situation, only with family members replaced with friends, the angry words are much slower to fly.

I don't think of myself as an angry person; on the contrary, I love to laugh, joke and smile. So why do I get angry so easily?

Why do I get mad when I can't seem to get technology that isn't working to work?

Why do I get so mad when my coworkers don't do their jobs and I have to play clean-up?

Why do I get so mad when the Cardinals lose?

Why do I get so mad at other drivers when they do things that to me are stupid and ignorant?

And why is Tamara the easiest person for me to get angry at? She should be the one with whom I am slowest to get mad. Yet I find it easy to express my anger at her, whereas with others, friends and colleagues and such, I hold my tongue. Am I the only one who sees the wrongness of that?


Julina said…
we talked about Pres Monson's "School Thy Feelings" talk in our ward last Sun for the TfoT lesson - I think he makes it clear that it *is* wrong...

But one of the things I felt like I needed to add at the end of the class (even though the teacher had wrapped it up and given her testimony - though the closing prayer had not yet been said) was that sometimes faith and prayer are *not* enough to overcome an issue - especially an emotional issue like anger... or depression... or anxiety...

Sometimes we need professional help. That's why it's there. That's why LDS family services includes a counseling component. And to seek professional help is not wrong. It's not denying the power of the Atonement, or of faith, or of prayer. It's using the resources available to us, just as we do when we seek further education to improve our job prospects, or turn part of a yard into a garden, or whatever.

Not that I am trying to tell you what to do - I just think sometimes we in the church try to "do it ourselves" maybe a little too much and also let the stigma of mental health needs seep in to our own views more than we should. I'm working on some of these issues myself and trying to work out a counseling situation to meet my needs and I think most of this argument in favor is for my own benefit. But if it helps someone else... that's good too.
Hans K. Meyer said…
NIce post Steve! I do the same thing, and it eats me up inside. I actually had to give a talk on the Pres. Monson talk Julina mentioned and it was a wake up call.
We started a yelling jar at our house. I'm curious, what's the "one-dollar rule"?
Leon said…
I hear once that it's easier to get mad at, or take frustration out on, those who we love the most. Using this logic, you must really dislike this Leon character. I'm sure he's a jerk anyway. He'll probably leave before man week, just to spite your...spite, as it were.
Steven said…
The rule, Hans, is that if one wanted to quit a game before its end, one had to pay a dollar to each other player. The idea was to keep people from quitting in anger or a tantrum. The rule worked- I don't remember anyone quitting out of anger.
Kirsti said…
Actually, Steven, I recollect me leaving many times mid-game out of anger. But I guess I was just so poor and pathetic-looking at the time that no one made me cough up a dollar. Or I got really mad about paying EVERYONE one dollar instead of splitting it up evenly amongst you all. Needless to say, I never paid the money, even though I was fully aware of the rule.
One more reason why I'm the most spoiled and loved in the family.
You might be dealing a bit with genetics because your grandfather L. was a bit of an anger-guy and your father is too but he has learned to recognize triggers and avoids situations where he knows he will get angry. And, goodness knows I was the picture of anger management while you kids were growing up - HAH! Sigh. Sorry.

Popular Posts