As I mentioned yesterday, I’m going to see what I can do to fix these anger management issues that I seem to have. I do my best to remain in a positive head space, but I still end up grumpy and then angry at little things that end up escalating until I blow.
Ain’t nobody got time for that nonsense.
So I’m going to make a pact right now to follow this action plan and try to become that person I want to become; the person that I thought I was already becoming but am apparently not quite there yet.
- I need to be aware that I’m not perfect. It’s one of those things that I know that I’m not perfect, yet I’m always striving for perfection…thus I’m upset when I don’t fulfill my self-appointed goals. I’ve got such an innate desire to impress people that I end up making mistakes or not doing what I thought I was going to do, thus not impressing people the way I thought and subsequently getting upset at myself for not doing what I thought I could do. I know where this comes from…it’s a problem I’ve had since I was a kid. I’ve never been able to impress my father so I try to impress everybody else in my life as a way to increase my self-esteem. The problem is that when I don’t achieve perfection, it makes things even worse.
- I need to stop being overly defensive. This is my biggest problem. I totally recognize this issue hurts me more at home than it does at work…but it affects everyone I know. I’m constantly thinking that someone is trying to put me down or make me feel stupid, another childhood problem that I’ve brought forth to adulthood. It’s not just my wife, either…I’ve actually thought that my stepdaughters, at different times, were trying to make me feel stupid or tell me how I was supposed to think. How ridiculous is that? They’re 9 and 11. Yet I’ve had times when I was a little less-than-pleasant with them because I felt defensive about something. People aren’t always out to get me or to make fun of me. I simply have to stop that way of thinking.
- I need to think before I speak. I realized this during the argument I had with Sunshine on Sunday. I couldn’t think of the right things to say or come up with a point relevant enough to the conversation, so I told her that she was “mean and cold-hearted”. I sometimes have a horrific time trying to say the right thing at the BEST of times, so I certainly shouldn’t have expected to come up with the right thing to say during an argument. I have to realize that what I say affects others, including the girls. So even though the tone in my head isn’t negative in nature, I have to recognize that my words can still do damage…as my stepdaughters have come to realize. I’m simply too quick with a snide comment or with my innermost feeling…and I need to just sit on it and think about it before I say something.
- I need to realize that the “old me” isn’t the “current me”. It’s difficult to look back and think of how much I’ve changed in the past decade. I mean, I went from a chain-smoking leather-jacket-wearing smart ass to an overweight depressed dumb ass to the person I am today. I am NOT either of those guys anymore. I’m a better person. I’m constantly evolving. I need to give myself a frickin’ break and stop beating myself up for the man I used to be, and instead start giving myself credit for the man I am today.
- I need to recognize when I’m angry. Once I’ve done that, I can take just a bit of time to figure out WHY I’m angry. This, of course, will result in me attempting to better handle this anger. Am I really mad at what my wife just said or does it anger me because it rings true? This is the type of response I need to think over in my mind whenever I feel tension mounting.
- I need to be more open with all of my children. I’ve said it before: I’m not a hugger. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s also not great. I need to realize that just “being there” isn’t enough. I need to BE THERE for my kids…talk with them, read with them, and really listen to them. Even though I’ve got some decent relationships with my children and stepchildren, those relationships could be a LOT better if I just put in that extra effort. Why beat myself up over not being a better father? Why just continue down the same path? I need to set an example of how a father should be. My dad was absent with me. I don’t want to appear absent to my own.
- I need to take my time to notice the tiny details, both at home and at the office. I’m scheduled to have a meeting with my boss later this morning to discuss how I can improve in this area. And it’s weird, because details have never been an issue with me before. But now I find myself getting angry on a daily basis because I’m making small, stupid mistakes…then I rush to fix them and rush to finish something else, resulting in more small mistakes. I’ve been given a massive opportunity with this job…I can’t afford to blow it now because I’m not paying close enough attention to the little things. It’s the same thing at home. I need to start doing more of the little things to help around the house; not being asked to do something when I know I should just offer to do it.
- I need to forgive myself and stop laying blame. I’m responsible for how I act. Only me. Regardless of the reasons behind it, my anger management issues are mine and mine alone. I need to stop beating myself up for all of my failures and start reveling in the successes that I now have in my life.
- I need to communicate more. This is primarily for my wife. She needs to know what I’m thinking. She needs to be able to communicate with me without me getting upset. She needs to trust that we can talk about more than just silly, fun things in our lives. I hate it when we blow up at each other because it’s primarily due to me not talking about issues to begin with or her not being comfortable enough to talk to me about things. That needs to change.
- I need to stick to these suggestions. This can’t just be a blog post. This needs to be a daily affirmation if it’s going to succeed.