I need anger management help. Stupid little things set me off, and I blow my top like a mailbox packed with M-80s. When people make innocent mistakes or do ordinary things that I personally find annoying, I erupt in a chaotic firestorm of abusive language, nonsensical threats, and physical intimidation. For example, yesterday a colleague of mine was humming that horrible song “MMMBop” in my vicinity. Terrible as it is, it’s a catchy tune, and it got stuck in my head. I was PISSED! I aggressively whirled on the poor little woman and screamed in her face, “Shut up, you bullshit-sucking cow-cunt! If you don’t stop raping my ears with that musical sewage I’m going to set your fat face on fire!” Then I raised my fist as if to punch her in the mouth, and she scurried away in tears. When the boss caught wind of my outburst, I had to make a public apology in front of the entire office. I’ve been given an official warning, and if any other ugly incidents occur, I’ll be fired. How can I keep my temper under control?
Dear Angry Andy,
You sound like quite an asshole. (No offense.) That’s why I like writing this advice column – if I can help you out, that’ll be one less asshole in the world. One down, seven billion to go!
Which actually brings me to the solution to your problem: it’s a matter of perspective. You seem to think (at least subconsciously) that you are extremely important – that what you want or what you like actually matters. It doesn’t. Try to keep in mind that there are at least seven billion people on this planet who don’t even know who you are, and they don’t give a shit what you want or what you like.
Even out of the extremely small fraction of people who do know who you are, most of them don’t care what you want or what you like. You can’t expect them to adjust their lives to conform to your piddling idea of how the world should be. They all have their own disappointed expectations and their own supremely important problems to worry about.
That’s more than seven billion people who are completely unconcerned with your life, totally indifferent toward the things that annoy or upset you, and entirely uninterested in the things you choose to lose your temper over. And that’s just on planet Earth!
Now think of all the other stars out there in the universe, and all the other planets revolving around them, and how many of those planets might be populated by intelligent beings. How many of those intelligent beings care about you? Zero!
Think of just how small you are – one measly person out of more than seven billion, floating on one small planet in the infinite vast emptiness of space. In the grand scheme of the universe, you are nothing. Nothing!
Have I made you feel insignificant? I hope so. Because you are. So get over yourself and your inflated sense of your own importance, and try to live your life in harmony with your fellow insignificant beings. If you do, I guarantee you’ll be much happier, and your temper will fade into fuzzy memories.
Peace, Love, and Knowing Your Place,
PS. “MMMBop” is a real shitty song – I’ll give you that.