Boy, wouldn’t it be nice if everything in your world was the way you thought it should be? Managing your anger would be so much easier – you wouldn’t get angry, if:
The red light turned green when you thought it should.
Your wife paid as much attention to you as you thought she should.
Your kids respected you the way they should.
Your employer compensated you the way it should.
Your retirement fund increased the way you thought it should.
Government officials did what they should to control the deficit.
Tires lasted as long as they should.
Your pants fit the way they should.
Your children made the kind of grades they should.
God answered your prayers the way He should.
You had all the rain or sunshine you thought you should.
People laughed at your jokes the way they should.
The problem we all face, unfortunately, is that things don’t always work this way. We’re forced to deal with life the way it actually is, rather than the way we think it should be.
Begin paying attention to how many times you think or say the word should in the course of a day. Each time you hear yourself saying “She should . . . ,” stop and ask yourself the following three questions:
Who says she shouldn’t act that way? Where is that written down? Is that a fact or simply your opinion? At what point in life did you start deciding how other people should act?
Why shouldn’t she act that way? Isn’t she entitled to the same rights of free speech and expression as you are? Shouldn’t she act according to how she sees things? Why does your viewpoint count more than hers?
Is the fact that she’s not acting as she should worth your getting angry and perhaps ruining your day?
You can get angry when things aren’t going the way you think they should. Or you can realize that your anger often does nothing to change the situation and spend some time calming down.