When I was in college I worked 3 jobs and missed most of my classes so I could catch up on sleep. So yes I was angry at everyone all the time.
I was angry at the dish that life had served me. I was angry that I had to work so hard when others had parents that were paying their fees.
I cloaked myself in this anger and it drove me to achieve a lot of great things but it also stopped me from great relationships and from connecting with people and earning more money.
Apart from learning how to forgive my past, learning how to deal with anger about money totally transformed my relationship with money.
I realize that the underlying cause of my anger was not the fact that I was working hard or holding down 3 jobs.
I was angry because I was working hard and not seeing where my money was going. No matter how hard I worked, I never had enough money.
How anger affects behavior
Anger activates the amygdala and the hypothalamus. It makes our voice change, causes us to tremble and behave irrationally.
Aaron Sell in his recalibration theory of anger argues that anger is a necessary part of natural selection because it:
i. Convinces the person we’re angry at to treat us better - anger is an emotional response to when we believe we’re being treated unfairly
ii. Mobilizes us to take violent action/ aggressive action – in order for us to protect our limited resources (but only if the benefit outweighs the cost)
Recalibration theory suggests that anger is a normal response to what we perceive as unfair treatment and pushes us to seek justice.
Anger is a protective response that enabled us to protect our scarce resources through force in the Stone Age.
Anger negatively affects your financial behavior
1. Increased debt
Increased debt can lead to anger but anger can also lead to increased debt if you use money as a tool to buy yourself inner peace or to distract you from your emotions.
2. Bad credit scores
Anger makes people seek justice, no matter how skewed. When we believe that our bills are unfair, we can make the subconscious decision to teach creditors a lesson by paying our bills late.
3. Making bad investment decisions
Making decisions when angry is not wise because anger makes you behave irrationally in order to prove how right you are.
4. Refusing money
Research shows that anger impairs our ability to negotiate successfully. Negotiating when angry could cause you to leave money at the table or refuse money out of pride.
5. Pushes us to accumulate wealth
Anger is also a constructive emotion and as such can push you to build things and make positive financial changes.
How to deal with anger about money
1. Work on understanding anger and the cause of your anger
Becoming aware of your financial behavior when you’re angry will teach you to master your anger.
When you’re self-aware, you can pause in the middle of whatever action you’re engaged in and let your anger pass before taking action. Not reacting to your anger reprograms the brain on how to react the next time you feel angry.
2. Take deep breaths when you feel angry
Anger has a physiological impact on us and affects our breathing by causing us to take shallower breaths. Taking deep breaths calms the nerves and releases stress. Only when your breathing returns to normal should you take action.
3. Keep a money journal
Keeping a money journal where you write about your anger (or other emotions) about money will help you understand the root of your anger and help you see your behavioural patterns, which will help you master your anger.
Writing about your anger also helps you to release any stuck energy and gets abundance energy flowing.
How has anger impacted your finances?
Let me know in the comment section below.