The first step to fully expressing anger is to divorce the other person from any responsibility for our anger. We rid ourselves of thoughrs such as, "he (or she or they) made me angry when they did that." Such thinking leads us to express our anger superficially by blaming or punishing the other person....We are never angry because of what someone else did. We can identify the other person's behaviour as the stimulus, but it is important to establish a clear separation between stimulus and cause.....
Where guilt is a tactic of manipulation and coercion, it is useful to confuse stimulus and cause. As mentioned earlier, children who hear, "It hurts Mommy and Daddy when you get poor grades," are led to believe that their behavior is the cause of their parents' pain. The same dynamic is observed among intimate partners: "It really disappoints me when you're not here for my birthday." The English language facilitates the use of this guilt-inducing tactic.
We say: "You make me angry." "You hurt me by doing that." "I feel sad because you did that." We use our language in many different ways to trick ourselves into believing that our feelings result from what others do. The first step in the process of fully expressing our anger is to realize that what other people do is never the cause of how we feel.
So what is the cause of anger?....whenever we are angry, we are finding fault - we are choosing to play God by judging or blaming the other person for being wrong or deserving punishment. I would like to suggest that this is the cause of anger. Even if we are not initially conscious of it, the cause of anger lies in our own thinking - in thoughts of blame and judgment.