Why anger when kept waiting?


The objective of this self-analysis is to help folks to do the same and come to understand themselves better and improve their behaviors.

Ozodi Osuji

     This afternoon I was at a bank. The line going towards the four tellers was long, so I had to wait for up to twenty minutes. I observed my feelings.

      I felt irritated, frustrated and angry at the bank. I said to me that they ought to have many more tellers out there so that I did not have to wait for long before getting to the bank clerks.

      I eventually got to one of the tellers. Before leaving I gave her a twenty dollars Bill and requested Quarters (I live in an apartment and must put in quarters to use the washing and drying machine in my apartment). She gave me coins for ten dollars and gave me a ten dollar note. I asked her why she could not give me all twenty dollars in quarters, and he said that she does not have much left and that for a while now they have been getting low supply of coins hence limit the amount they gave to customers. I said thank you and walked away.

     On my way out my face was contorted with anger at the bank.

     Simply stated, I tend to feel angry if I do not get what I want and if I am not quickly served by other people. It is kind of like I am a king or prince and must be served immediately upon asking to be served. But I am not a king or prince, I was born poor and in fact have never had much money.

     But even as a child if you kept me waiting, I do not care whether you are the king of the world, I felt angry at you. Why is this the case?



     As a child, I posited a grandiose ego and identified with it and that big ego wants to be served like a king or prince. To keep me waiting is to keep my grandiose ego waiting, and that makes me feel like I am not the ruler of the world that my ego wants to be.

      In (Alfred) Adlerian psychology, I was born with biological issues that made me feel inferior and inadequate and I compensated with desire for a superior self; I constructed a superior and powerful self and identified with it; if you treat me as if I am not that big, powerful self, I felt angry at you.

     When I was a student if I did not get an excellent grade befitting the best student at school, I was reminded of my inferior status and felt angry at the teacher and avoided him.

     Karen Horney (Neurosis and Human Growth) said that the neurotic child rejected his real self, that he deemed not good enough, and posited an alternative ideal self that is all powerful and wanted to become it and if that false, big self is not met the neurotic child/adult felt anxious and or angry.

    Both Alfred Adler (The Neurotic Constitution) and Karen Horney (Neurosis and Human Growth) would say that in childhood I formulated a neurotic self-concept, an unrealistic self-concept that I ought to be important, powerful and wealthy and served by other people. If the neurotic child does not get what he wants he feels angry (or fearful).

     Psychoanalysis is one way of looking at the human personality, there are other ways of trying to explain human beings.


      Helen Schucman (A course in Miracles) has a spiritual psychology perspective. She would say that I, like all people, are the sons of God, and that God is powerful and we, his sons, resented his power and wanted to appropriate his power. We could not do so in reality and made us go to sleep and in our sleep dream a universe of space, time, matter, and house ourselves in bodies and therein feel powerful and feel like we have removed God and created ourselves.

     In effect, spiritual psychology would say that my spirit wanted to feel superior and powerful and rebelled against God’s power and came to earth to try being like God in power. To be kept waiting, to not be immediately served reminded me of my powerlessness and since I seek power that that made me angry at people who did not recognize my power and treat me like God.

     Take your pick, secular psychological explanation or spiritual psychological explanation. I combine both.


       I have identified my problem, the question is: what is the solution to this problem? First, one must understand that one is not a big ego and understand that one can only feel disappointed, frustrated, angry, and anxious, fearful, or depressed or paranoid if one identifies with the big ego; if the false, big ego does not get what it desires it feels angry and destructive.

     Therefore, do not desire to be a big ego; do not defend a big ego; give it up and accept one’s real self. One’s real self is not the big or small ego, but the self that constructed the ego.

     One’s real self, the conceptualizer of the ego separated self-concept, the self-image and human personality is not the ego it constructed.

     Our real self is the constructor of the ego, the dreamer that it is the ego and the egos world; it is life in one, a part of life, a part of the whole self, a son of God or whatever you choose to call it, that made the ego and can unmake it, or let it go.


      Have I explained my tendency to quick frustration, anger and fear? As a kid when I did not get what I wanted I threw a giant temper tantrum (I still throw temper tantrums but inside me, not openly).


      To reduce one’s tendency to anger and fear one must either shrink one’s grandiose ego to normal proportion or eliminate one’s ego altogether.

     The ego is a mental and social construct; it is not a tangible thing and does not exist independently; it is just an idea we have in our heads of who we think that we are; we constructed those ideas in childhood using our inherited biological constitution and social experience to do so.

      Something in us, what it is I do not know, let us call it life or spirit, uses one’s experience in body and society to construct one’s ego, separated self and identify with it and defend it with the various ego defense mechanisms.

      Now, one must understand that one is not the ego and that one is the maker/constructor of the ego. Therefore, what makes one’s grandiose ego feel angry is no longer allowed to make one angry, fearful, anxious, depressed, or paranoid.

     Without desire for the big ego, identification with it and defense of it, one lives in peace and happiness.

      This is ideal outcome; most people still have some ego in them hence occasionally show anger, fear, anxiety, depression, paranoia and the other mental disorders.

Ozodi Osuji

December 6, 2021

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