Something About Anger
There is a lot of anger in the world that's coming to the surface and more people than before, seem willing to express their opinions through anger. Yet generally, the experience and display of anger is frowned upon.
Anger can be seen as violence, destruction, breaking of boundaries, disrespect, frustration, pain, fear, and so much more. Most of us either avoid our anger at any cost or we are being swept by it once triggered. Anger however, is a very misunderstood emotion. In itself, it's not actually posing a problem. How we interpret our anger, what it represents for us and how we express it, can become part of the problem.
There are so many situations out of our hands that can trigger the sense of not being in control, and anger can be one of them. However, some may find anger preferable to other emotions such as sadness or shame, as anger can also bring a sense of power, while other emotions can bring a sense of helplessness or emptiness.
Some may find displays of anger, in any form, as threatening. Some may be comforted by it. It really depends on our experiences and defence mechanisms we've developed through our interactions.
Anger can be expressed externally or internally. It can look like silence and withdrawal, complaining, blaming, crying, shouting, dispassionately criticising. We could be making passive aggressive comments or experiencing withheld affection and approval. Anger can be creative or explosive. Anger can lead to violence.
However, Anger in itself is not the problem. It is a vessel for many more issues. We may see insecurities, misunderstandings, past experiences of rejection, self esteem issues, shame and guilt and so on and call all of these anger.
Managing our anger could begin by asking ourselves:
1. What does my anger mean to me? What do I actually want to say?
2. How do I feel about myself when I am angry?
3. Does the way I express my anger, allow my message to come across clearly?
4. What core beliefs are being triggered and manifest through anger?
We can then explore further what displays of anger have we witnessed before and what preconceptions we have about our own and others' anger.
Anger can be a very useful emotion that can represent many things: Being hurt, frustrated, feeling disrespected, not listened too, feeling small or embarrassed, lonely, insecure, afraid, powerless, disappointed, in denial, ashamed, experiencing injustice.
Answering these questions honestly, can lead in acknowledgement of your authentic experience in the moment.
Doing so, opens up the way forward to finding solutions to the problem, rather than keeping you stuck in one place. Your body is trying to say something to you or to those around you.
It helps to take a moment and listen. And by listening to your internal message, and accepting your own emotions, you can find that anger expressed by you or others might make more sense. You might be less triggered by it and can feel more empowered to chose your reaction.
Perhaps then, the question of how to overcome anger can be answered by accepting and exploring this emotion. Not immediately trying to supress and ignore it.
Feeling anger is normal and very human. However, what sense we make of our anger and how we decide to express it, is the main issue.
Perhaps we don’t need to overcome our anger, we just need to understand it better.