Friday, July 27, 2018

What's the problem with anger?

I think anger must be the most misunderstood, maligned and disowned emotion, though fear is a close second.

How many times have you heard someone being described as an “angry person”? The ironic thing is, this label is usually given by somebody who disowns their anger, is afraid of anger and is supposedly never angry which I don’t buy for one minute.

People who pretend, unsuccessfully, that they are never angry because anger is a “bad”, “low vibration” and “negative” emotion, usually act it out in passive aggressive ways, while smugly thinking that it’s not anger.

One of the most important things that I’ve ever heard about anger is from Karla McLaren who says that if we don’t honour our anger and let it do its job (reinstate healthy boundaries, and say a healthy No), fear will have to step in. That’s when things get really messy and complicated. Here is an excerpt from her book, The Language of Emotions:
If you can imagine your healthy anger surrounding you— protecting you, defining you, and constantly monitoring your behaviour—you can easily see that trouble with your anger will degrade your psychological boundaries, your relationships, your personal space, and your self-respect. If your anger is not channelled properly and honourably, you’ll exhibit poor psychological hygiene. In this case, your fear will need to move forward in your psyche, not to increase your intuition and focus, nor to simply help you respond to change or novel stimuli, but just to help you make it from one moment to the next.
Without your boundary, you’ll be unable to monitor your behaviour or identify proper behaviour in others (which means your relationships will consistently unsettle you), you’ll dishonour people or let them dishonour you for no good reason, and you’ll be vulnerable most of the time. When you’re in this sort of turmoil, your relationship with your fear will decay almost immediately. You’ll have no privacy and no sacred space in which to regulate your emotions, and though your fear will move forward to protect you, its intensity may actually destabilise you when your boundary is weak. Fear asks you to focus yourself, but that’s nearly impossible when you don’t know where you begin or end; therefore, your increased focus will most likely turn into anxiety or paranoia.

Do you know what happens when we disown anger? It gets stuck in our bodies because we refuse to acknowledge it, never mind feel it. Paradoxically, we become the very people we don’t want to be, which is an “angry person”. And because we’re so angry but are in denial about being angry, many things become the trigger for our unacknowledged, unfelt anger. We are literally like pressure cookers waiting to explode which lowers our immune systems and creates all sorts of health problems.

Try tapping on the following and repeat whatever feels right on all the points, or just tune in to how you feel and tap without words:

Even though I’ve grown up thinking that anger was bad and I am bad for feeling it, I love and accept myself anyway

Even though my culture tells me that angry people are … and I don’t want to be one of those,I completely accept how I feel

Even though I don’t know how to feel anger, that’s ok, I can learn

Even though anger feels … in my body and that makes me feel … I completely accept my feelings

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