Furious and Fuming | Your Relationship with Anger
Have you ever been really angry? The answer is probably yes – we all get angry. Anger is a normal human emotion that we all experience. The classic definition of anger is a strong feeling of being upset or annoyed because you see something as wrong.
The evolutionary reason for anger, at its core, is that anger can be a motivator that triggers energy to change a situation. When an event happens that results in us getting angry, our brain interprets a danger and we enter into a “fight or flight” response. In anger we are usually ready to fight.
It’s important to keep in mind that the emotion of anger is neither good or bad – it just is. And it’s a crucial part of being able to move on, even if we feel stuck. What we do with the anger is what becomes important. There is a difference between anger the emotion and anger that triggers aggression behavior.
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How to Deal with Anger
There are three ways that people can deal with anger. I often use the metaphor of a balloon to illustrate the concept. When events happen in our life that create an emotional reaction it is like blowing air into a balloon, and then…
1) The people who stuff or suppress their anger, blow air into the balloon until it gets bigger and bigger and bigger – you know what happens then! Eventually the balloon pops, taking with it relationships, if the air goes outwards, or our health if the air goes inwards.
2) Then there are people who let the air out of the balloon in an uncontrolled fashion – It flaps and goes all over the place. This is more like shrapnel where the pieces hit anyone in the path of the anger.
3) Finally, there are people who are able to manage the release of air in a controlled fashion – emptying the air and leaving room for it to be refilled. These people logically manage their anger and it does not become destructive to those around them.
Based on the three examples above, how do you handle your anger? Are you in control of your emotions most of the time?
Remember that there is no right or wrong answer about the emotion of anger. However, assessing your anger, and how you react when you become angry, is the first step to finding a resolution to effectively dealing with anger.
We’ll discuss this further in my next blog on the emotional responses of anger.
Dr. Ines K. Roe has been helping women in transition rediscover themselves for over 20 years. If you’ve been feeling unfulfilled, are frustrated with your sense of accomplishment in midlife, or simply need guidance on your path to holistic well being, join her ecourses.