There are different kinds of anger, some justified (Even the Bible says, Be angry, but do not sin!) and some completely and utterly unnecessary. Where does your anger fit? Do you ‘lose your cool’ at the drop of a hat? Maybe with the children, you find yourself yelling because of some childish thing they have done (No condemnation, I have done it too!) or your partner says something and you hear yourself shouting back with gusto at his temerity for saying whatever it is. In fact the reason, I am writing this is because of just such an event 😯
So what kind of person are you when you get angry?
- Obvious – Is this you? Are you yelling, screaming or in some way making sure everyone around you is very aware that you are angry. You are not ashamed to let it all hang out.
- Silent – In this one, you withdraw from situations to sulk, you stop communicating and your mind is full of feelings of frustration as you try to not be too obvious about it (Although, everyone around you is very aware that you are angry!). Unfortunately, I can fall into this trap more than any of the other two.
- Repressed – You are not even aware that you are angry. You feel slightly uncomfortable at times when someone says or does a particular thing but you dampen down your feelings just to maintain the peace. When you stop to think though, you feel cynical and critical about a lot of things and a lot of people.
At different times and in varying situations, we probably all exhibit a variety of these kinds above. The thing about anger is that it eats away at you inside and can actually cause physical health concerns if not suitably dealt with. The question now becomes how do we fix it? Is there a fix?
Well, I too am on a journey so I am definitely no great authority but there are methods that I know have helped me. I will start by talking of just one today.
- Writing – If I am annoyed with a person and am unsure as to whether it will be effective to speak to the person about it, then I write out my feelings. I spend time really asking myself why, why, and why again to drag out the real reason I am angry. Sometimes, the obvious apparent reason is actually not my reason at all. It may just be masking the deep issues I should be dealing with.
Ok, so I am not proposing spending ages and ages navel-gazing. I do not think it helps in the long term to spend a lot of time looking over the past, though there are exceptions. Also let me add here, that I do not believe necessarily that facing the perpetrator of anger is always useful. Why? Because they may not even be aware that they have done anything wrong and they may not take you seriously. This generally leads to more frustration for you. In some cases, I have been laughed at as I try to express why I feel disturbed about an action the other party may have taken. Imagine how ANGRY I felt afterwards 😆
I have written letters to the people I am angry with and saved them on my PC with the intention of printing and sending them when I calmed down. Usually, by the time I calm down, I realise sending the letter would be a bad decision so I keep it – Nothing like a calm head to make a better decision.
However, the process of working through my anger as I write things down tends to help me know myself better. This in turn makes me better at recognizing when I will react a certain way. The more I do it, the more I am able to stop myself reacting the same way over and over again.
What do you think of this suggestion? Do you find writing, journaling, keeping a diary a useful feature for controlling your rage? It would be nice to know your thoughts.