I have been listening to podcasts about anger management, and recently completed the Anger Survey from whatsgoodaboutanger.com, and it turns out that I have a serious anger problem.
You wouldn’t think it looking at me on a regular day. I don’t snap at people, and I rarely yell or raise my voice. Instead, I tend towards the covert and internal forms of processing anger. I take it out on myself, often, and I can also be (very) passive-aggressive. Sometimes I will do something passive-aggressive and not even realize it because it has become so second nature to me.
I tend to withdraw, pretty badly, when someone does or says something that upsets me. This, at least in part, is because I never learned how to properly process my negative and unproductive emotions and for many years just pushed them aside and pretended they didn’t exist. This is not effective, and now that I am becoming more self-confident the negativity is coming out more and more often.
The anger and negativity just comes up so slowly that I can rarely catch it, and often don’t realize that I am angry until I am almost fuming. In the podcasts I have been listening to, it seems that there are many types of anger.
There is righteous anger, in which an angry and assertive response is not only appropriate, it’s the best (or one of the best) way to resolve that issue. Anger is a natural response to unjust and unfair occurrences, and when it is kept under control can be very helpful. When someone does something wrong, it's very normal and natural to react with immediate feelings of anger. When this happens, you don't want to fly off the handle or make a cruel or hurtful remark, because that won't fix or help anything. Take a moment, maybe a few, to collect your thoughts to determine why you got angry. Then express your sentiments based on facts and personal opinion.
Example: I'm feel hurt that you forgot to meet me for lunch, it really made me feel unimportant. Do you think next time you could give me a call or text message to let me know you might be late?
This expresses your feelings of hurt, betrayal, resentment and insecurity in a calm and easy to understand manner. There are no ways to deny that what happened made you feel a certain way, so using statements based on feelings is a good way to express your hurt without attacking the other person.
I have such a hard time expressing my emotions because it does take me a while to fully process and understand them. Often I will just internalize any hurt feelings and pretend that nothing is wrong. All the while, a violent tempest swirls and grows inside my mind and my heart. I take it out on people who don't deserve it, while those who do deserve it get away with everything. It's frustrating for all involves, apart from those who ticked me off in the first place.
How do you handle your anger? Do you bottle it up, let it slowly leak out towards others, or do you tend to blow up? Or do you actually manage to control your anger to the point that it helps you resolve your issues?
Peace and serenity,