Reviewing Anger

by Mark Ivar Myhre on January 20, 2008

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I always had a problem expressing my anger.

Growing up, a lot of it went back to a fear of confrontation. I guess my fear of an ugly confrontation was stronger than the urge to express how I really felt.

Later, I learned how important it is to review my relationship with anger. Because it says so much about me – as a person.

Anger is a wonderful emotion – when it’s clean. When you feel your anger cleanly, it’s like a body rush… that actually feels pretty good. It reminds me of a roller coaster ride.

It’s a rush; it’s a thrill; it comes and goes fairly quickly. And you’re left feeling sort of like what it feels like as you step off a roller coaster.

In other words, you’re tempted to go back for another ride!

Sounds crazy, doesn’t it?



Because we’ve been taught, and conditioned, and forced, to believe many lies about anger.

Reviewing The Lies Of Anger

1. Anger is a sign of weakness.

First of all, I’d say weakness comes from ‘short-circuiting’ your strengths. It comes from blocking your natural strengths – which you do have. Every person possesses their own unique strengths and talents and powers.

I’d say the weakness comes in when you don’t cleanly feel your anger. Because then you’ll be carrying around a lot of unresolved anger which can indeed be a weakness.

2. Anger is bad and wrong.

If you feel anger… guess what? That means you’re a human being. I love my anger. I love that rush. There’s no such thing as a ‘bad’ emotion. Or a ‘wrong’ one. What’s bad and wrong is not being honest with your anger; not respecting it for what it is: an emotion; one part of the emotional scale; one part of you.

To deny your anger is to deny yourself.

3. You need to suppress your anger.

Don’t let it show. Which may be the biggest lie of all. I know, I know, many people say don’t stuff your anger – but what they do is exactly opposite. Namely, suppressing their anger.

It becomes a habit so ingrained that we don’t even realize we’re doing it. We’re all experts at suppressing anger. It’s like whenever anger comes up, we open a trap door, and the anger falls in automatically. Seemingly without effort.

Anger comes up…

Whoosh!

No more anger.

Where’d it go?

“Wow, I’m not angry anymore.”

We think it just goes away, and we may even feel a certain pride at not feeling the anger. But it comes at a price. You might even be surprised at all the many things that happen when you suppress your emotions.



4. You need to express your anger.

Huh? What? Isn’t this the exact opposite of what I just said?

In a way, yes. But for most people, it’s merely the opposite side of the same coin. The coin of ‘anger manipulation’. Rather than manipulating anger by dropping it through a trap door into the nether-lands of our being – instead we create a monster out of it.

Ranting and raving in righteousness. Drama. Melodrama. Explosions of rage and fury that makes us look, well, unladylike… ungentlemanly… to say the least.

The ranting and raving usually sources itself in the firm conviction that we are right and someone or something else is wrong. We have the right to be angry. Or so we believe.

Righteousness.

But the bluster is a manipulation; merely the other side of the coin. Heads: you suppress. Tails: you perform. Either way, it’s a manipulation.

Also, many people use their anger as a weapon. The ‘big stick’. The gun in the closet. Again, it’s a manipulation. Sourced in a lack of value and a belief in chauvinism. Perpetuated by ego.

Here’s how I see anger:

It’s an emotion. All emotions contain life and power. All emotions are meant to be felt cleanly… as they enhance our ‘beingness’. Our emotions strengthen us and make us ‘more’.

So why all the problems?

1. Faulty beliefs about anger and emotions in general.

2. Desire to use anger as a tool of manipulation.

3. Incredibly powerful habits – neurological pathways of least effort – that manipulate our anger before we even have a chance to choose to respond.



So what’s the solution?

1. Be willing to accept: Anger is a wonderful emotion that, in it’s natural state, makes you more powerful as you feel it cleanly and release it completely.

2. Be willing to explore: …the possibility of feeling your anger cleanly – without any story of any kind.

3. Be willing to stop: …using your anger as a tool of manipulation.

4. Be willing to write: …write out your anger stories as a way to bleed off the froth and fluff that’s so painful. Write out what makes you angry. Get the story out on paper.

These are a few starting points.

Reviewing anger involves looking more closely at your assumptions – what you believe to be true about anger – and hold those assumptions up to the light of day.

Anger stories are a good way to bring your assumptions into view.

And drop the righteousness.

That’s what kills you!

{ 2 comments }

verge_of_insanity January 23, 2008 at 11:26 am

Mark-how do you get inside my head? you know exactly how i feel and seem to send the right topic at the right time. i am working on anxiety brought on by my parents and it has been a huge struggle. i can completely relate to your stories and don't feel alone in my thoughts and feelings anymore. i am greatful that i found your site! Bless U

Terry January 31, 2008 at 7:51 am

Thank-You !

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