Thursday, July 17, 2014

But What if You're Angry?

So, what can you do with the anger when it's there?

First, I think that we have to accept that we're angry.  Don't push it down yet...  especially as women, I think we teach ourselves that feeling anger isn't okay. That we're wrong or bad -- and I just don't think that's true. It's okay to feel anger. It's okay that you do.

But, second, and this ties back to what I wrote about on Tuesday, you have to think about why you're angry.  Not just what they did or said that made you angry -- but why did that action or those words affect you? Why did they bring up so much ick inside of you? Think about what emotions got churned up... and too, think about what is it that you want to happen?

Do you just want to scream out what they did? Do you want an apology? Do you want them to change?

But, maybe you can't get there yet.  Maybe you're too close and still too mad to think about those things, and I think that's okay. Go for a walk. Go for a run. Take some moments to breathe and let the anger seep out of you a little bit. Hit the pillow... scream into it, if that's your thing.

And eventually, it will be time to communicate what really upset you. "Explain your anger, don't explode it." Talk about how what they did or said made you feel, why it made you feel that way.

And sometimes... sometimes they won't get it. Sometimes they will misunderstand what you're saying, and I think it can be helpful to jump into their shoes. What could they have been feeling when they said the things they said? What could they be feeling now as you're talking about things? Is there a part of you that can understand that?

I think that one of my favorite bits of advice on anger came from a child -- from an article I read on the internet somewhere --  and the child's advice was this:

When you start to angry...  scrunch up your face really tight.  
Keep it scrunched up for as long as you can, and then let it go... 
letting the anger crash to the floor and break into pieces.  
That way, the mad doesn't get into your brain.

There's something about that I liked.

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