The Rage Within: dealing with unspoken anger
I was at a cafe writing and sipping my chai tea as I usually do most days and I could not help eavesdrop on a conversation two women were having. They were talking about a mutual friend whom they describe as out of control. Nasty to her kids, nasty to her friends, nasty to her husband, and definitely nasty to strangers. If the coffee wasn't at the right temperature, the barrista at the coffee shop got it and so did the cashier if the groceries weren't packed right. These two gals were planning an intervention out of fear that their good friend was burning bridges and destroying everything she touched with wounding words. Know anyone like that? Hello Naomi Campbell!
Repressed rage is common. People are hurt and hurting. Women are hurt and hurting. And because anger is not really a sophisticated and lauded emotion like compassion or love for instance, most women hold it in. We swallow our rage and we and everyone around us suffers.
I saw this woman smack her child across his face on the bus. The toddler's infraction was that he did not want to sit still. Did this mom have troubles with the baby's father? With a co-worker? Was she angry because she had lost her job? Only she knows and I bet that the reasons are complex. The bottom line was this: life was not going for her as planned, her needs were not being met, she was angry, she probably held it in for many years and on that day on the bus she lashed out and her baby got it good. What I and others on the bus witnessed was suppressed anger coming out outrageously.
This very good piece in Psychology Today explains what happens when we seethe rather than breathe. Bottom line is that suppressed anger will attack you if it can't attack anything else. Or as Freud said, in the psyche, no wish will be denied.
Do you have any anger issues? Are you dealing with them in a healthy way? For the record, your rage is legitimate. You should know that your anger -- when understood -- can help in your evolution. It can serve to propel you to make profound changes. Anger has been the catalyst for many great leaders -- King, Gandhi, Mother Theresa -- were all angry with injustices. They tapped on the internal and collective rage to fight for change.
What makes you angry can make you strong if you explore where it's coming from. Here's a link to a site that writes to young men about anger issues, but it's advice that we can all learn from. Rather than holding, heal your anger. Find ways to let it out.
Here are some tips that you might find helpful:
Find a good mental health professional who help you uncover the root of your anger.
Introduce meditation into your life. Check out some FREE guided meditations.
Work out. Let it out. Move your body and get the good hormones going.
Keep a journal and write about things that have made you angry. Learn to let them go. Don't take things personally.
Pick up an artistic expression: drawing, sculpting, knitting, writing poetry, singing, playing an instrument. We are all born artists! Find your song.
Think gently and be compassionate and kind to yourself.