This article was also published on Thrive Global.
We all get angry
It’s inevitable at one point or the other in our lives. While some people get angry only occasionally, for others it’s a daily, maybe even a multiple-times-a-day thing.
Still, we don’t talk about it
At least not much. When we build up the courage to mention it to friends, we hope vehemently that they will come back with a “me too” story, instead of looking at us like we’ve just morphed into a rat in front of their eyes. When there is a confession about anger, it can release the heavy feeling of guilt and shame around it.
Good reasons vs bad reasons?
So why do we get angry? Are there any “good reasons” to get angry? You tell me.
If I tell you that I got angry because someone crossed a boundary of mine, is it a good reason? If I get angry, because I feel overwhelmed about a situation that I can’t change, is it a good reason?
A better way to look at it
Instead of answering yes or no, I’ll challenge you (and myself) to look at the situation from another point of view. Instead of judging my reasoning, of deciding if it’s good or bad, I try to look at it from the perspective of the solution. Now what does that mean, for God’s sake??
Whenever I get angry (and I think it’s inevitable when we deal with other people on a daily basis) I try to find what need is being neglected. Almost always, when we get angry, one or more of our needs are not fulfilled. So I try to figure it out. Probably not by thinking, because in such an elevated state, I usually won’t think reasonably, but by feeling. Maybe I need to let some steam out, too much has accumulated inside. Maybe I need some silence and calm, it’s been too busy around me. Or maybe I just need some nourishment (hangry anyone? ;))
What I’m trying to say is, anger is a tool. The goal is not to eliminate it right away, but to use it to discover where our self-care lacks focus.
Here’s to your journey towards a fulfilled life!