Your Anger Doesn't Make You A Bad Person.Aug 03, 2020
What do you think about anger? How do you feel about it? Is it good, bad, or both?
Anger is an issue that often comes up in sessions with my clients. I don't necessarily mean rage, but anger covers an entire spectrum including annoyance, frustration, and outright explosions.
If you think about anger, our views of it are shaped in childhood. How often have you heard "Don't be mad", or "There's no point in getting angry about it". Even worse, your parents, teachers, or other adults may have punished you for feeling and expressing anger in some way they felt was inappropriate. This all leads to a deep subconscious feeling that anger is bad. It's bad to feel it and it's certainly bad to show it.
So, as an adult, what do you do? Stuff it down of course! After all, who wants to do or feel something bad? The result is that you feel even WORSE because you're unable to display how you really think and feel. This cycle only serves to make you feel even more resentful and stuck.
I tell my clients that every emotion has a duality. The same thing applies to anger. When you take anger to a dark place, you can end up hurting others physically or emotionally. Your words can hurt someone as deeply as if you punched them because both leave lasting effects on your psyche. In contrast, anger can be channeled into something that's incredibly positive. One example is righteous anger.
Righteous anger at an injustice can be used to fuel change. This creates a positive effect for yourself and society. My favorite example to use when explaining how expressing anger can be positive is a biblical one. Most people talk about Jesus because of his great love and desire to lead humanity towards salvation. But remember the story of what happened in the money lender's temple when he got really mad (John 2:13-16)? That's right Jesus got ANGRY. He flipped over tables and even used a whip! Yes, Jesus did that! Why? Because he was righteously outraged at what was happening in the temple. Now, we all know Jesus could have solved that problem in different ways, but he chose to express his anger so that the people could see and know how important the issue was to him. His anger was used as a force for overall good and to institute change. Now, I don't recommend that you start flipping tables and whipping people, but it's possible to use your anger for the social good of others.
Anger can also be channeled into inspired action and creativity. Have you ever had someone doubt your ability to do something and thought "I'll show them!". If so, then your anger serves to propel you to even greater heights of accomplishment. In this way, anger can be an incredible source of goodness and strength. By reaching greater heights, you inspire others around you to believe that the same thing is possible for them.
So, how do you want to express your anger? You have the ability to choose which end of the spectrum your anger gets displayed. You can take it to the dark place by being hurtful and destructive OR you can take it to the good place by channeling it into creativity or change. The point is to let yourself feel it and find a way to release it. Let that stuff go! Don't stuff it down, because it's still lurking beneath waiting for its moment to finally break free. The choice is yours.
Dr. April Darley is an expert at resolving stuck patterns of behavior through Neuro-Emotional Technique (N.E.T.). By identifying self-sabotaging behaviors, she can help you regain confidence, improve relationships, remove blocks to health, wealth and success in any area of your life.
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