Owning our Feelings
I believe we function and communicate most effectively when we own our Anger by remembering it belongs to us. We feel anger when something is not right. We have choices, we can react to our feelings of anger which is not always a pretty site, or we can respond appropriately to our feelings of anger.
Responding appropriately vs Reacting inappropriately
Responding to our feelings of anger requires some practice and an increase in self-awareness. The more we practice the more skilful we become at controlling our emotions. This is not always easy especially with people we love and care about the most. These are the people we are closest to and the ones who often get the brunt of anger.
Responding when we get angry requires presence of thought. By interrupting the unconscious minds old programs, programs we have developed since early childhood and possibly before we were born. Programs we inherited from our parents, peers and tutors.
Our thoughts can play on our minds and go round and round, “I am useless”, “I am a no good at any thing” and then an external situation comes along when we least expect it. For example someone calls us useless over something simple and it is like the trigger is being pulled on a gun and we explode with rage and indignation.
The dial has been turned up on our frustration gauge and steam begins to rise, the next thing we remember is we have said or done something we may well regret. When the dust has settled we wonder what happened!
If a person is likely to hold on to their anger and keep it then a good skill to develop is to be more immediate with their response rather than let the Anger simmer and get out of all proportion to the original issue. When we hold on to our anger and internalise the anger it can cause physical problems and affect our health over the long term.
One way of interrupting the old program is make reframe, take the situation that triggers the anger and change the story from I am useless to I am learning to do this task better and one day soon I will be very good at it.
To take that affirmation a step further you could say it in the here and now which is a much more powerful statement which requires a certain belief that it can be true now. This is the law of positive thinking. You are what you think you are.
Owning Your Statements
Using the “I” word such as “I feel Angry when that happens.” When you use the I word this is owning your statements and when you own your statements you are taking responsibility for your actions..
Using the “You” word for example “You make me angry and it’s all your fault…” is like dumping your Anger on someone else because no one can make us Angry. We have choices. We chose to be angry in response to a trigger. The trigger could be ‘you are stupid’. Not everyone will get angry if someone called them stupid. They chose not to get angry. Or at least they chose not to react.
It’s a Risky Business
I ask my clients “Are you prepared to risk the relationship and be truthful?” if they are and do, it transforms the love and intimacy between them and takes them to a new level of being. This requires trust, an allowing attitude and compassion to work through your difficulties and differences.