Friday, October 12

anger and awfulness

when i was younger i had a terrible temper.
 blame it on my red hair :)

i would get so angry and i would show it.
not usually to many people other than my family, but i would show it.

as i got older, though, i learned the social norm of hiding negative feelings - or maybe i was avoiding these uncomfortable emotions?  either way, despite the reason, i stopped allowing myself to feel anger.

how?

taking place almost instantaneously when an angering event took place, the strong emotion coursing through my veins switches from anger to hurt. i internalize whatever just happened and take the blame -- whether or not i am at fault.

that hurt, internalized, weighs heavily on my heart and eventually contributes to feelings of awfulness towards myself. "i am awful because i wanted to be angry at that person" ....or something of the sort.


how silly and mixed-up can we be, sometimes?
well, i would like to believe i'm not the only person who struggles with this anger-hiding/avoiding problem. ....so here it is: proof i'm not alone! and if you are similar to me, here you go! we're not alone! we've got a group - we can create a club :)

a 2007 study showed that women who didn't speak their minds in conflicts with their spouses were four times more likely to die in the next ten years than women who aired their feelings. suppressing anger, or "self-silencing," as it was called, was also linked to higher rates of depression and disordered eating. based on this study, i'd say that if you've been holding something back from a loved one, give voice to that emotion!
*this article also proves interesting on the subject...



....more likely to die if you don't express your anger? your annoyance? speaking up for yourself?

yes! actually, it makes total sense because of the emotional stress it causes you. this stress adds to all the other stress in your life and guess what! people who have more negative stress have a higher chance of dying earlier in life.


now, if you know me pretty well you know i'm a huge proponent of others expressing their true emotions and yet i tend to be a bit more..... shall we say "diplomatic" in my confrontations? but hey! at least i'm up for the whole confrontation part, right? when faced with real situations, i'm up for the task.

so maybe i am a little bit of a hypocrite.
honestly, aren't we all? .... but i do express my know whole, true feelings to certain people - amazing, wonderful, kindred hearts whom i trust fully and know i can count on.


everyone needs those kinds of people. everyone needs to be able to express their thoughts and feelings; to let out their frustrations, their anger and hurt and views on life.

usually, most everyone can figure everything in their lives out for themselves. what they really need is simply to be allowed someone who will listen with love, patiently ask questions, show concern....

 
feelings.
expression.
talking.
confrontation.
problems.


when there is clear communication --- both parties expressing their thoughts and feelings without judgment, keeping an open mind and patiently listening to the other -- there is less (if any) residual awfulness and the stress that is ever-present when communication is lacking melts away.


anger is an emotion. emotions - initial reactions are not things we have control over. they are more like information from your body; data to understand what is going on inside of you. there are no "good" or "bad" emotions in that it is just fine to feel any emotion.

it's what you do with the emotion you feel that matters.


will you handle it constructively? will you avoid it until it explodes? will you deal with it head-on? how will you handle the emotions you feel?

i'm grateful i've come to a place where i can start to deal with my emotions.

haha.... no, i'm not perfect at this. but luckily i have lots of help.
for years i was terrified of my childhood temper, feeling that anger equaled awfulness.
but i'm smarter now! anger, expressed calmly, is just information that something is not right.
anger is a motivating force to fix whatever is askew in my life.



....leave out "wrath" and you've got it! wrath is deciding to deliberately act on your anger.

sometimes that means handing the responsibility back over to the person who really deserves it and allowing myself to be free of guilt that wasn't mine to begin with.


getting rid of anger is the first step..... next time? next time i'll be writing about the topic i've spent over a month researching and preparing a group presentation on; something that has changed my life and changed me.