Dealing with Anger

Updated: Feb 25

Anger is not a bad thing. It is an emotion that carries a meaning. Many a times we are told not to be angry and that it is not appropriate to show anger. In actual fact, if anger is not expressed, it builds up and becomes rage. Rage is destructive. Anger is different from Rage.

Anger is on a spectrum with Healthy anger being in the middle of that spectrum. Suppressed/Repressed anger is at one end of the spectrum whilst Rage is at the other end. Rage is extreme anger. At the one end of the spectrum are trauma survivors who have repressed or suppressed their anger for so long that it is no longer healthy. Repressed anger is deeply subconscious with no memories of the trauma, whilst Suppressed anger involves memories of trauma that are being consciously held down. These survivors avoid anger at all costs. It however creates emotional, psychological and physical illness such as depression that cause huge disruptions and blocks in day to day life.

In the middle of the spectrum is healthy anger expression which can bring about release, resolution and peace within. Swinging further to the right of the spectrum are trauma survivors who have anger just underneath the surface, boiling within them round the clock but they are actually afraid to express it. Again there are emotional, psychological and physical dis-ease present. At the furthest end of the spectrum are trauma survivors whose rage leads to them ready to explode or erupt at any opportunity, anywhere, at any time. They cannot control the rage and it destroys their relationships with family and work colleagues. This blinding anger, which can be so easily provoked is rage. These trauma survivors cannot control themselves. If this resonates with you, it is time for an intervention. It is time to decide to do something about this rage and develop better coping mechanisms for your explosive anger.

The first thing to realise is that you have not been taught a healthy way to feel or express anger. You have probably been told that you must not get angry or that only bad people get angry. Anger is not a bad thing, it is what we do with anger that is the issue. It is ok, just to feel anger. To actually feel the anger allows you to realise that something needs to be dealt with. You know something needs attention and expression. You can learn to do this. The reason why you are afraid to express anger is likely because when you were a child, you noticed someone get hurt when someone got angry. You observed that anger led to danger and this has become fixed in your mind. It is an unhelpful conditioning. You have a belief that anger is dangerous and someone will get hurt when you allow yourself express anger. Or you really do not know any other way to express yourself when the anger feeling arises.

The thing is, there might be a good reason for you to be angry. Maybe you are being taken advantage of, maybe you are being betrayed, maybe it is time for you to make a change in direction in your life. These are good reasons to be angry. The anger is a good indication that something is going on that is not of benefit to you. It is good for you to find out what the reasons are and to address it in a healthy way. You can learn to do this. It is possible.

I grew up not knowing an healthy way to deal with anger. There was a lot of anger around me and the general trend in my home was screaming and yelling if something did not go according to expectation. I knew that the atmosphere could erupt at anytime and even if the anger was not directed at me, it affected me deeply and I did not feel safe. The abuse I also witnessed in other places such as school or homes of neighbours or friends was similar or even worse. Teachers, Uncles, Aunties did not ever express their anger in a positive way. There was never a time when someone said "Bola, you did so and so and it made me angry, I did not expect it of you. I would like to discuss this with you" This is a healthy way of expressing anger.

There would be a reason for the anger, such as injustice, disrespect, betrayal, abandonment, neglect etc. The anger is an emotion that signals that an injustice or mistreatment is going on or needs to be released. It is this injustice or mistreatment that should be focused on. This discussion does not need to be done in a raised voice or in close proximity. You can feel angry and still be in love with someone, or still love someone. You can focus on the reasons for the anger and just discuss this, letting the other person know the reasons why you are angry. An apology from the person you are angry with, would then acknowledge the injustice and mistreatment and they would usually apologise. There are times when we do not get an apology, when the person who carried out the injustice or mistreatment does not apologise or does not even see your point of view. In this instance, you may need to explore for your self, the probable reasons why they could possibly have done what they did. Realising that it is/was not about you and that instead it was entirely about their own way of perceiving the world or the way they know best. They are/were acting out based on their own background or their own upbringing or conditioning. Knowing that their mistreatment or injustice was nothing to do with you, can help you release the anger even if you do not receive an apology.

You might need to explore this safely with a trauma informed professional, it helps to have a safe place to go through this process. As we process past trauma that caused anger within us, we can release the embedded pain and learn to express our anger in more healthy ways in the present. Some processing may take longer than others depending on the experiences that imprinted the trauma. Whatever the case, it is possible to release the pain and move forward with ease.

Many trauma survivors have someone in mind who hurt them and they will do anything to avoid becoming this person. For instance, if your caregiver was an angry volatile person full of rage, you would not have learnt healthy ways to express your anger. You would also want to avoid behaving in the way that they did, but somehow you find this happening because, the more anger is not expressed in a healthy way, the more it builds up and transforms into suppressed/repressed anger or even rage.

I really had to focus and take time to learn appropriate ways from scratch. I had to learn how to deal with conflict and express my anger using Transformational tools. I started out using tools such as journaling and meditation. I remember one day sitting down and writing the words "I am so angry" in my journal. Just those three words written over and over again for 3/4 pages. I was in my mid twenties. I did not know why I was so angry, but I needed to get the anger out of me. I had internalised unhelpful conditioning in mind body and spirit. Journaling is a good tool to let off emotional steam and raise awareness of the beliefs in your mind. Energy Healing is powerful to dissolve painful body cellular blocks. Finding the tools and strategies that work for you is key. Stay open and encouraged.

If this resonates, if you feel rage or suppressed/repressed anger within you and it is creating resistance in aspects of your life, there may be a desire building up within you to begin learning healthy ways to deal with anger.

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