How is anger a protective response?
Welcome back! I hope you found some answers in last weeks topic of “Feeling Helpless”, and I’m glad that you are continuing with our discussions on the Eight Unpleasant Feelings. This week, we are going to talk about anger.
Anger is a protective response. You need to have it available as a way to respond to distress, harm, or pain. It is often elicited when you believe you have been wronged in a certain situation and where you also see yourself as morally right in that same situation.
Despite the overwhelming view of anger as a negative emotion, it can also prompt you to act on behalf of those less advantaged, where you witness unfairness to someone else, or engage you to help where someone is being victimized.
Anger reflects your emotional investment in something important to you; properly expressed, it lets others know that they hurt you and that they should not engage in similar behaviors again.
Anger never has to be explosive, wounding, or destructive, something that many people struggle to understand because of their own personal experiences with anger. The great irony is that harboring your feelings and avoiding anger can lead to big explosions later.
If you struggle with how your anger gets expressed, there are many steps you can take to express it more effectively. They include:
– Acknowledging that how you manage your anger is a problem.
– Deciding and committing to kind and well-intentioned behavior that does not escalate, demean, threaten, or physically hurt others.
– Noticing how, what, and where anger is experienced in your body.
– Noticing your patterns of expression before you erupt.
– Knowing your patterns and observing your bodily cues of anger.
We all struggle with anger, whether it’s anger within ourselves, or anger being used against us. But what is important, is knowing that there are steps that we can all take to experience and move through this unpleasant feeling so we can learn why that anger is present in our lives.>
This weeks question:
We all have memories of when we have been angry, and have regretted how we handled that situation. What are ways, that now looking back, you wish you would have handled that situation differently? And how can you move forward with handling anger in the future?
I’d love for you to respond on my facebook group!
Join my group on Facebook LOVE MY LIFE and let me know. I’ll post the question and jump on myself to chat and answer questions.
To A Life You Love,
Dr. Joan Rosenberg