Have You Been Schooled to Repress This Helpful Emotion?

Anger is one of our strongest emotions, yet as women we are often taught to suppress it. Anger is not ‘ladylike’ (Don’t you just hate that phrase? I heard it often as a child). Get angry at work and risk being called ‘screechy’, ’emotional’, or ‘out of control’, the list goes on. Men being angry though, is usually seen as a sign of confidence and strength. Crikey, doesn’t that make you feel angry?

Channelled anger, however, can be a great force for good, and a way of asserting yourself. For example, where would we be in the world if a group of women hadn’t got angry about not having the right to vote? Talking about it and letting off steam is OK some of the time, (and can be very therapeutic), but unless we actually do something with our anger, little will change (although letting it out does feel so good).

What Makes YOU Angry?

Just think for a moment about the last time that you got angry. What provoked it? Sometimes our anger is intensified because of our feelings of helplessness about what is happening; we feel we have no control. When I worked with young offenders (boys) I ran an anger management group for them. Their anger and sense of frustration led to them committing offences. The biggest issue for them was not understanding why they were literally angry young men. Anger is not good when it leads to loss of control, so tame the beast and make it work for you.

Try writing a list of all the things that make you angry. How many of them might you use as a source of positive energy, to get you motivated to do something that helps you, rather than drains you?

Quick Anger Management Tip

One technique for managing your anger is to take back some control and direct the energy it gives you toward a positive goal. For example, if you are incensed by global warming join an organisation that is actively working towards doing something about it.

Or, maybe there are issues in your workplace that regularly have you metaphorically tearing your hair out. Have you considered what you can actually do about it? Perhaps there is a specific training need, like an assertiveness course, which will help. Or maybe you need to get some likeminded people together and assertively ask for a meeting to discuss solutions to the problem. Sometimes we have no choice but to learn to manage the feelings it provokes. That is still a choice, however, and helps to stop us feeling victimised.

Whatever makes you angry, step one is recognising it, and then you can make a choice about how to deal with it.

When was the last time you got really angry?

What did you do with that feeling?

How do you make anger work for you?

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Posted on April 25th, 2017 by

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