Anger is an interesting emotion and often the hardest one to deal with. We often get stuck on wanting to NOT feel anger and don’t spend too much time exploring why it shows up and then how to express it. Anger is challenging because it’s complex and can be explosive, creating destruction to anything or anyone in its path. We also live in a culture that does not teach us how to be comfortable with anger, instead teaching us that there is more value in being “nice” than expressing anger.
Anger as a warning signal
Think about how often anger shows up for you. Is it often? Rarely? What is your reaction to anger? What if you changed your perspective on anger from one of avoidance to once of acceptance? How would life be different?
Anger is an emotion that acts as a warning signal that something is wrong. It’s not random and for most people, it is a signal pulls our attention towards something. What I have found, is that anger shows up when a boundary has been violated or broken in some way. Think about it…. the last time anger showed up in your life, what boundary was being broken? Who or what was pushing your values? Anger lets us know two things: 1) that a boundary of some sort has been broken and 2) that boundary that has been broken, is important or else anger wouldn’t be there!
What do to about anger
If anger is a warning signal, then it’s important to listen to it!! Boundaries are essential to human functioning and relationships. It’s where we determine who we are, what values are vital to us and how we want to be treated.
Setting and reinforcing boundaries are an essential part of life. I know, it can be so exhausting to do it repeatedly. But trust me, when I say that it’s worth it! Anger is not worth it; anger is life draining and never builds connection in relationships. In fact, anger is the top reason why relationships are damaged and die.
Ask yourself, “what boundary is being challenged when anger shows up?” and you will quickly discover where and what boundary you need to set moving forward. Anger is not worth being afraid of, it’s simply an emotion that we experience just like happiness, joy and contentment. We tend to be more afraid of anger because it has a lot of power, it’s loud and can be destructive. You are in total control of how you manage it. Go forth and set boundaries!