Archive for the 'emotional abuse' Category

06
Jan
14

the green monster of anger

the green monster of anger“You won’t like me when I’m angry.”  That’s what the Incredible Hulk says, but most people could probably say the same, though they won’t transform into a superhero.  Why is anger so feared in our society that it can only be released in the form of a huge green monster?

Anger is not a bad thing, contrary to popular belief.  I grew up being taught that a good and proper woman never gets angry.  Needless to say, I’ve struggled with repressed anger for many years now.  What is there to fear with anger?  We embrace all of our other emotions – sadness, joy, fear and love to name a few.  So why single out anger?  After all, any emotion expressed to extreme is not healthy.

I guess we see the consequences and impact of anger more readily than emotions that lead to depression, anxiety and loneliness.  We feel the pain of someone berating, condemning, name calling or physically abusing us as a result of anger.  Anger tends to be associated with out of control, danger and violence.  However, is that really the only cause of this behavior?  Doesn’t any emotion have the capability of running out of control, becoming dangerous (even to ourselves) and influence us physically?

It’s all about balance and discovering healthy ways of expressing one’s emotions –all of them.  We tend to avoid anger because society frowns upon it.  The irony is that the more we refuse to confront and deal with it, the worse it is going to get.  I know first-hand and have gone through a period of my life when I felt angry almost all of the time because I didn’t allow myself to express my anger for years.  Throughout that time, I learned some good ways to release my anger through physical activity and imagining.

This is quite a confession, but when I was alone, I used to close the door to the bedroom and imagine the person I was angry with and tell them how I felt (usually yelling) while punching a pillow or the bed.  A lot of the things I was angry about were in the past and would not be constructive to take it up or confront the person now.  However, this has also been helpful for present conflicts when I know it would not be wise or helpful to talk to the person directly about my feelings or I need to release the emotion first before confronting them.

I’m still discovering how to express my anger in healthy ways and use it to stand up for myself.  There is a strength that comes with anger that can be used for justice and other healthy self-esteem building expressions.  The anger is not the problem, it is taking the time to understand its source and resolve it before it is accidentally used to hurt ourselves or others.  So how do you deal with your anger?  Or have you too closed the door on the green monster?  When will we learn how to embrace our anger without fear and set ourselves free?

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