It’s really tough to walk away when you’re upset about something. And often, there’s no real solution to a problem other than communication. There are always multiple sides to any one issue, and everyone will experience it from a different vantage point. We can’t tell someone they should agree with our feelings, just like they can’t tell us not to have the feelings we do. A sign of maturity and confidence is being able to decide to walk away from anger, even when it is justified: To decide not inflict the wrath of something that has upset you onto another, because that act would be unkind. Sometimes we feel that stopping anger is impossible: we even tell ourselves it is. However it’s always a decision. A rapid one made at a point of emotional crescendo, but still a decision.
When we “give in” to anger, we often regret it, because we act as someone we do not like. Someone weak, someone callous who says things to intentionally hurt others. Someone who deliberately causes others to feel guilt or pain. In the act of hurting others, we hurt ourselves more. By acting ugly or petty we feel ugly and petty. We betray who we are in our heart of hearts, and that makes us feel low.
Your reason to be angry might be completely valid, but anger shouldn’t take control of your personality and pilot your body around in ways that are not like you. You’re much more able to handle issues the way you’d like when you’re “sober” from anger. So how to get out of that trap when you’re boiling over? Acknowledge. Inform. Safely process.
If you know you’re getting upset, acknowledge it to yourself. Next, tell the people around you in a very direct way like, “I am really cranky right now.” It’s a lot easier for someone to not take something personally when you have warned them about your emotional state. Next, find a safe avenue to cool off. “I need to get out of here for a few minutes to take a walk.” Or, “I should go. I’m really mad and I don’t want to say something mean.” Whatever you are feeling, be direct about it when you tell others and don’t let the other issues seep in sideways. It’s in your power to control your anger, plus like a muscle, it gets easier with practice. If you accidentally blow up or say something mean, immediately acknowledge it. “I’m sorry, I’m just in a really bad mood right now. I need some space for a bit.” It’s like a tiny spark landing on nearby brush: Douse it immediately and the fire won’t have time to spread.
If someone tells you you’re not allowed to be angry, let it go and take care of yourself: that’s totally out of their jurisdiction. Your body, your emotions, and emotions don’t have to make sense. If someone is upset that you’re angry, that’s unfortunate but not in your jurisdiction. I’m sure you’re upset you’re angry, too. What I do in situations like that is let the person know that I don’t like being angry either and that I just have to work on calming down. Sometimes people are emotionally triggered by the thought that they have done something wrong or that a person is upset at them. It has to do with childhood issues and it’s out of your control. It’s also not where your focus needs to be. Stay committed to your task and that is to get safely out of your overheated state, then you will be able to handle the conflict properly.
How good a person is inside really shows through when they’re at their weakest; how they handle things when they are extremely angry or upset; what they do when pushed to their limits. When you move through this state with grace and kindness, you show others and yourself how good you are, and in turn, that makes you grow into a better person. Actions inspire actual transformation. When others vent their anger onto you it feels terrible and you feel disregarded, but it does not warrant you returning the favor. Not because they don’t deserve it, but because you don’t deserve it. You show yourself who you are with your own behavior and you are always in control of that behavior. Decide to grow bigger. Take the responsibility and acknowledge it when you are angry. When you hurt someone, apologize readily. You will probably find that overtime it makes you feel wonderful. With self-control comes self-trust, and with that, confidence that only grows stronger with time. Because being able to overcome the impulses we deemed out of our control, gives us an inner strength that allows us to see those around us in a different way. We feel good and peaceful and more compassionate, and we gain a strange protective layer to our souls. It’s a personal bliss that nothing can touch.
Happy Sunday all! xox Sarah
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