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Getting in Touch with Your Anger

shutterstock_134581205Sometimes you need to get angry a little more often.  Here’s why.

 

Anger often gets a bad rap.  If you google it, you wind up with a lot of websites talking about anger management, as if anger is only a force that needs to be controlled.  (And for some people, that’s the case.  If you’re emotionally abusive or physically violent toward others, then this blog post is not for you.  You’re better off googling anger management.)

However, if you’re a person who either never feels anger, or feels it rarely and then dismisses it, then you’ve come to the right place.

That’s because anger serves a very important purpose.  It alerts us that we’re being mistreated in some way, on some level.  Sometimes you might have the feeling before you even figure out the cause.  At that point, it’s time to become a detective of your relationships.

If you’re angry often, with many different people, in many different situations, then something else might be going on–either on a situational level, or a temperamental one.  But if your anger is less frequent, then it’s time to listen.  Because your emotional wiring is trying to tell you something–loudly.  Maybe you’ve been ignoring certain truths so your system is amping it up.

When people don’t allow themselves to feel angry, when they suppress it as if it’s an unpalatable or unacceptable emotion, they can often end up feeling other unpleasant emotions.  For example, people who aren’t very assertive are often highly anxious.  It’s important to consider whether that’s an acceptable emotional trade-off.

Also, being angry can be a sign of good self-esteem.  Sometimes a healthy part of yourself is speaking up, saying (again, loudly), “Hey, that’s not okay!  I don’t deserve that treatment!”  When you feel anger, take a minute to consider where it might be coming from, rather than stifling it.  You might have a tendency to automatically make excuses for the people in your life, or assume the blame yourself.  Your anger wants you to do otherwise.

If you’re never angry, it doesn’t necessarily mean people in your life are treating you well.  It could mean that you don’t feel you deserve any better than what you’re getting.  It could mean that years of abuse or trauma have worn down your anger alert system.  It might be time to build it back up again.

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Angry woman image available from Shutterstock.

Getting in Touch with Your Anger

Holly Brown, LMFT

Holly Brown is a marriage and family therapist in the San Francisco Bay area. She has a private practice in Alameda (http://hollybrownmft.com/ ). She is also a novelist (http://hollybrownbooks.com/). Her latest is HOW FAR SHE'S COME, a workplace thriller which received a starred review from Publisher's Weekly: "This provocative tale will resonate with many in the era of the #MeToo movement."


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APA Reference
Brown, H. (2014). Getting in Touch with Your Anger. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 19, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/bonding-time/2014/08/getting-in-touch-with-your-anger/

 

Last updated: 12 Aug 2014
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 12 Aug 2014
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.