There’s lots of reasons why we feel anger, and it often stems from the core of our traumas... however from my experience the reason we get to the point of anger always breaks down into three things:
Perspectives: Needing to see others as people with their own journeys, rather than our problems or source of problems.
Accountability: Needing to get into the mindset that rather than life happening to you, you have power and control over your life.
Acknowledgement: Not feeling heard, seen, or validated.
How many times are we angry at what someone did or said to us and are just like “Umm, no, they should know better! Why would they disrespect me like that?”
Then, how many times have you found that bitter coworker or a person in your friend group where you just feel like “Ugh, they are just MISERABLE to be around and everything they say is to tear people down!”
Well, maybe you’re right about all of this… but what if you thought about WHY they could be acting like this.
What in THEIR life has led them to become what they have?
Could they have learned this behavior from their surroundings?
Are they lonely and the only thing they have is their job, so they use that as their power source and outlet?
How have they been treated by others when you’re around them? Do they feel equal and part of the world or left out and are trying to grasp for some attention?
I believe that 95% of the time, people doing negative things towards others isn’t personal, it's just them getting their emotions out towards whoever they think will listen, or through an action that makes them feel seen… even if it’s negative. Like how they say, any publicity is good publicity, it can feel the same when someone wants to be seen or heard without actually wanting to be vulnerable about how they’re feeling.
If there’s a bunch of pent up negative energy, you’re going to act upon that because you’re not healed. Healing is every person’s responsibility, I’m not discounting accountability, however I find treating people that show you negativity with balance and empathy rather than anger is generally the more appropriate response.
Imagine living with pent up negativity all of the time? All of this energy needing to be released but isn’t, always living in this boiling point preventing growth? That doesn’t sound fun… and the more we treat people with compassion, the more we can heal the world.
It’s so easy to go on the path of just feeling bad about things going on in life. A lot of life can be hard and even painful at times, where we just don’t have the strength to fight it. Then we just end up affirming to ourselves, “my life sucks, I don’t have enough money, I don’t have people that really care about me, I’ll just go with the bullshit I guess…”
Really what you’re energetically doing is saying “it’s okay for me to be miserable, and I don’t have to do anything to change it, or flip the script, or heal myself. It’s everything and everyone else’s fault.” But at the end of the day... you're talking about YOUR life.
We have more power over our lives than we give ourselves credit for, and there’s tools for us to get through it all around us. We just need to put our energy out there, admitting we're willing to receive healthy help and support.
We can do everything we can to get that higher paying job (with qualifications and within reason of course). We can choose not to hang out with certain people because we just don’t like how we feel around them… friends, family, anyone!
We hold the power in our lives to create choices and boundaries in order to sift things out of our lives as needed. When we submit to being powerless, we just continue the cycle and hold resentment. This just encourages our anger to grow, because we're choosing not to hold accountability for ourselves and the choices we can make to be happy.
This one has probably the biggest one for me throughout life, not feeling seen or heard, making me completely lose my shit. It’s a difficult one because in the "general" sense, it’s not fully in our control.
We all need to feel validated in some type of way. Someone to say that it’s okay to feel how we do, or when having an argument we need to feel understood in some regard to have closure for our emotions.
Often, when we don’t feel validated, we get defensive. We don’t want to come off powerless to the person or situation, and we want to prove our feelings to matter, so we double down in trying to get our point across. Then we’re so set on wanting people to understand us that we get to the point of, “You know what, I’m STAYING MAD because you don’t deserve my attention, forgiveness, or ANYTHING! You’re the worst!” When really, we just don’t want to feel vulnerable, because then we'd feel hurt and maybe like we’ve lost control or part of ourselves. We’d be defeated by our closure being stolen from us... and for the cherry on top, everyone else gets to just go on with their day.
Anger gives the illusion that we’re holding power because it’s more aggressive and we may feel "in charge," however we're still the ones that have to deal with that emotion. So who’s losing the battle here? The people involved likely not even thinking about whatever happened, or perhaps don't even know you're upset, or you holding the anger and housing negative energy rent free inside your body? There's no winning, only living.
I’ve talked about forgiveness plenty through my life and my work and I always say forgiveness doesn’t have to be for the other person. You don’t have to even forgive them in a verbal agreement, to their face, or a text message. Forgiveness is something that lives within YOU and the power of that is amazing. When we hold our own power and choose to forgive, that can be our closure. (I'll definitely be talking more about forgiveness more in the future)
It's best to acknowledge more inward before fully demanding acknowledgement outward. Yes, we need if from external sources as well, however a lot of the time... do we really?
Is the thing we need this acknowledgement on THAT important that we can't survive without it?
If so, think about the other two points. Are you seeing their perspective? Are you taking accountability for your part in this?
Maybe your accountability is as simple as just how you're communicating about it (or if you're communicating at all).
Also, think about my keys to self-worth. Are you doing all of those things or is there some codependency going on?
It takes some self reminders... but remember to think before you *deeply* feel, because somewhere within you, you hold all of the answers. Your life and your story has led you to get angry about what you do, so try to really think about you first. A bunch of life things may be more simple and less intense than you thought.