May 23, 2021
Hi Friends, today I wanted to touch on the topic of anger.
Some feelings we often try to avoid, and most times our intentions are pure. I hope this week’s topic gives you some insight into your own emotions and how you are handling them. As always, this advice is not from a licensed professional. I am speaking from personal experience here. What works for you may not work for me.
With that said, I want to start with the broad question why do we feel anger? The scientific reasoning, according to How It Works Daily is: “As far as we know, anger is one of the oldest and most primitive forms of emotion. It is believed to have been hard-wired in our brains many thousands of years ago, to help us survive tougher times. Back then, resources like food, potential mates and shelter were relatively scarce. Anger was, therefore, a vital emotion giving our ancestors the necessary drive and power to survive when their safety, or a chance to mate, was threatened.” But Veronica, you say to your screen, I don’t even have a mate to be threatened! Don’t worry. There are plenty of other explanations for your angry feelings. In my research, I have found there to be three main types of anger. 3 is normally the magic number so I think we’re off to a good start. I will only be discussing the first two today, and the third another time as I feel it needs its own article. As always there will be coping mechanisms at the end along with this week’s meditation.
The first type of anger I am going to look at today is Passive. I’m sure you have experienced this in your lifetime, and maybe we have even joined the passive train a time or two. Common examples of passive aggression are stonewalling, belittlement, and procrastination towards another person. Often times passive anger gets a pass, slides under the radar (especially in relationships). This is unfortunate because when the passive aggressive behavior becomes chronic the victim is often so deeply rooted in their abuser’s mindset. They simply don’t realize that what is happening to them is not okay. What is stonewalling, exactly? Stonewalling is often called the cold shoulder. What is boils down to, as a behavior, is a refusal to cooperate. This can leave victims of chronic passive aggression feeling lost and hopeless, often times stuck in their own heads. This goes hand-in-hand with procrastination. Now there is absolutely nothing wrong with procrastination! However, if you are procrastinating in order to harm another person, maybe think again. Belittlement is, in my opinion, the most “accepted” form of passive aggression. Sarcasm, snide remarks under one’s breath just loud enough for the victim to hear? Not okay in the slightest. Essentially, if your goal is to hurt another person, stop and think first.
The second type of anger I want to talk about is Open Aggression. Open aggression is the more recognizable form of anger when compared to passive. Open aggression can range from verbal insults to physical abuse. No matter what situation you are in, open aggression is not okay. Going into a situation with the intent to harm another person will not only NOT resolve the issue, it will most likely make you feel worse in the end. I’m not saying nobody’s ever not deserved to be punched but that’s a story for another day.
At the end of the day, the only person who is harmed by you holding onto anger is yourself. This week’s meditation is going to be wonderful for letting go of anger. Breathing techniques are always something I suggest, but when it comes to anger you may need something stronger. Often times when I am so angry that I can’t function, I start by sitting down. I tend to run around and clean when I’m mad, so sitting is the best place for me to start personally. The next thing I do is distract myself until the initial hurt wears down a bit. This doesn’t mean you aren’t still angry or hurt, this is just taking a step back from the heat of the moment. The third thing I like to do is reframe the situation. If I look at what happened as a bystander, how would I feel? This will sometimes put things into perspective. Often times we don’t know how bad the storm is until we are out of it. The same goes for those looking in. You may feel somebody is overreacting or being dramatic, but they are in the eye of their own storm while you watch from the beach. Be mindful friends. Thanks for reading!
This week’s meditation: Guided Meditation for Letting Go of Anger