Let’s just start by saying I have a short temper. Super short. Even shorter than my height. And over the years, I constantly tried to get it under control because you know, anger isn’t a good emotion and anger is bad. Or so they say, whoever they may be.
Enter the world of unpacking and learning about emotions. I had never tried to figure out why I’d get angry at little things; I just felt guilty that I would. Until I started looking deeper. Now I know that when I get angry and throw my phone against the wall (just joking, I have a punching bag for that reason hahaha), it’s because there is something that triggered it and for me, most of the time, it’s because some boundary was crossed. For example, when I’m contacted by people who only remember me when they want something (if you ever want to see me angry, become one of those people in my life), I’m less angry at being contacted, and it’s really more about the reason why I’m being contacted.
Now, you may be pretty good at setting boundaries so have less anger towards this, but maybe something else makes you angry…maybe when someone hasn’t done dishes again for the umpteenth time, it’s less the dishes that upset you and more that you feel like you’re been taken for granted. Or when you’re not getting the response you want, it’s because you don’t feel heard and it’s less about the response, that’s the issue.
A TED talk by Ryan Martin, called “Why we get mad – and why it’s healthy” really made me think about why and what makes me angry and the impact it has. It’s a short talk, to the point with a clear explanation of why our anger is important to look at, and why we shouldn’t try hide or run away from it. I suggest you take a look at it:)
What’s interesting is that if we view anger as an emotion that’s alerting us to look deeper, we’ll learn more about ourselves and will be able to deal with the root cause, not the catalyst. Because of this, there are many things that no longer frustrate me the way they used to (for someone who was highly OCD before, which way the toilet paper has been placed seriously has no effect anymore), now I’m just mildly OCD. It’s a work in progress okay.
“Your anger exists in you because it offered your ancestors, both human and non-human, an evolutionary advantage. It’s a powerful and healthy force in your life.” – Ryan Martin.