Anger Management Style: How Do You Handle It?

To be blunt, the last few months have tried my patience like never before. Aside from the fact my routines for self-care have been a bit haphazard, I have felt uneasy, distracted and a bit out of balance. It’s not that I haven’t felt these things before, but not with such consistency and intensity. And although these feelings come and go as I discover new ways of thinking and looking at my own actions along my spiritual path, I’ve noticed something else…I’m angry.

Other words I would use are pissy, frustrated, irritated, mad or “bent out of shape.” But aside from these easy-to-identify feelings, the real truth is that I don’t know how to deal with the anger itself because it’s not something that feels as comfortable for me, but not for the reasons you think.

Learning and Unlearning Anger Behaviors

I come from a family of yellers. It wasn’t so much that it was always due to anger, it’s just we are all forceful personalities who wanted to be heard and felt the need to yell over each other to make a point. So when I got older and became involved in romantic relationships, I did the same thing, not really realizing that others had grown up differently. That is until I was in a relationship with a man who refused to communicate with me if I was yelling instead of having a dialogue. It was the first time I realized that people could have emotional discussions in normal tones of voice and not with such heat and fire.

Fast forward years into other relationships, a major move to Colorado from the east coast and lots of intense self-learning and personal growth challenges. There was a lot of anger, frustration and pain that had no clear outlet and I often stuffed it down just get through the day. And all this time I’ve held onto these beliefs, cobbled together from my previous experiences — expressing anger isn’t productive in romantic relationship; lots of important points can be lost if they are screamed instead of shared in conversation; I have to yell to be heard, but at the same time, I’m sometimes unable to give myself permission to do so because the other person will shut down and not acknowledge me. It has created some distinct contradictions to say the least.

Now here we are in present day, I can say I sometimes still get stumped with how to be angry. I’ve modeled others or chose the normal escape routes of distraction, but I’m still not 100 percent comfortable or confident with how to manage and express my own anger without feeling guilty. In fact, the healer part of me kicks in almost immediately, looking at everyone else’s point of view about why they may be angry, but unable to actually acknowledge and release my own.

Light, Dark and the Truth of Balance

The truth is, without the light and dark within you, you are out of balance. Things are going to piss you off, and it’s damn OK to say so. But you also need to find a way to express anger that feels positive for you, knowing you are completely safe and within your right as a human being to do so. That means raising your voice with someone if you feel the need to, telling them you are angry, or screaming all by yourself just to get it out. You can also do something physical to work off the energy, writing it down, meditation, yoga, Tai Chi, spending time outdoors — anything to release or work through it instead of saying “it’s not a big deal.” It is. Your feelings and thoughts are important and deserve expression in a way that’s meaningful to you. You can’t always concern yourself with how others are going to react to it.

One of the most obvious things happening right now as we deal with the tight alignment of planets is how, astrologically, this alignment is creating an intensity of all types of fears, anger and emotions. Even if you just focus on the science of it, the planets do have an impact on each other and are not usually this close together. It’s not the end of the world, per se, but it is the end of dealing in the world as we used to, and creating a new way to see light and dark. It’s a real opportunity to identify and release what no longer serves you, and that includes thoughts, ideas, emotions, people, self-imposed rules and beyond.

If you are looking for a way to kick-start that, you can check out The Dark Side of the Light Chasers by Debbie Ford. She has done a ton of writing about shadow work and how to create a process of looking at your shadows in new ways. It’s also important to create time to really tune in and admit where you might be angry. It might be at a person, situation, job, yourself —- but whatever it is, now is the time to embrace that idea that you have a dark side that needs acknowledgement and find a way to greet and accept it so you can grow and expand into a new way of being.

So in this cycle of time, how are you expressing your anger and frustration? How are you dealing with uncomfortable emotions that are making you feel “off.” What anger management tools do you find helpful?

Photo by Psycholabs