Anger: What It Is and How to Deal with It
She was really angry. He had made her so mad!
She was stuck with a disease that would not go away! It could be life-threatening. It would follow her for the rest of her life.
The doctor’s appointment was so humiliating, even though he was so understanding.
The anger was unusual for this woman. She was a passive person by nature.
How was she going to deal with this?
Just think of some of the times you have been angry in life. What was it that made you feel anger? Was it something that you did to yourself or something that someone did to you? Was it related to words, actions, or something else that happened?
Anger is the result of broken boundaries. You did something to yourself that broke your own boundaries, or somebody else did something that broke your boundaries. Boundaries may be spoken or unspoken; you may be aware of them or you may not be aware of them.
You may never have heard of boundaries before; however, they are all around us in everything we do. They may be social, physical, intellectual, spiritual, sexual, or from some other aspect of life.
Different people react differently to different boundaries—meaning how I react to you will be different from how you would react in the same situation. So expect different reactions from different people.
Understanding stuffed anger
Anger that does not get dealt with and gets stuffed leads to depression. This could be just an annoyance of depression or depression that is considered clinical in nature. The severity will depend on your personal reaction to what happened.
Understanding another person’s anger
There may be times that someone is angry with you, even though the other person’s anger is not directed at you.
When this happens, try to understand what is happening in the moment. The other person is bringing up a past memory and is responding in this current moment with anger connected to the past.
It is not about you—it is that person’s issue, not yours. When you understand this, it is so much easier to let go of what is happening in the moment. You do not need to react to what the other person is doing or saying in the moment. It is easier to simply let the matter go.
This does not mean you will always let this person treat you like dirt. Somewhere in this process, you will need to learn to put boundaries around this person—what you will or will not tolerate.
The first way to deal with anger
The first way to deal with anger is to deal with your emotions. This may mean taking a time-out, journaling, exercising, or doing some other activity that helps reduce your anger. It is allowing yourself to let go of the emotional turmoil from what has happened.
Working through this process may take a long time, perhaps years depending on the broken boundary. Boundaries that go to the core of who you are and that bring up feelings of shame take a long time to heal. Doing so may mean talking with a confidential trusted friend or a counsellor.
The second way to deal with anger
The second way to deal with anger is to deal with the broken boundary.
This may need to happen while you are still very angry, so you can limit the damage when you are around the other person.
This may be easy or it may not be easy. It is easier to deal with when your own strong emotions have subsided. When you have reached this point, then you can have a logical conversation without acting out of your emotions.
The third way to deal with anger
The third way to deal with anger is to deal with your stuffed emotions so that you do not get angry and react to the current situation from your past emotions.
This will take time. It may be easy when it comes to annoyances from the past. It may be much more difficult with deeper issues like sexual assault. Working through stuffed emotions may mean talking with a counsellor and dealing with it in a safe place where confidentiality is assured.
The last way to deal with anger
The last way to deal with anger is to learn to plan your life—to be intentional about it so that broken boundaries do not take you by surprise.
This takes trial and error—practice. It requires making new habits!
Be gentle with yourself throughout this process. Take the time to get to know yourself and your boundaries.
You can do it!
Anger is an emotion that can range from feeling annoyed to raging. It is due to a broken boundary—spoken or unspoken. The boundaries need to be dealt with and the angry emotion needs to subside so you can experience inner peace.
The woman in the story still had to deal with the health issue before her. She created boundaries around the person who gave her the disease, and she continues to care for her health by seeking proper medical treatment.
You can learn more about the author Audrey Tait.
You can learn more about trauma in Reflective Meditations Trilogy: Understanding My Trauma, Healing My Trauma, and Letting Go—Forgiveness.