Hey guys! I’m currently on spring break, which gives me an awesome time to publish some noteworthy stuff that you can incorporate into your mindset and give you a dose of perspective on a thing called Anger!
Whether it be someone who cut you off on the road, some petty drama you got dragged into, or just relationship issues with the people in your life… Yeah, I think it’s safe to say that we’re well acquainted with our friend, Anger over here.
Sometimes being angry, isn’t the best way to live your life. Research has shown that people who engage in road rage (guilty), are more likely to have unnecessary stress in their lives.
But you already knew that, right?
Haha okay well, here are some things that I’ve noticed in the realm of anger and how people manifest anger in different ways. More specifically, it’s the 5 ways people commonly express their anger, the drawbacks and solutions of each.
Bottling it up
We all know this kind of anger. This is the kind of anger where it is just stuffed, stored, even buried deep in the ravines of the heart and mind. Bottling up your anger is not at all the most effective way to “dealing” with it. In fact, this is the most common way people try to cope with this anger. The problem is, however, this isn’t even a way to deal with whatever is bothering you at all. If you think about it, all of the anger you hold, has been stuffed into a safe that is wrapped with chains, padlocked and has a sign saying, “DO NOT OPEN”.
This is a pretty volatile way of “expressing” anger because:
- It isn’t good for the person holding on to this deep-seated vendetta
- In any given moment, this person could explode in a fit of rage-i.e something much more destructive than anger.
Solution: Before you go off shoving things deep down, think about how valuable it would be to tackle the problem (or whatever is pissing you off) head-on. Another thing to do is you can sit down and talk over the problem with a trusted therapist, friend, or family member.
The One-Word Answer
Oof. The ‘uh huh’, ‘cool’, ‘oh’, etc. Don’t even get me started on the one word answers. I know all about it, because this is the way I normally express my anger in a given situation. To make matters worse, I’ll actually get to a point where I’ll wait until the other person asks me “what’s wrong?”. I learned to pick up on that habit quickly and try my hardest not to do it, because it can be a little annoying.
Imagine having a conversation with someone, either through texting or in-person. The conversation is going well, until you and the other person have a disagreement. The disagreement subsides, but you’re still mad about how after all the points that were discussed, conclude with “okay, lets just agree to disagree”. How annoying is it to have a person to just be like “okay” , “whatever”, “cool”, afterwards?
I remember back in middle school and high school, whenever we would have a confrontation through text, (which was all the time) we would say something along the lines of “k.cool.bye” and each person would tweak that phrase to their liking.
Solution: Before you begin to say your one word answer, take a step back and think about something else you could say. Instead of getting mad at what someone said or how they said it, try asking them, “what did you mean when you said (*insert what they said here*)?” By going about it this way, you’re able to articulate what someone said or did to you.
The Silent Treatment/Cold Shoulder
Oh wow. This is another common one. The silent treatment. This is a seething anger anyone and everyone can see, without you even saying anything. Only problem is, you’re not talking to the person who got you mad in the first place!
You are just sitting there, in all your seething anger glory, ignoring someone over something they did wrong. This is obviously not a healthy way to express your anger. Holding grudges does nothing but dig you in a deeper hole than you originally intended to. You hurt yourself more than you actually hurt the other person (no matter how many times you kill them in your head). You can’t walk away and ignore the person, who pissed you off, forever. You have to talk.
Solution: Get over yourself. Yes, get off your high horse. Step out of that comfort zone and actually have a conversation with the person. Communication is key in any relationship and if you see that there was something wrong, talk about it. We aren’t juvenile anymore. We’re adults.
Being pushed to your breaking point and actually unloading all your anger on one person, is no bueno. In one way, you are expressing this anger and you are telling them that you have just gotten pissed off, but in another way, you’re unloading a ton of things that, later on, you’ll regret.
See, when you’re angry, your frontal lobe (ie the front part of your brain that helps discern behaviors, moods, impulse, etc) shuts off or becomes dormant when you lash out. It isn’t until after you’ve come down from the episode that you realize “fuck, did I really mean that?”, “Ugh, what is wrong with me?”, etc.
Solution: Think before you react. Take a step back and listen to what the other person is saying. Before you react to a situation, you are still in control of your actions, your frontal lobe hasn’t gone dormant…yet. It’s only when you flip-out and all hell breaks loose, that your frontal lobe just becomes dormant for a bit and then resumes all its functions once you cool down. Also, learning what makes you tick helps loads, so do this by doing some introspection, i.e taking out a piece of paper and making a list of anything that makes you mad.
Now this is different from the silent treatment. Isolation is when you become so mad, so angry, not at just one person, but at the whole situation and the people involved, that you withdraw yourself from it all together. You want no part in it. You’re pissed and just done with all of it.
This is a bad thing, especially if you decide to isolate yourself while the situation is still in progress. Be it a discussion with the parents, a discussion with friends, etc. You should never shut down or mentally isolate yourself from a discussion the moment that you are exposed to perspectives that aren’t yours. In other words, don’t leave a conversation if the person has a different view on a subject you care about.
Isolating yourself doesn’t allow for you to listen to other opinions. Truthfully, it is an act of being stubborn. I used to do this all the time. Anytime I heard opposing views from anyone, I would shut down and write the person off.
Solution: Be open to all opposing views and hear people out. Take a step back and analyze why you are feeling hostile towards the subject. Allow yourself to be honest, without getting angry or condescending.
Anger can be managed and you can navigate through it. Most of these strategies have helped me in many situations. For more info on how to effectively communicate your anger or whatever is bothering you to the other person, check out my post on The Power of Communication
Sending a ton of love and light your way! Let me know if these mindful posts have helped you in your everyday life!