“Darkness ain’t feasible when you are bringing light to your darker side.”
Continuing from my last rage blog post, we will today take a more in-depth look into rage and anger.
As men, we seldom dare to express anger. It is just not respectable to show your fury or even annoyance publicly. People will raise eyebrows, turn away or avoid you in general. You are not welcome as long as anger accompanies you.
No matter what age we look at, we can see the impact of social expectations everywhere. In Kindergarten, young boys are not allowed to rebel, to fight or argue. Shouting, screaming or repeated denying with an adult will not be tolerated. Neither by the parents nor by the bystanders watching the dispute. What a start into a young life. Early on, we learn to: “Keep quiet, follow the order, do not lose control over the expected attitude.” The same pattern accompanies us in schools, at our workplaces or any other social surrounding.
We suppress our bad feelings and avoid any argument. Did that anger disappear or dissolve? No, we swallowed and buried it deep inside. It starts building up, more and more.
It gets darker and darker, and our feelings will accommodate in the same way. What will cheer us up again? – Numbing our senses with a quick fix! For example, porn, social media or consumption. We want to redefine our inner world by changing the perception of other.s about us by looking for external rewards. But that will work neither in favour of us.
Back to the proscription of anger:
I can see it even in men’s groups – places where a “safe container” get set up for the man to express his anger. Usually, this works rather well. And still, more and more often, I see men freeze-up. Unable to open the lid of their stuffed down anger box. The pressure is too high. Their system shuts down.
So for some, that means that despite a safe container, they do not feel comfortable to bring out and express their anger. These men struggle, they are caught up in a self-repeating pattern and therefore have no chance to step into their warrior archetype to defend their boundaries. Until the so long stuffed down anger will turn into rage, so-called violent anger.
What can you do to get a grip on anger management?
6 Steps to healthy anger:
1) Raise awareness on anger feelings inside yourself. Activate your anger scanner.
2) Acknowledge any anger feeling which is revealing itself to you as soon as you perceive it. Trust that feeling, as it is trying to inform you about an inner alarm which got triggered. Do not get carried away by the feeling at this moment. Contain it for a few split seconds.
3) Before you safely address that anger, often you first need space and time. So take a step back. Maybe inform your “opponent” that you need a moment.
4) Check this simple question:
“When my anger showed up, which need was not met?”
Check layer for layer and go as deep as possible.
5) When you found the need which has not been met, put it in context to the trigger-situation. “Ask yourself what is true about this situation?”
6) You will then know how to address your “anger” reasonably.
Remark: It is not about being right or wrong. It is about standing your ground for the values about which you care.
Remark: Wording is as vital as the distinction of facts, own emotions and not met needs. Speak of yourself!
“If you want others to respect your boundaries, respect your feelings first.”
Expressing anger in a healthy way will help you grow as a person. Your warrior-archetype will get strengthened and grounds you. You will enhance your lover archetype as well because you practise self-love and connection to others.
Once you mastered this, you did not only found a valve to prevent high pressure, but you also found a way to step in between the cause and effect context.
Manage and address your anger feelings before they turn into rage. Because rage is going to harm you before and others when it bursts out.