Avoiding Anger Hangovers | 021

Ever had an Anger Hangover? | Episode 21

“Learning to navigate anger is a skill. It is possible to handle anger in such a way that you can take away its value. Do yourself proud in how you behave and come out the other side with relationships stronger and more authentic for having explored the honest truth of your anger.”

  • An anger hangover feels like guilt, embarrassment & remorse and it has thoughts like ‘how could I say that’, ‘where did that come from’, ‘what was I thinking’. It may even deteriorate to shame and questioning your own self-worth.
  • Anger is actually valuable, rich, important and worthy of mining because if we can get curious and understand what’s going on below the surface away from the heat of the moment we can own our anger instead of it owning us.
  • Emotions and actions are two separate things. Do not confuse the emotion of anger with loud or aggressive behaviour.

Types of relationships with anger

  • Ignore. Do not engage with the enemy: anger! Reject and ignore anger as best you can. And every now and then it pops out much to your regret.
  • Another name for it you could say is ‘compliance’. Be nice. Don’t cause ripples. Smile and adapt. Take nothing personally. Don’t get angry – it’ll all be ok.
  • Then there’s the co-dependent relationship that emerged out of an inability to successfully repress the big angry emotion and so anger explosions occur regularly. You know it’s not good for you but now it feels normal and it’s your comfort zone. It can feel too difficult to make change. I am angry person. I have a short temper.
  • Healthy, respectful working relationship with anger. People who model this acknowledge their anger and they own it. When they experience it they take note and may communicate in a strong, stern and yet caring voice. There anger if often what I can clean. More about that now. The key thing is that when they are angry they’re still in charge and they navigate the energy of anger in service of themselves and others. This relationship helps anger contribute toward positive choices, improving relationships, projects and performance without doing damage.

Muddy anger

Sometimes anger is a cover-up other feelings such as powerlessness, jealousy, helplessness, low self-worth (in our minds or in reality) or even a vulnerability or neediness. The truth is that the anger can be a great distraction both as the enormous emotion and the focus on the behaviour. Anything besides risking exposure by acknowledging the truth of what you are feeling. It can be really tough to take a good hard look at what is actually going on.

  • Are you HANGRY (hungry resulting in anger)?
  • Are you getting enough sleep?
  • Could excessive stress be playing a role?
  • What about the situation or your own thinking is fuelling the anger.
  • What else is going on beside anger?
  • What are your expectations?
  • What are your desires, your boundaries?
  • Do you feel you have choice?
  • Are yourself or another compromising your values?

A deep dive may help you clear up if this is a muddy anger involving other emotions or actually it is a clean, clear pure anger.

Useful, Truthful Clean Anger

What is a clean, truthful anger. The energy doesn’t project from you outward at someone or something. It appears to run through you and ground you almost like you’re growing roots. You’re absolutely clear a boundary has been crossed or something has happened and you’re absolutely clear that it’s unacceptable and something has to be done.

Your voice changes it seems to ground too and although it may be stronger than normal it is not shriek-y, shrill or yell-y. It’s strong and communicative and immovable. This is anger in its true power to stands it ground and be heard.

How do you learn to ride anger or navigate anger in such a way that you can take away the value, do yourself proud in how you handle it and come out the other side with relationships in tact, stronger and gentler for having explored the honesty truth of your anger

Looking to the Data Anger holds?

It has lots of information that once unlocked can yield awareness and open up choices to you. The best part is once you begin to pay attention you can listen to your anger when it’s whispering instead of trying to pay attention once the anger is boiling or already in 5th gear.

Picking up what is going on early can change how you relate to anger and while this is no over night, quick fix the investment of attention, presence and practice can literally change patterns of how you do life. And over time anger handover’s can become a way of the past.

So what are some of the messages that anger may be communicating.

  1. The first is information around safety: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual safety.
  • Are you feeling threatened or intimidated?
  • Is it a real threat or is it your ego or thinking which is fueling a perspective and feeding your anger?
  • Are you concerned for the safety of your family or friends, our tribe and strangers, fellow humans you believe deserve safety? Which is why we have marches, non-profits many of these have been born out of a just and clear anger that the way things are just is not good enough.
  1. Boundaries defined by Brene Brown are ‘what is ok for you and what is not’? This isn’t just a case of safety here what’s ok and what’s not may related to values, justice, respect, standards of excellence or commitment.
  • So does your anger relate to any of these?
  • Are you accepting behaviour that if you honest with yourself isn’t respectful?
  • Could your anger relate to your values and something in your life conflicting with that?
  • Is you anger calling you to pay attention to justice or standards of excellence or challenge?
  • What is your anger communicating?

When something needs to change the emotion of anger combined with wise behaviour can be a serious force for good.

  1. Finally anger may be conveying messages about where you are disempowered, stuck or where there is challenge or obstacles that are demanding you review strategy, maybe even your goals or at least your route to your goal.

Reflection about the message anger is delivering offers a chance to be empowered within your emotion instead of being ruled by it.

If you can pause long enough to recognise your anger is rising and (if possible) step away from the situation and get curious? What is anger trying to tell me? And these questions are just (sometimes more powerful) in reflection on a situation because you are joining the neutral pathways, you are gaining insights (we are very habitual creatures) and if we react to our spouse when we’re disappointed we may well find that is also a major trigger for us in our teams or with our children.

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