How to stop being an angry 'ogre'

anger, self-loathing, shame

You’re not an ogre, but you do get frus­trated and the feel­ings over­whelm you.

If only there was some­thing you could do to stop feel­ing angry, right? An inter­ven­tion? A pad­ded room so you can throw things around without hurt­ing someone?

Ironically, not the best approaches on their own.

Let’s learn a little about anger.

Anger is biologically designed to protect us.

Why? If you get angry, you actu­ally increase hor­mones of adren­aline and nor­ead­ren­aline. You feel less pain. You can chop a snake’s head off and nor­mally are afraid of them. Anger involves cour­age and protection.

So…if you are cut off in a gro­cery store lineup and are filled with rage, your anger is show­ing up as a self-pro­tec­tion tool. True, you are not in phys­ic­al danger. But your own lim­its for bound­ar­ies and self-respect have been crossed. You feel viol­ated, betrayed, and isol­ated from your social group with that beha­viour. You’re going to get mad.

Suppression of anger when it arrives only fuels the fire.

Anger is a very intense emo­tion, but like many oth­er senses, anger is only a series of chem­ic­als and hor­mones that are flood­ing the sys­tem. The time for this sen­sa­tion is typ­ic­ally short. If we allow it to course through us, doing our best not to judge it, it will pass more quickly. Think about your­self as a wit­ness to a tod­dler­’s tan­trum. You accept and see these feel­ings as pos­it­ive (Janet Lansbury, I love you).

Underneath the anger the cause of this self-protection will be revealed.

Once this ini­tial surge of hor­mone and chem­ic­al floods the brain and body, you can actu­ally calm your­self to fig­ure out:

  1. Why am I really upset?
  2. Is this some­thing I can solve?
  3. What can I do to sup­port myself?

Generally the causes of anger are:

  • Sadness
  • Fear
  • Disconnection (not feel­ing heard)
  • Loneliness

If you have the cour­age to be angry, you also have the cour­age to gently sit with your­self and ask these ques­tions as well.

Anger summary.

  1. Anger is a mes­sage about safety
  2. Anger is just a state, and will pass if you allow it
  3. Anger can help you in the future if you learn from its appear­ance and know why it arrives for you

I prom­ise, you’re not an ogre. You are a nor­mal human, just fig­ur­ing them­selves out.

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