Today, 27 October, I was reading a comment on getting angry about the tragedies in our lives, which also stated that anger is a good thing as a vehicle of release.
It brought to mind how I learned in my young adult years to appreciate anger as a cathartic release rather than a destructive force. Somehow or another, thank God, I developed the ability to productively control my own anger and rage, instead of being controlled by it.
Taking out our anger on those who do not deserve it, because of our own personal emotional pain, is never permissible. But everyone has been the target of other people's anger because of their emotional pain which had nothing to do with us. Yet, we still ended up on the receiving end of anger being directed at us, simply because they had not processed unresolved anger, then risen above the pain they were allowing it to cause in their lives while also inflicting it on others.
The best reasons to adequately process anger, then be able to release it, are self respect and respect for others who mean us no harm. But also if we allow unresolved anger to manifest for long periods of time in our lives, it becomes an entrenched foundation upon which medical conditions and ill-health develop.
I learned, decades ago, that when we truly have made peace with our own anger, we can let go of it and can choose to pay it forward in an ongoing labor of love, rather than allowing it to be an unchecked destructive force in our own lives and the lives of others.
We all know that person, those people, whose unresolved chaotic angry energy can be felt from miles away. Their dislike is palpable, sometimes to the point of feeling like overwhelming hate. They don't need a reason to dislike us, they simply do. Folks projecting unresolved chaotic angry energy often assume those who they observe experiencing joy, contentment, peace of mind have not endured hardships even though they may have endured and are still enduring hardships they experience as being unbearable.
Some people with overwhelming unprocessed unresolved anger seem to believe that if they can not experience good feelings, then no one else should be able to either. The predominate feeling they project is animosity aimed at joy in the lives of others who allow them into their lives. At that point we need to realize that people with unresolved anger issues have become extraordinarily emotionally needy destructive people who are unable to process their own anger and rise above the damage it does to themselves and others. They need professional help.
Because the unprocessed anger of others is something we can do little about, we would do well to recognize that problem and not allow the on-going unresolved anger of another which is causing them emotional pain, to also create unwarranted collateral damage in our own lives.
We are all capable of rising above the suffering anger can create, that our own egotistical self-interest has a bad habit of trying to superimpose onto our own lives, and by extension unnecessarily onto the lives of others, also.
When we care about people we don't want to walk away when they seem unable to make progress, especially when we have contributed a tremendous amount of good energy to encourage and support their progress, and know that others have too. But recognizing that we must walk away at some point, setting a limit and being prepared to walk away, is the best thing we can do for ourselves and those who project damaging unresolved anger at us. It is best to do so before allowing the unresolved destructive chaos to do irreparable damage. And, if possible without creating additional problems by doing so, the best we can do at that point is to advise seeking professional help.
Corollary to this would be that when we, ourselves, need to process unresolved anger to prevent it's destructive energy from needlessly being broadcast as we work on rising above our own anger, it is advisable to avoid exposing others to it while we are still working through it in an effort to refuse to accommodate the emotional suffering it has the potential to inflict.
When we get to the point of feeling anger in ways that release us from experiencing destructive emotional pain, thus from broadcasting it in a way that also inflicts it on others, then anger can be released, often to be replaced by sorrow; sorrow, not depression, not sadness, but cathartic sorrow as a result of feeling compassion for those who have intended to do harm, and those who have done harm because of having been victims of harm; sorrow because of compassion for self too, when we are able to step outside of self and view situations with objectivity; and sorrow that is associated with the necessity of setting and enforcing limits that no longer allow those who harm us, knowingly and unknowingly, to have damaging influence in our lives.
I read a short report today (28 October), in TIME online about a "study" on anger, that concluded men are not plagued by inner anger, but women are, thus when women are angry they cry and do the "helpless woman routine", but men's anger is expressed as "situational conviction". Why Angry Men Are More Influential Than Angry Women
The "study" was entirely based on interacting through typed responses on a screen and the "anger" (computer generated), was expressed in CAP LOCK and exclamation points. However a second report from Terra Daily, Study: Being an angry white male is key to being influential, though being more detailed does not mention the computerized approach nor that the angry responses to which the study participants reacted were computer generated rather than from real people with simply the gender of the response being changed, rather than the content.
I laughed while reading the first short article but was soon aghast imagining that it might be intended to be taken seriously! (No, my exclamation point does not indicate anger . . . it indicates being humorously aghast and highly dubious about the results, mostly because of the method used in the study.) I considered the second longer article to be misleading because of omitting the methodology which made the study seem more credible. Questions arise: Why not do a study of real life juries, instead? And draw conclusions based on reality - at least the reality of the juries in time and place that are studied? I remain dubious about the tentative conclusions drawn about gender based on perception of gender.
Here's why. Plenty of men are plagued by inner anger. And the anger of plenty of women is expressed as situational conviction. Myself, I don't consider the difference to be related to gender, as much as it is related to how long anger is allowed to "fester" and become pain before it is "processed". That is the sort of painful anger that builds up when neither "fight nor flight" is possible. It is the type of painful anger that can be unprocessed from childhood incidents that need to be processed as an adult; and from other times in life when neither fight nor flight is possible.
Some people process anger quickly rather than internalize it. Those folks tend to control anger by experiencing it, processing it and moving on, rather that allowing anger to control them by allowing it build up internally without it being adequately processed.
Internalized unprocessed anger is the type of anger that also becomes a problem for others. And the problem is that it creates emotional pain, until a person realizes it is something to be angry about and in being angry is then able to rise above the pain.
It is never too late to take control of one's anger. Emotional pain can be transformed into productive anger as a release which can be used to motivate problem solving.
However, the longer pain is allowed to fester and create the type of sometimes uncontrollable anger it can cause, the more likely a person is to require professional guidance to be able to come to terms with the pain. By defining it, becoming angry about cause, in a healthy way, it is then possible to transcend painful anger, and move on.