In my opinion, this is the most and least acceptable emotion on the planet. Rivalled only, perhaps, by happiness. Here’s why I think that it is.
From the perspective of the person who feels and expresses anger, it is easier to hair trigger respond and scream than it is to wade through the myriad of thoughts and feelings that a situation has created. It is the go to mask when we either can’t define the emotional soup we are feeling or the real emotions feel to vulnerable. From the perspective of the person experiencing the anger as either the catalyst or innocent bystander, it is easier to brush the response off as being “dramatic” or “out of control” than it is to hear and see the pain. It eases our conscience and gives us an out from the situation.
What I know to be true for myself is that quite often when I, either alone or with a trusted friend/counselor, can dump the anger out orally or written, it allows for a break in the surface tension by which the underlying, more vulnerable emotions can glide through and be talked about. It allows me to cry, to scream about what I’m really feeling, to breathe, to be raw and real, and to laugh again.
It can be very challenging to keep our own cool when we get hit with an onslaught of anger out of seemingly nowhere. It can take a few beats and a couple deep breaths to remind ourselves to listen to what they are saying and create a safe space for them to break the surface tension and connect with their most vulnerable selves.
It takes practice, compassion, and love to be ok with the expression of anger and the vulnerability of raw emotion. When we do, we move into greater understanding and empathy. We connect on a soul level because we remove the protective shields around our hearts and give permission to be seen.
Dance. Fight. Care.