It takes just moments to build… a storm raging within. Someone says or does something you strongly oppose and you instantly feel the most powerful human emotion rise within you – ANGER.
For some – particularly women – it can be hard to accept feelings of anger. We might believe that flying off in a fit of rage is only something that happens to others, not ourselves. Equally, we need to understand and accept that anger can take on many different forms – including sadness or a feeling of injustice.
Often seen in a negative light, anger is a completely natural and normal human emotion. In fact, some might even say it’s healthy. But it is how we express and deal with anger that shapes who we are and how we deal with life.
Relationships Australia NT has been looking at the many faces of anger in a two session skill building course – “Exploring Anger with Women” and we were thrilled to have a full group of participants enrol during the first semester of 2015.
All of the women who took part learnt not only about those around them, but importantly about themselves. Hearing about the experiences of others dealing with anger, and working out strategies to deal with anger as it arises.
“It was good to talk openly about my emotions with other open and honest women,” said one course participant.
“The course was a great help to understanding myself.”
Knowing what triggers your anger and learning to control your reactions is the key to using anger in a constructive way. Like all emotions, we need to ‘own’ our anger. Bottling feelings of anger not only hurts yourself, but those around you. The danger in this type of response is that if it isn’t allowed outward expression, your anger can turn inwards – on yourself.
Unexpressed anger can manifest as passive aggressive behaviour, or a personality that constantly seems cynical and hostile. Not surprisingly, this type of behaviour makes it hard to maintain positive relationships.
Anger can be expressed and experienced in healthy and unhealthy ways. You always have a choice as to how you will emotionally respond to a situation. Importantly, anger is a feeling or emotion, not an action.
Anger does not need to be expressed with aggression. Abuse and violence are not feelings, they are actions. Knowing how and when to express your anger is a skill worth developing.
There will be many times during your life when you feel the people around you are trying to ‘push your buttons’, but it’s important to remember you control those buttons.
Pick your battles carefully. You may need to take the time to think about what you want to say, and how you want to say it. If you really feel the need to say something, make sure you express yourself in a way that will be heard by others.
This valuable life-skill comes about by listening to and understanding your anger. And ultimately, may lead to you forming new conclusions about yourself, others and the world around you.
If you are interested in attending Relationships Australia NT “Exploring Anger with Women” in Darwin or Alice Springs please contact us to register your interest or to be added to our Relationship Education course mailing list.
For more information call Darwin on phone 8923 4999 or Alice Springs 89504100.
Relationships Australia NT also runs a one night information session for men called What To Do About Anger for Men. Please contact us for more details