Feeling Angry? Try Opening to the Emotions Underneath Your Anger
I've studied anger for years (and did a TedxTalk on the topic), and yet I still found myself feeling some gnarly anger over these last few weeks. I noticed myself quietly raging at people on social media and on the news. I noticed myself intensely judging friends and family for their perspectives, fears, and points of view about Covid-19, social distancing, the US government, etc. (and FYI, I have absolutely no interest in using this post to debate those issues).
There are 2 kinds of anger that we have been feeling and it is important to distinguish them: - There is "Pure Anger" Pure anger is anger as primary emotion and this kind of anger represents a pure boundary, violation, a stand against injustice, or a big fat NO. - There is Anger as a "Secondary Emotion" We wear this kind of anger like a jacket over other emotions like grief, fear, anxiety or pain. This "Jacket Anger" serves to puff us up and insulate us from feeling vulnerable, powerless, and helpless. It is important to note that "Pure Anger" can not only be fierce, but it can also be heartful, vulnerable and powerfully authentic. Through Pure Anger's vulnerability we can actually promote connection and greater understanding. Whereas, "Jacket Anger" is usually without heart and vulnerability. This kind of anger wants to attack, blame and is fiercely married to its point of view because it does not want to feel the vulnerability underneath. I share this post because I feel like there are many emotions out there right now, and what ALL of us need is more compassion, understanding and a willingness to hear each others point of view without attacking one another. Hearing each other, and having compassion for each other, does not mean you need to agree. Let's get beneath our anger and do the good work of FEELING whatever is underneath it. My sense is that most of us are feeling the exact same thing. Feel free to share your thoughts or comments HERE on YouTube. For more videos, please subscribe HERE to my YouTube channel.