“I don’t get angry, I grow a tumor.”~Woody Allen
Anger is underrated. Or over-criticized. Too much anger can certainly be destructive – personally, professionally, mentally, and physically. However, too little anger can also wreak havoc.
A client recently shared with me a situation he was facing at work. He felt judged, unsupported, and criticized by a co-worker…and he was proudly telling me how he took it all in stride, didn’t even feel angry, and simply went on. When I asked him if he was experiencing any lack of patience at home, or tiredness and headaches, he sheepishly said yes to a few of those, and asked me why.
When we are angry, really angry, and yet we don’t let ourselves feel the anger or let the anger out, it finds a way out elsewhere. Woody Allen may have been exaggerating when he claimed to grow tumors, but unexpressed anger does have the ability to cause pain and distress.
It’s important to find a safe way to allow your anger and let it out – and then to move on. Find a way that can’t hurt you (physically, financially, emotionally, etc.) or anyone else. Let the energy out of your system and do what you need to do to take care of yourself. Then truly let it go as best you can.
I’ve suggested to clients that they let themselves feel the anger rather than bottling it up or swallowing it. Get angry and then – write a letter you don’t send, throw eggs at a tree, punch a pillow, scream at the top of your lungs, exercise, or perhaps confront your supposed offender and stand up for yourself. Whatever is the best way to appropriately release your anger so that it doesn’t stay in your system. Then, and only then, can you move on to feeling better.
Where are you not allowing yourself to get angry? Where are you not doing something about it? Where do you want to?
Get angry. Enjoy the fact that you’ve claimed that power for yourself. Then let it go and move on to feeling better.