Monday, August 20, 2012

Is Anger a Bad Thing? an article this time

Is anger a bad thing?

You ever had this happen to you? You’re apparently minding your own business and your partner tells you, “You know what? You’re really angry?” And, since nobody likes to be told what they are feeling, you argue.
Or not.
And later, the thought plagues you: Am I angry? And there’s often this underthought: What’s the matter with me, anyway?
Ah, anger. Is Anger a Bad Thing?

I was at a bookstore a few days ago and in the stairwell (Book People for those in Austin), there are bunch of kid toys. A kid event had just ended, and going up, I passed a Mom I know coming down, so we stopped to talk.
I sat on the top stair and as we talked her son decided to use a punching toy to punch my shoulder. No pain. No insult, of course, and I thought it might be good to help him redirect.
So I said, “I’m a real person, and real people don’t like to be punched. Would you please say my name and pretend that box over there is me and punch it.”
He’s a kid. He had some fizz and aggression. The box was a fine outlet.
Notice I didn’t tell him he was angry, or to cool it.

Anyway: this isn’t going to be a long treatise on anger. I’m going to attempt to send out an article three weeks a month as part of my newsletter. The idea will be to give you a few useful tidbits to reward your time in visiting this newsletter. There will be many more articles dealing with anger and special needs children, anger and making money, anger and healing from divorce or perking up relationship and so on. (As well as articles on the gamut, which you know if you read my blog)

And back to anger: It comes with the human territory. Anyone who’s had frustrations, or learned to cork things in, or hasn’t reached full enlightenment, is going to have moments of anger. Or big reservoirs of anger. (In some later article I’ll tell of my father’s amazing way of teaching me to stuff my anger when I was in high school).
We come from cave men and cave women.
We are geared for aggression, at certain times.
Obviously, one bit of understanding toward an amazing life, is to pick our times, and pick our usage of anger. And to cut ourselves a break for being human.

So, the anger is there. And “WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?”

One: Realize, as per above, this is part of who we are. Stop the second level stuff, of being angry or judgmental at ourselves for being angry.

Two: Realize other people have it in them, and take the giant step and be curious: what’s really bugging them? Asking is good, too, if the time and relationship is right. And to merely go beyond, “Man, they are full of anger. Bad news.” To “I wonder what’s the grating inside their psyche” is to be on the road to compassion and good relationship.

Three: As with the little boy: Find benign or even useful outlets. A benign and humorous one: Write the name of someone you are angry at on a piece of paper and tape it to the bottom of your shoe and walk around with that all day. A biggie: write a song about it. And anything in between.

Four: Spend some time finding the depths. Where were you frustrated in the past, and how can you come to the present and move on in ways that delight you and move your life forward? For Entrepreneurs, channeling the anger into work and making money, as they discover compassion for themselves and others, talk about win/win. For a musician this can be writing the above song, or creating the melody of the anger stripped of all that endless “story.” For lovers it can be, shutting up, coming to the present and finding the love that’s always here, always now.

Five thru 200: To be revealed by me and discovered by you. Any deep coaching has fun, not agony, with this powerful energy, and for starters and to end the article let’s wrap up with the starting question:

Is anger bad?
Answer: no.

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