Is Your Anger Normal? What does ‘normal’ look like anyway?
With anger management becoming such a hot topic (Charlie Sheen is taking it, Pink has taken it, Lindsey Lohan has been court ordered to do some form of Psychological Counselling which will probably include Anger Management among a host of other things), it raises the question, “What does ‘normal’ even look like”?
Should I be getting angry, should I not? Is anger bad? Is it good?
In our society today I feel that anger is related to just as depression was many years ago. It is something we sweep under the rug and pretend doesn’t exist, because the reactions it provokes can have extreme consequences. An anger outburst can result in losing a job, damaging relationships and in some cases a police arrest. The only problem is that pretending something doesn’t exist often forces us to stuff the emotion down, which can then add fuel to the fire: making it worse and unmanageable. Anger is an emotion just like all of our other emotions. It is not wrong … as an emotion. Where we get confused is that anger, when not dealt with in a healthy way, can lead to destructive behaviour. It is important that we separate the behaviour from the emotion. Anger the emotion is okay to feel, destructive behaviour is never okay. If we pretend the anger emotion doesn’t exist and we don’t pay attention to what it is telling us about ourselves or our situations it will most likely take us to places we don’t want to be like negative behaviour.
With that being said, anger the emotion is very normal and very important as part of our emotional vocabulary. Now it’s time to figure out what to do with it!
How to tell if your anger is “normal”
- Anger and Conflict scare you When we are scared of becoming angry we end up stuffing our emotions instead of dealing with them as they come. What happens when we do this is that our emotions get bigger and in time so do our outbursts and explosions.
- You turn your anger inwards When you become angry at yourself a lot, blaming yourself for everything that has not gone the way you wanted it to in a day, tearing yourself down, doubting yourself, what you are actually doing is destroying any sense of self esteem you may have. Considering self esteem dictates how we feel about ourself and the world around us, it then becomes challenging to find happiness and success within our life.
- You end up saying things you don’t want to say How often have you had an argument and have had words fly out of your mouth that you never intended on. How often have you said things that you did not want to say? This always makes conflict worse but it does not have to happen.
- You end up doing things you regret later So often, one bad night can lead to your worst nightmares coming true. Anger does not have to be synonymous with yelling, shouting, fighting, kicking, throwing or any other behavior we think of when we think of anger. Often this one bad night can lead to a loss of relationships, friendships or in some cases even an arrest and charges being laid.
- Your lose control of your emotions Anger is one of those emotions where if we lose control it can have horrible consequences. I’ve worked with people who have lost jobs, relationships, and so much more due to their anger outbursts. The truth is that you can be in control of your anger instead of your anger being in control of you.
- Your emotions start to affect your life in a negative way