How to Deal with Anger

couple stands angrily shouting arguing
by Deborah Fairfull

Happiness was the most widely searched term on Google last year.

Everyone wants to be happy.

However, one of the biggest things that can take you away from your inner peace is being confronted with anger. Your anger that can well up inside and you erupt when triggered by certain incidents. It can make you feel like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, leaving you feeling unstable and confused. At other times you can be confronted with someone else’s anger that can cause you to feel shaky and off balance. When someone is extremely angry with you it is not uncommon to feel deeply hurt or disappointed.

The good news is that there are other ways to deal with anger where everyone can feel more connected and even happier!

The three ways to deal with anger are:

  1. Reflection: where you meet another person’s anger with anger. That is when someone is angry with you, you are angry in your interaction towards them too. This only escalates the situation, turning it into a conflict where things can be said and done that both parties will regret. For example, your husband yells at you because you didn’t pay a bill on time. Rather than explaining why, you yell back at him that it’s not your fault and you can’t be expected to do all the work, and you have had enough. Two angry people yelling at each other means that no-one is listening with empathy and compassion and it rarely leads to a win-win solution.
  2. Absorption:  when someone is angry towards you and you suck it up. You absorb all their anger like a sponge and that helps them to feel better, however, rarely feels good for you! This can happen when your boss is angry with you and you don’t feel comfortable saying what you really feel in return. You then take on their emotion and keep the anger within your energetic field and it can lead to you feeling resentful (resentment is unexpressed anger). If you hold onto unexpressed emotions for long periods of time, you can feel bitter or in the long- term it can even lead to health problems. Emotions that make you feel uneasy are your body’s way of telling you to let go of old emotions and thoughts that do not serve your natural state of feeling well and happy.Angry reaction absorption
  3. Transformation: where you make a decision to acknowledge your own or another’s anger and then make a choice to respond in a peaceful and loving way. This sounds so easy but in fact, it can be one of the hardest things to do as it involves you going beyond your ego. Your ego will often want you to buy into the drama and insists that you know best and that others are wrong. Ongoing chaos and unrest are what keep your ego alive. However, if you can make a choice in the moment, to remain in your natural state of peace and calm, regardless of what others are doing, you will feel more emotionally stable and confident.

Transformation is what allows you to be true to yourself and retain a sense of control in your life, rather than letting the emotions of others or your emotions, such as anger, control you. You may have been in a situation where you are travelling along fine one minute and the next minute you are taken away from your peace by another’s angry reaction. Anger is what is seen as a negative emotion as it can overtake you, put you on autopilot and make you do or say things that hurt people, things you may later regret. On the other hand, you can be at the receiving end of anger and this can have a profound effect on your way or being—if you let it!

When you decide not to react to a situation it allows you to go beyond what is right or wrong. You will feel more emotionally stable when you acknowledge that everyone has their unique perspective of the world based on their conditioning. Conditioning is your life experiences that are internalised while you are growing up.

Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing, and right-doing, there is a field.
I’ll meet you there. Rumi

Resisting the temptation to react to the small things, allows you to build up your positive energy reserves. You will then feel stronger and more able to resist reacting to the big things that can create chaos and stress. Ideally, it’s best to sort out any issues when they are small, which is a lot easier to deal with when everyone is in a calm and in a non-reactive state. Approach any issues in a loving way with the intent that it is possible to create a win-win situation for all parties involved.

It is normal to feel a full range of emotions including the ones that are considered negative. Negative emotions in themselves are not the problem. When you observe all your emotions from a stable, wise place and let them go, it is possible to make a choice about your behaviour rather than reacting out based on past behavioural patterns.

Choosing your emotions means that you are responding to the world from the inside out rather than creating your inner world according to external circumstances. The ability to choose your emotions means that you are in control of the situation rather than letting your emotions control you.  If your negative emotions overtake you it can lead to you acting out on them unconsciously and resulting in feelings of emotional instability.

When you learn to feel emotionally stable, regardless of your external circumstances, you can feel truly empowered. This is because you are not relying on others to feel happy. You determine your happiness with the ability to make moment to moment decisions to maintain this state. You are your own happiness master!

When others are negative towards you, they are acting out their negative emotions based on their conditioning. When you react to them based on your conditioning, both parties end up in a situation that is enmeshed, often escalating into a major conflict. However if one person chooses not to react, there can be an avoidance of conflict. There is no tug-o-war when someone chooses to drop the rope.

One of the most beautiful gifts you can give another is to hold a calm loving space for them, while they are reacting to a situation, even if it is you. If they are highly emotional it may be best to give them some space, so they can process their emotions. However, if you hold a loving space while the person is reacting, listening and validating how they feel, it will allow them to go deeper into their inner world and possibly get to the root cause of their reaction.

For example, your partner may be deeply upset with you about you going on an overseas trip. However, when you sit with him or her and let them express their emotions without judgement, they may realise they had an underlying fear of being abandoned, based on an old fear of their father leaving the family when they were five. Your support and love will help them move through that fear and realise that as an adult, they do not have to feel that way, and instead, they are in a safe, warm and loving relationship now.

Couple walking down the street

Learning to transform the negative reactions of others with peace and love is true alchemy, the gold of life.

When you operate in the world from the inside out, your loving energy will ripple outwards, touching the lives of others in beautiful ways. Ultimately, this positive flow of love will help to take humanity forward in a peaceful and harmonious way, allowing those around you to be their best selves.


Photography by: Zac Watson

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