Make your anger a visitor not a resident
Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages, highlights the two kinds of anger in this blog – I found the distinction useful. He reminds us that anger needs to be processed in order for us to live whole and healthy lives.
Why do people get angry? I believe we get angry when our sense of “right” is violated. When this happens, it can lead us to one of two types of anger:
• Definitive anger: when someone has wronged us.
• Distorted anger: when things didn’t go our way.
Much of the anger people experience is distorted anger. The traffic moved slowly. Our spouse didn’t do things the way we wanted. This kind of anger, however, can still be very intense and must be processed. Ask yourself, “Would it be helpful if I shared my anger with someone? In sharing it, might I improve things for everyone? If not, should I simply let it go?”
Whatever you do, do something positive. Don’t hold your anger inside. Anger was meant to a visitor, not a resident. Processing your anger in a positive way will lead you toward freedom, emotional health, and relational stability.
Did you know that anger is considered a secondary emotion?
Anger is often triggered by something else—usually fear or sadness. So when you feel angry, it’s important to dig down to the true, primary emotion. Why do you feel angry? What are you really feeling?
For example, Bailey might lash out at her friend Libby when she finds out Libby is moving. What’s underneath the anger? Sadness. She’ll miss her.
When Jose’s frustration over his group project at work reaches an angry boiling point, he has to step back to see what’s underneath the rage. Upon investigation, he realizes it stems from his fear that his group won’t take the project seriously and he’ll get stuck doing all the work.
When it comes to anger, there’s often more to the story.