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sometimes chest pains. Furthermore,
        experience teaches us that when
        anger is repressed, it will find a way
        out, often in inappropriate and
        uncontrollable ways.
           One of the ways we combat this is
        through running scenarios – fuming
        inwardly, mutterings to ourselves – in
        our head about what we might have
        said or done had we allowed our
        anger to find expression. While this
        may offer some short-term relief, it
        should never be considered as a long-
        term solution.

        WHAT ARE SOME OF THE REASONS
        WE FEAR EXPRESSING OUR ANGER?
           The primary reason why many of us  We are intelligent people. We can  indifference, giving the message ‘I
        find it difficult to express our anger is  use this intelligence – taking the time  don't care’.
        our fear we will hurt someone we care  to reason and reflect on our anger. If  Anger is a powerful emotion that
        for. We repress rather than express. In  our tendency, for example, is to  can be used positively or negatively. If
        fact, if we think about it, sometimes it  repress or suppress our anger, take  channelled correctly, it enhances our
        is more appropriate to express anger  time to think about it; do I do this all  mental, physical and psychological
        as that shows a level of care and   the time or are their certain       health and maturity, ensuring
        concern for the other.              circumstances when this occurs and  healthier personal relationships and
           Another reason we fear expression  take steps to find another method  better communication.
        is our own sense of insecurity. This is  that is more helpful. Using our  The goal is to arrive at a point in
        based on the belief that if we express  intelligence will also help us arrive at  which we have the tools to express
        anger then others won't like us. We  the conclusion that the anger we feel  our anger appropriately. This includes
        employ an avoidance technique,      is doing more damage to us than it is  feeling it, revealing it and taking
        rather than confronting the person,  to the person we are angry with.   responsibility for it.
        we talk – usually in a negative way –  As an exercise examine how you
        behind their back.                  express your anger. Ask yourself; is it  FINAL THOUGHTS
           Finally, people who do not like  appropriate? If not, can you discover  There is a story about a Native
        conflict will avoid expressing their  why this is so? Has it something to do  American grandfather who told his
        anger. Like their companions who fear  with your upbringing, your fear of  grandson how he felt about a tragedy
        not being liked, they resort to a type  hurting someone or being hurt by  that had befallen him.
        of character assassination...of course  them? Do you fear conflict to such a
        never heard by the person they are  degree that you bury your anger so as
        angry at!                           to avoid conflict? If so, then how does
                                            it find expression?
        IF WE VIEW ANGER AS A VICE,
        IS THERE ANY WAY IN WHICH WE CAN SEE  HOW IS ANGER POSITIVE?
        IT IN A MORE POSITIVE LIGHT?          Experience tells us that anger is one
           There are a number of steps we can  of the many emotions we carry      He said “I feel as if I have two
        take which, in time, may help us view  through life. When anger is expressed  wolves fighting in my heart. One is
        anger as a more positive emotion.   appropriately it may lead to the    the vengeful, angry, violent one. The
           This is the first thing to remember,  solution of whatever the problem is in  other wolf is the loving,
        anger is an emotion, a feeling.     the first place. A capacity to express  compassionate one.” The grandson
        Accepting it simply as a feeling may  anger appropriately is necessary for  asked him “which wolf will win the
        help us differentiate between the   maturity, for healthy relationships and  fight in your heart granddad?” The
        feeling and what we do about the    to ensure healthy communication. It is  grandfather answered “the one I
        way we feel. If we think about it,  also important to recognise that    feed.”
        there are many occasions when we    sometimes our anger is a sign of      Which ‘wolf’ do you feed?
        may feel like doing something but we  caring for someone. In fact, in many  The repressed angry vengeful one
        don't carry it through.             cases, not to be angry could suggest  or the healthy mature one?


                         “Anyone can become angry – that is easy. But to be        Mike can be contacted
                         angry with the right person, to the right degree, at          at Donor House
                         the right time, for the right purpose, and in the              on 01-6205306

                         right way – this is not easy.”            – Aristotle    or by email: mike@ika.ie

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