Benefits: Recognize what your anger is trying to tell you.
So That You Can: Learn to control it and use anger to your advantage.
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The Subtle Art Of Using Anger To Your Advantage
Anger is your friend. Not the cheery, let’s go have a beer kind of friend. Anger is your friend who will flat out tell you when your new haircut looks horrible. Or, when you’re being super obnoxious because you had too many beers with that cheery friend 😄.
Once you realize this, you can use anger to your advantage. It can steer you out of harm’s way, just as that matter-of-fact friend can. But, before you become BFF’s with your anger, you need to establish some firm boundaries, just as you would need to do with your blunt friend. Otherwise, your well-meaning friend could quickly turn into an aggressive, red flag friend who bulldozes over your wants and needs.
Not sure what I mean by red flag friend — click here to find out.
So today, we’re going to figure out how to extend an olive branch to our anger and establish some much needed boundaries by:
- Recognizing what our anger is trying to tell us and the most common reactions we have when we feel anger.
- Discussing the harmful effects of not using anger to our advantage.
- Learning a few mindfulness techniques we can use to control our anger.
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Think of Anger as Your Check Engine Light
Anger’s job is to let you know when something about the situation you’re in isn’t quite right, so you can identify the problem and fix it before too much damage is done. And, just like the check engine light in your car, chances are pretty good that you’re going to ignore it the first time you notice it, in the hopes that it will magically go away.
But then, sure enough, the next time you start your car, there it is again. Eventually, you’ll break down and take your car to the mechanic with your fingers crossed, hoping that you didn’t ignore that light for too long.
Anger is no different. It will keep showing up when you’re in that not-quite-right situation, or a similar one, until you decide to face your anger, control it, and use it to your advantage.
What Kind of Problems Does Anger Alert You To?
According to Juna Mustad, a life and relationship coach, there are three things your anger could be trying to tell you:
- You have an unresolved trauma, and it’s being triggered by the situation that’s stirring up your anger.
- You are in denial about something, and your anger is urging you to see the situation clearly.
- Someone is trying to overstep your boundaries. But what does that even mean? What are boundaries? It’s a commonly-used word — I’ve used it twice already — but I’m not sure it’s a well-understood word. I like this definition from Z. Hereford at Essential Life Skills.net:
Personal boundaries are the physical, emotional and mental limits we establish to protect ourselves from being manipulated, used, or violated by others. They allow us to separate who we are, and what we think and feel, from the thoughts and feelings of others.
2 Common Reactions We Have
What Happens if You Keep Reacting in These Ways?
How Do You Control Your Anger in the Moment?
How Do You Befriend Your Anger?
It’s Time to Use Anger to Your Advantage
Only Have 1 Minute
Full article listing detailing health consequences of unchecked anger: 7 Ways Anger Is Ruining Your Health, Debbie Strong, Everyday Health, 5.29.15
Anger Is Your Ally: A Mindful Approach to Anger | Juna Mustad | TEDxWabashCollege, posted to YouTube by TEDx Talks on 5.02.19
Jordan Peterson – Don’t repress your aggression! Use it for the good, posted to YouTube by Pragmatic Entertainment on 3.11.18
How to Process Your Emotions posted to YouTube by The School of Life on 9.07.17
Anger Management Techniques posted to YouTube by watchwellcast on 9.26.12
Healthy Personal Boundaries & How to Establish Them, Z. Hereford, Essential Life Skills.net
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