I don’t get angry often, but when I do, it feels so RIGHT. If I’ve been wronged or cheated, you can believe I’m going to tell you about it – and anyone else who will listen.
A few years ago, a friend or an a podcast or an audiobook mentioned an idea that I found interesting.
The idea was that anger is only ever a secondary emotion. We use anger to cover up and protect ourselves from something else. Usually from something that leaves us feeling much more vulnerable.
I wanted to test out the theory. The next time I was angry, I would try to see if there was anything hiding beneath that anger.
And there was. Each and every time.
Angry someone canceled plans? I was really afraid they were rejecting my friendship. Angry after a breakup? I was really mourning the relationship that could have been.
Angry someone cut me off in traffic? I was afraid of getting hurt and feeling out of control. Angry at someone for bad-mouthing me? I was embarrassed and afraid that other people might believe the things they were saying about me.
Every time I looked, there was something hiding beneath my anger waiting to be addressed…or ignored.
Realizing this has let me acknowledge my true emotions, which means I spend much less time caught up in anger.
Next time you’re angry, see if you can dig a little deeper. You might not like what you find, but at least then you can do something about it.