Too shameful to discuss, too powerful to ignore. Time to talk about anger.
Last night, someone asked how I handle if someone cries in front of me. They expressed frustration with instances of crying in the workplace, deeming it unprofessional “because other people get uncomfortable.”
I explained that discomfort with other’s crying is relatively common. I’ve even discussed this with new coaches who find this aspect challenging. Personally, it doesn’t feel uncomfortable.
If you feel like crying, just cry. It is normal to me.
However, I posed a question to the person: How do they react to anger instead?
We often discuss vulnerability and embracing tears, but anger remains stigmatised.
Interestingly, this person was also not fond of any frustration or anger displays.
Anger is a powerful emotion capable of causing disruption, so many are uncomfortable with anger in others and themselves.
It’s unfortunate that we hold such a negative, guilt-laden attitude toward anger, as it signals something important – that something is wrong. Ignoring or failing to recognise anger means missing a vital message.
I believe it’s an emotion not sufficiently addressed or spoken about, yet it often leads to significant issues in our lives. Even when not expressed and suppressed.
The plot thickens when we consider the cultural filters and connotations that render anger commonplace in some countries and shameful in others.
Driven by these realisations, I’ve decided to delve deeper into understanding anger. True to my nature, I’ve already purchased three books on the subject and begun the research.
I believe it’s an emotion not sufficiently addressed or spoken about. Our compassion often seems to disappear at the mere sound of its name.
Like most emotions, anger comes in different shades, from annoyance to frustration, from anger to rage. It comes with an array of expressions too. Some people will hiss, and some will raise their voices.
Here, context is crucial. Observing someone venting frustration at a situation differs vastly from being the target of their anger. Every outburst tells a different story.
Generally, people either express their anger or suppress it – some to avoid conflict. This is when we see the other side of this coin: becoming people-pleasers, losing our voice, and weakening our impact or influence.
This is an often-overlooked dilemma: the repression of anger.
When we suppress this fiery emotion, it doesn’t just fade away; it simmers beneath the surface, affecting our well-being, our decisions, and our interactions.
The energy of unexpressed anger can manifest in insidious ways, from chronic stress and physical ailments to passive-aggressive behaviour and a pervasive sense of dissatisfaction.
By bottling it up, we may think we’re maintaining peace, but we’re actually laying the groundwork for a larger, more destructive eruption later on.
It’s critical to acknowledge anger, not as an adversary, but as a natural part of our emotional spectrum that deserves attention and constructive expression.
Understanding and channelling anger healthily can lead to better communication, stronger relationships, and ultimately a more authentic life experience.
It’s time we learn not just to manage anger, but to listen to its message and respond in a way that serves us and those around us.