Explode?Pretend you are not angry?
Did you know that anger is your friend?
Anger is an amazing emotion that is screaming out in our bodies to teach us something. Usually we are ignoring something, or tolerating something that is not serving us.
If we can notice the first signs of anger we can give ourselves what we need to heal the source of our anger.
Healing the source enables us to be more of who we are born to be, joyful, happy and at peace. Covering up, suppressing or letting it all out unconsciously hurts us as much as it hurts others.
Not speaking up for your true self or allowing yourself to be dis-respected, judged, or controlled can lead to anger and/or other emotions such as frustration. These emotions can be repressed and lead to a dulling of our spirit, or be expressed as anger in an outrage of vindictive words or actions.
Neither of these ways are loving to ourselves or others.
If we can listen to the first sign of anger’s call we then have the choice to take responsibility for ourselves and take loving actions towards our self to heal the sadness underneath the anger from not being respected. The anger transforms when we take loving actions towards ourself, then we can freely express our true authentic loving nature.
Ignore the first sign of anger at your own peril!
I was coaching a client, Roland, who was working with a group of people in extremely challenging conditions. Roland had facilitated a session that had gone extremely well, for the client group. Roland had, however, referred to some ways the two leaders had learnt to reconcile their differences as an example for the group. Whilst this was extremely effective for the group, he did not have the permission of the leaders as the example arose in the present moment. One leader, Bob, could see how useful this was, the other leader, John, took offense but did not speak to Roland about the feelings that arose nor did he reflect and take responsibility for understanding his reaction.
The “offense” lay brewing and turned into anger and judgment against Roland.
John finally called in Roland, “Ronald, last week every time I saw you speaking with John I thought the two of you were both colluding against me. I think I am probably making up this story but I do not like the two of you working together. You are also making lots of suggestions for the ways we could do things and I don’t want you to. I am the leader and I will make the decisions with my co-leader, John. If I want your suggestions I will ask for them.”
“Is there anything you want to say?” said John.
Roland said, “Well, I am glad you said you are probably making up this story of John and I colluding against you. As you know John and I are friends and we have not worked with each other for a long time and we have lots to catch up on. Of course we are not colluding against you. As for the suggestions, I do not expect you to act on them I am merely offering ideas.”
“That is all,” John said.
Roland was dis-missed.
Roland told me he had wanted to say, “Well I think you are projecting your own issues about being threatened when someone else has success on to me. “ However, he did not speak. Bob had requested Roland not to speak up and rock the boat any further. They had two more weeks to work together and he said it was best to smooth things over.
Ronald thought he could let his feelings go even though John was being controlling, judgemental, authoritarian and dis-respectful to Roland. Roland continued to do what was expected in his role.
He told me that as the days passed there were many times when the group was talking about a project and he felt inhibited to speak. He was controlling himself to meet John’s demands. He said he could feel his anger rising. John now seemed to think he could continue to control Ronald, to bully, to dominate and to be autocratic with the group and towards Ronald. Roland said, he felt pushed, he felt pulled and he felt there was nothing he could do right.
His body started to seethe inside. He wondered whether he needed to speak up or whether to let it go?
I coached him to listen to his feelings.
He said he felt sad and angry from being controlled, dominated, judged inaccurately, blamed for something he did not do and then punished. He then felt his energy for contributing diminishing and he started to feel small.
I asked him what he needed to do for himself to restore his authentic self.
He said he needed to let John know the consequences of his behaviour towards him. I coached Ronald how to talk to John and share the effect his words and directives had on him without blaming him.
Ronald initiated a conversation with John. “John, I felt crushed the other day when you spoke to me. I felt punished. I felt like I had to take responsibility for the assumptions and feelings that arose in you when I was facilitating a very successful session. This does not work for me. I have been controlling myself since you told me not to contribute. I am giving you back responsibility for the feelings and thoughts that emerged in you. “
To Roland’s surprise John apologised. He said, “Yes, I thought after our conversation that I was blaming you but I did not realise this would impact you. I guess I needed to let you know what insight I had gained. Thanks for letting me know.”
Roland was at peace with himself again. He had given himself a voice. He had been respected and he had not blamed John. Roland realised that if he had spoken his truth rather than protecting himself and John in the first place he would not have spent days being uncomfortable. However, he also acknowledged himself for having the courage to take responsibility for his feelings and to hand back the responsibility for some-one else to them.
Roland learnt to listen to the call of anger. There is always a great lesson to learn!!