The Truth about Anger – My Passion or Your Process?
I have a relative Thomas who’s been dragging his heels in his relationship for a long time. He is in a miserable ‘relationship’ situation and feels powerless to do something about it. I know exactly how he feels; I was in the exact same position as him 5 years ago…
I love Thomas and want the best for him sooo much – I feel like shouting: ‘GET UP OFF YOUR BUM AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS!!” Why take all this? You deserve better! But I bite my tongue. Why? Because I was in exactly the same situation as he was and when I chose to so something about it, it was in my own sweet time (and with a lot of courage to overcome the fear, insurmountable fear of the unknown). He didn’t judge me then, so why should I judge him? Why should I expect him to do something anytime other than when it’s right for him? He didn’t expect it of me.
I am passionate about Thomas; about his right to be happy and to be treated right, about him deserving someone that loves and respects him but above all I respect his decision, I respect that he is a grown man whom pays his own bills, he is responsible for his life and as such I bite my tongue.
I show my respect by showing Thomas that I have faith in his plans and the decisions he makes in his life. I do not constantly talk about his situation, but I give my views when asked and I let him know I care and that I’m here to support him when I can. He is going through his process- a journey he needs to make and I cannot bypass this process on his behalf. When I feel angry at him, it’s because I feel he should be doing things differently; yet he can only do things in his own way right now)
In her hit US TV show show the ‘Millionaire Matchmaker’ Patti Stanger (who runs a business helping celebrities find love) can be seen getting as angry (as I often feel with Thomas) – but she literally explodes (if you watch her show you see that this often happens with her clients- the industry term is ‘Patti melts’). Her work is her passion and I get it. However her anger manifests as unrestrained rage- completely misrepresenting her genuine love for her work and makes the situation about her rather than her client.
Often her clients feel demeaned and insulted by her behaviour. She seems to get to ‘explosive angry Patti’ really quickly but her anger seems to completely lack understanding that her clients are learning and they are doing what they know- if she is to teach, she cannot expect her students to pick things up the first or even the second time.
When I work with people that have similar anger issues I do not expect the anger to disappear overnight. That would be a miracle.
We are all creatures of habit so with some commitment to learn and some application, over time when we are ‘ready’ the learning doesn’t just begin, it accelerates.
Five Ways to release your anger helpfully:
Remember Mother Theresa was angry (really; it spurned her best work)
When you’re angry you are powerful- remember you want to use this power for good; so ask yourself ‘What do I want to achieve here?’
Be patient, people learn at their own pace
Be kind to yourself – when you’re angry you’re also hurt and upset.
Don’t allow ‘you’ to be the reason that stands in the way of someone else’s process or achievement (or in Patti’s case – someone finding love)
Like this and want to know more?
Take a look at our ‘Anger management course – Using anger for good’