my space tracker

Hope Forward: Surviving and Thriving through Emotional Pain: Anger

Monday, July 4, 2011


Okay, at the risk of sounding hokey (is that the word?) I am going to tie anger into the theme of July 4th. It's not such a stretch, since declaring Independence from anger can actually be cause for celebration. If only it were that easy.

Since many folks have been asking me lately about how to deal with anger, I thought maybe this would be a good day to start a series of posts about anger. (At least I think it will be a series. We'll see how it goes.) And since anger is such a hot topic, I am looking forward to posting on it.

I think anger is such a hot topic because it's so painful, and because there are so many different faces of anger. And because anger can influence the way we act, and live and love and work. We often don't know we are angry, or how angry we are until we have really talked a lot about ourselves, or our moods, or our history, or what is not working as well as we'd like it to in our lives. Sometimes anger hides behind depression, addiction, people pleasing, busyness, sleep. Sometimes it's right there front and center. Anger is not the same thing, at least not all the time, as temper. Anger can last a few minutes, a few hours or a few decades.

So in the quest for independence I think there are a few basic ideas to begin with, and then a whole bunch of tools that can help move you from where you are to where you want to be. The ideas are these:

~Some part of you has to be willing to consider the idea that you may be angry (if its not clear to you).

~You (most likely) cannot order yourself to stop being angry.

~To move through and on from anger, some part of you has to be willing to, or want to.

~Letting go of anger does necessarily mean that you have to forgive or forget.

~Most likely, when you are angry, some part of that anger is directed toward yourself.

~Paying attention to anger is well worth the effort. next post will start with some "tools."
Enjoy the fireworks.

And an unrelated PS....for anyone interested in some great webtools for social workers, check out this blog post.


Just Be Real said...

Melissa, great points. I appreciate you taking the time to post these, as I still struggle with anger. Usually steming from what I was thinking about just before.

Melissa Groman, LCSW said...

Thanks JBR!