For a lot of people, anger is one of the hardest feelings to feel.
Joy is easy.
Sad is human nature.
Fear is inevitable.
But anger? Anger makes us feel uncomfortable. For a lot of survivors, anger is scary because it feels like it will never end. People don’t like to feel or express anger for fear of what other people will think or say. There may even be the fear of getting punished for the way you feel. So many times, anger is a reminder of the person they never want to become.
I reframe things for my clients with the following phrase:
“You’re angry because you’re worth it.”
I am almost always met with a thoughtful pause. Sometimes I am asked to repeat it. I am asked to write it down. But it always gives us a conversation about what is motivating that anger. Feeling anger is such a huge step! Feeling angry says that somewhere, in the smallest portion of a cell somewhere in your body, you feel that you are worth more than whatever someone or something is giving you. We talk about how there may have been times where they may not have cared if someone harmed them. But at this moment, whether it’s mild frustration or full on rage, anger is a message that I HAVE HAD ENOUGH.
Like anything, an extreme amount of anger is unhealthy. But the opposite is also true—suppressing your feelings isn’t always a great idea either. Emotions have this inevitable way of coming forth, and the more air we put in that balloon, the bigger and louder the POP when it bursts.
Think about what is making you angry. It doesn’t have to be infuriating anger. It could be an annoyance. But whether mild or extreme, it might be your heart telling you that something is off and that you are worth more than what you are being given.