Anger is the emotion of self preservation. We are attempting to preserve our personal worth and value, our essential needs within body/soul/spirit and our basic convictions. Anger is a legitimate emotion. How we behave and what we do when we feel the powerful emotion of anger can solve problems or create more. To simplify lets look at each category. Personal worth: If someone calls us a name or falsely accuses us we feel a need to preserve our persoanl worth and value by defending ourselves. Our defenses may lead to an undesirable behavior. We may reciprocate with name calling. We may become indignant and retaliate in some way after a false accusation. Essential needs: If we do not feel loved we tend to accuse and blame others for not meeting our needs. If we feel neglected because we have been denied proper food, shelter or clothing we may lash out in numerous ways towards society or those we blame. This is also objectionable as it does not solve the problem. Basic convictions: We may strongly believe something or someone is unjust. We may become mean spirited as we expose the wrong and consequently do more damage. So what is the answer when I feel this strong emotion of anger? First, I must stop, take a deep breath and redirect. I can count to ten, take a time out or do some thought stopping exercises. After I regroup I can ask myself “Is this my personal worth, essential needs or basic convictions?” Once I determine which area or areas I’m attempting to preserve then I can address it with the other person or persons. I must tell the truth in love without hurting. If I’m unable to do that then I must learn to drop it. Try to remember – “A kind answer soothes angry feelings, but harsh words stir them up.” Proverbs 15:1 (CEV)
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