13 May 2020

WHAT IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO ANGER?

In the past few weeks we’ve known Fear, the most nuclear of emotions. We then explored the nuances of Sadness.

Today it is the turn of Anger: less primitive than other emotions, it emerges as a reaction to something that we do not like, that we do not accept, that we desire and that we do not get. It manifests itself in reaction to an injustice. Anger creates frustration for us, a theme that we must surely study in depth.

It can come a little at a time, or it can be sudden and unexpected, and makes us feel sensations ranging from a slight irritability to a deep indignation, real anger, fury.

From an evolutionary point of view, anger serves us as a defense, it has a function of survival and diversification. It manifests itself in the presence of impulses that the organism interprets as a threat to its survival or to eliminate factors that prevent the satisfaction of a desire or a need.
Anger arises from the need to differentiate, to take the other out of our way, to drive him away from us.

Feeling anger itself is not bad, because it can help us to limit unpleasant situations and relationships with other people, respecting our individuality. The problem arises from the way we express it.

How do you feel in your body when you are angry?
By its nature, Anger wants to get out of the body, it wants to discharge itself. It moves expansively, from the inside out. When we are annoyed, offended or angry, we feel the energy inside of us that wants to unleash itself outwards, but we don’t all know how to get it out so that we don’t hurt others, do we?

Our muscles tighten, our jaws contract, our fists tighten, our heart rate and blood pressure increase. The body fills up with energy.

Anger has to find a way to let go. If we feel that it is not good to show this emotion, or if we are afraid of exploding and creating damage, we tend to hold it back, making a great effort. The repressed Anger stagnates inside us, or implodes: it doesn’t disappear, so it is dangerous because it causes us damage.

It is toxic and destructive: it creates damage both if we get angry with someone and if we repress it, but it is necessary because it gives us the energy for action, to take what we need.

That is why it is so important to learn to recognize it and manage it in a sustainable way for ourselves and the environment around us.

1. First of all it is fundamental to become aware of how this strong emotion manifests itself, then to see the anger in us.
2.  The second step is always acceptance: yes, I am angry, irritated, nervous, annoyed…
3. Then we have to take responsibility for it: even if it is a reaction to something external that doesn’t go as we want, that anger is ours, so we have to decide what to do with it!
4. The fourth step for me is transformation: I have that hot energy, as much or as little as it is. If I repress it causes me damage, if I express it I risk hurting someone. It’s energy, so how can I use it?

During my workshops we learn healthy ways to express anger, such as kicking the sofa, screaming in the woods, punching a bag. When we release it without hurting anyone, we recharge ourselves with strength and clarity, have you ever tried it?

After years of bad answers and heated reactions, I’ve realized that I often get angry to lessen my Fear: something scares me, I don’t know how to face the situation, I get angry and when I realize that in truth I have Fear I cry, so I let my vulnerability emerge manifesting my Sadness. What an incredible ride, right?

Healthy rage gives me a lot of energy. When I work, clean or tidy up, I seem angry – I’m actually using all my energy to do well without taking too much time. I channel the energy so as not to get lost, and over time I have learned to communicate this mode of mine to those around me so that they don’t think that my behavior is in reaction to them. It’s a way of mine that allows me to reach my goals and make sure I do things right! We will see later on that Enneatype 7 is connected to 1, as soon as we talk about the map everything will be clearer.

Beyond my mode, the positive aspect of Anger is that it leads us to want to do something. This drive for action is the force that sustains us in the desired change, it is the energy that helps us to carry out our projects, the things we believe are right.

How do you recognize Anger?
Verbal and bodily explosion are easy to recognize, but when you get there it’s too late. We learn to recognize nuances, such as temperature rising, a feeling of little control over ourselves, annoyance, irritation.

We learn to recognize our reaction, we pick up the signals, we observe ourselves and find a way to express our dose of anger. Regardless of the reason that causes us anger, there is nothing wrong with trying it. When I feel nervous I choose to move my body, if I can do sport or clean my house, digging the garden gives me a lot of satisfaction for example. If, on the other hand, I am busy at work and I have to stay, I try at least to go to the bathroom to make mouthfuls and scream in playback!

Anger characterizes the emotional world of instinctive characters, more impulsive, ” of belly” and therefore brought to action. You can find it at the top of the Enneagram scheme, because it often “covers” Fear and Sadness as a secondary emotion.
The instinctive characters are centered on the action, they tend to react with excessive immediacy to every stimulus in order to remove the feeling of vulnerability that has always accompanied them. The impulsive action serves to avoid the sense of helplessness: I act without thinking in order to solve the problem, but in reality I do not satisfy my deepest need, on the contrary I tend not to get too much in touch with it in order not to feel frustration. When this mode is unconscious, I deny the emotion of Fear or Sadness.

From your messages I read a lot of curiosity about the Enneagram, so I promise to return to it, in the meantime enjoy the energy of Anger, learning how to turn it into right action!