I know, I am not supposed to make a statement like that. I realize many of you are convinced that anger is a bad emotion that must be kept under wraps at all costs. I am sure there are some of you who have been told that it is not acceptable as a woman to express anger and that it is better to just stuff it rather than speak it out loud. I have been told that anger is not ladylike or that I can be “bitchy” when I stand up for myself—assertively of course. There have also been times in my life where others attempted to shame me for my willingness to say the things others would not dare say even if they were secretly thinking it. We all seem to have strong opinions about expressing anger, but the one thing that seems to be overlooked about anger is the announcement that it is making when it shows up in your life: your boundaries have been violated.
Anger is not the enemy that should be suppressed when it arrives on the scene. Use it to help you figure out a few things about your self like your deal-breakers as well as your real thoughts and feelings about a person or situation. Anger is your friend because it will help you to understand who you are and what you are about at your core. It cuts right through the social mask we all put on to be liked and accepted by others to expose you to your real inner truth. Anger gives you the opportunity to assess whether you have placed unreasonable expectations on yourself or others. Consider this, if we were not meant to feel anger then the creator would not have endowed us with the ability to get angry in the first place.
Of course anger that is not expressed in a constructive way (no hitting others or name-calling please!) and is instead repressed, will cause unnecessary stress in the body like high blood pressure (the saying, “that just makes my blood boil” is true). Anger without out an outlet starts to simmer, then boil until one day it is triggered by the most trivial comment or behavior into a full out explosion. So what is a woman to do when she is angry?
- Admit to yourself you are angry and give yourself permission to feel your feelings.
- Dig deep; keep asking yourself why you are angry until you can’t go any deeper.
- Give yourself time to process and understand your anger by running or engaging in some other type of strenuous exercise (burn off steam).
- Have the difficult conversation needed to be clear about your boundaries with others.
- Apply what you have learned about yourself by making different choices going forward.
Despite what you have heard, anger is your friend because it helps you to see clearly what is most important to you. It shows up in your life because it is trying to tell you that something is wrong. It is a warning, so heed it.