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Thread: Anger

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    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    How do you process anger? How do you know when it is justified, or when it is indulgence?

    I have a great deal of trouble processing anger. It so quickly alters thinking. How can you trust it? It seems rooted in entitlement which I have long come to see as a useless frame of mind. I have some anger at the moment, but don't have a system by which I can tell if it is justified. How do you know when anger is constructive vs. destructive?
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    Well, I'd like to curse people out, but since I'm not around people that often, I usually curse out the air. Although I must restrain my desire to throw and break expensive possessions, such as the computer. But since I never throw valuable things, It's not really being destructive, so I don't really have an anger problem.

    Cursing people out and threatening people who are weaker than me would likely be constructive, because the intimidation that ensues will get those people to do what they're told. Appearing stronger also helps. So in that way, anger becomes constructive.

    Beyond that, the concepts of constructive or destructive are foreign to me.

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    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    How do you process anger? How do you know when it is justified, or when it is indulgence?

    I have a great deal of trouble processing anger. It so quickly alters thinking. How can you trust it? It seems rooted in entitlement which I have long come to see as a useless frame of mind. I have some anger at the moment, but don't have a system by which I can tell if it is justified. How do you know when anger is constructive vs. destructive?
    I think most of it is indulgence that can be hard to resist at times, but occasionally it's justified. Try to assess whether the anger of other people is justified in particular situations beforehand, and compare your own assessments from then to your later state of mind. Also, you would do well to ask other people you know if you have a right to be angry in that situation. You can't accurately assess the validity of your own anger, only that of others.

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    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Not processing anger is a big problem. Intellectually I know that it should not be judged or dismissed any more than any other feeling. If you don't process it, then you internalize it. This can cause people to make destructive choices either towards themselves or others. When a person is hurt or violated, the healthy response is anger. They need to feel it in order to get past it. What adds a difficult layer is if the hurt or violation was not intended. Then how do you feel angry? There is still something that needs to be worked through even if you understand why it happened. Then there are situations where a person is hurt or violated by someone intentionally. In that case the response of anger is important, but also clear and easier to feel. But in addition to this anger can result from distorted perceptions. Clarifying the thinking can remove the sense of hurt. This is where it is most difficult to distinguish.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

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    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    How do you process anger? How do you know when it is justified, or when it is indulgence?

    I have a great deal of trouble processing anger. It so quickly alters thinking. How can you trust it? It seems rooted in entitlement which I have long come to see as a useless frame of mind. I have some anger at the moment, but don't have a system by which I can tell if it is justified. How do you know when anger is constructive vs. destructive?
    Anger (as I see it) is a fairly rare feeling for me. Annoyance and frustration are common thought, and I suppose those may be considered anger by some.

    I process frustration by either continuing to try different things and at then trying to let go of whatever is frustrating me.

    Annoyance is much harder. I try to alleviate whatever is annoying me while at the same time trying to "let go" again. I am not good at letting go.

    As far as justification, I don't consider that aspect of it.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
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    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
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    Member allie bug's Avatar
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    the best anger-dealing lesson i've learned is to just WAIT.....wait to dump it on someone else lap to sort out, wait to confront the person and/or thing that makes you angry. when you have a clearer head, you can weigh why you are angry and the action which will give you the satisfaction you need to counter the anger.

    " but I never question the validity of it. I honor my feelings and instincts."

    -excuse the unboxed quote

    I more than agree with Dana's posting.there is a reason that you feel angry, or feel frustrated...or just feel period.

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    Mamma said knock you out Mempy's Avatar
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    Does anger really have to be valid? Looking to other people to validate your anger will probably just confuse you and frustrate you, because different people would have different responses to the same situation you’re in. So don’t look to other people to validate what you’re thinking and feeling, or to necessarily point you in the right direction.

    I think you wonder whether your anger is valid because you sense the underlying reason for your anger – hurt. I do think that many times, true anger is a result of being injured. If you can acknowledge that, I think you’re already way ahead of a lot of people. Then the journey becomes figuring out why you are hurt. It may be vaguely obvious – it’s got something to do with so-and-so, but maybe you can’t pinpoint the action that hurt most, or maybe it’s the situation itself that is so hurtful, but you don’t know what to do about it.

    I’ve been there. I /am/ there. I think trying to place yourself in their shoes, and trying to muster compassion for them, may work, but it won’t be easy. I don’t know if I’d try that (because I’m just hypothesizing and haven’t actually tried it, but compassion would seem to lessen hurt). Perhaps it’s your entire outlook that’s contributing to your hurt and subsequent anger (I agree that anger is a natural response to being hurt). I know what it’s like to wonder whether it’s me, or whether it’s my environment, that’s causing my negative emotions. You know what I mean? You wonder if you’re overreacting, or if, with a different mindset, you’d have a completely different, perhaps significantly more positive response. Yup. This is relative to how I feel right now.

    I’ve been working on my outlook in life, especially where it concerns my relationships with people. I’ve been trying to pinpoint what’s making me unhappy in my dealings with people. Sometimes I feel completely gooey and inauthentic. Other times I feel too forceful. Overall, I feel like it shouldn’t be /this hard/ to express myself, but it is.

    I’ve returned to studying the enneagram. I’m a type two, and I remember that the first time I read about my type, my entire, and I mean my /entire/, outlook was changed. I realized that I had been giving in order to receive, and that I did fear being “bad” and “unloved,” but I’d never realized it before! It was a complete rearrangement of my psyche and my approach to relationships from top to bottom. For perhaps a year, I was very satisfied in all my relationships, I had ten times more ease making friends, and I didn’t feel unloved and unwanted, and most of all, I didn’t feel like I had to /try/ to be loved.

    But recently I’ve fallen back into doubting myself and not understanding where all my emotions come from. I question my responses, like you. I question how valid they are, because I intuitively know that there was a time when, with my old outlook, I wouldn’t feel so hurt and angry in certain situations. I feel like half the person I was, or that I’ve become the worst version of myself sometimes.

    I think a good place to start, for you and me, is to take care of our needs, and to be kind to ourselves. If we are gentle with ourselves and can forgive mistakes, perfection doesn’t seem as urgent. This is much easier /said/ than done, of course! Also, I think that becoming self-sufficient in some sense of the word would be a great idea. Perhaps if we felt independent in the sense that we didn't need others to validate our feelings and responses to things, and in the sense that even if everything in our lives turned to shit, we’d still feel ok, because we have the most important person we need – ourselves – that would be good. If I can master that outlook, and be gentle with myself, and realize that I am awesome even when I make mistakes, I think I’ll feel better all around.

    Good luck! Keep us updated on your thought processes! I like reading your thoughts. They have a very step-by-step feel to them that is easy to understand. Also, I really liked your naughty fiction, if I remember correctly, but I didn't get a chance to really sit down and read it all. (But I like writing that kind of stuff too! Actually, I just love writing, period.)

    p.s. I just have so much anxiety concerning my outlook, and whether it's good enough, that I tend to inevitably bring out the worst in myself. Sigh. I know my outlook is the problem, but I make such a big deal about it! Can I have my frontal lobe removed for a few hours, so I don't have to worry so much?

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    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mempy View Post
    Does anger really have to be valid? Looking to other people to validate your anger will probably just confuse you and frustrate you, because different people would have different responses to the same situation you’re in. So don’t look to other people to validate what you’re thinking and feeling, or to necessarily point you in the right direction.

    I think you wonder whether your anger is valid because you sense the underlying reason for your anger – hurt. I do think that many times, true anger is a result of being injured. If you can acknowledge that, I think you’re already way ahead of a lot of people. Then the journey becomes figuring out why you are hurt. It may be vaguely obvious – it’s got something to do with so-and-so, but maybe you can’t pinpoint the action that hurt most, or maybe it’s the situation itself that is so hurtful, but you don’t know what to do about it.

    I’ve been there. I /am/ there. I think trying to place yourself in their shoes, and trying to muster compassion for them, may work, but it won’t be easy. I don’t know if I’d try that (because I’m just hypothesizing and haven’t actually tried it, but compassion would seem to lessen hurt). Perhaps it’s your entire outlook that’s contributing to your hurt and subsequent anger (I agree that anger is a natural response to being hurt). I know what it’s like to wonder whether it’s me, or whether it’s my environment, that’s causing my negative emotions. You know what I mean? You wonder if you’re overreacting, or if, with a different mindset, you’d have a completely different, perhaps significantly more positive response. Yup. This is relative to how I feel right now.

    I’ve been working on my outlook in life, especially where it concerns my relationships with people. I’ve been trying to pinpoint what’s making me unhappy in my dealings with people. Sometimes I feel completely gooey and inauthentic. Other times I feel too forceful. Overall, I feel like it shouldn’t be /this hard/ to express myself, but it is.
    Everything here resonates with me. I'm trying to make important decisions based on my conclusions. I'm so afraid of being really stupid. For me the hurt and attempts at seeing things from their perspective came first with anger resonating in the background. Anger can give you the strength and self assurance to move in a direction, but if it is unfounded, you can move in the wrong direction.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mempy View Post
    But recently I’ve fallen back into doubting myself and not understanding where all my emotions come from. I question my responses, like you. I question how valid they are, because I intuitively know that there was a time when, with my old outlook, I wouldn’t feel so hurt and angry in certain situations. I feel like half the person I was, or that I’ve become the worst version of myself sometimes.

    I think a good place to start, for you and me, is to take care of our needs, and to be kind to ourselves. If we are gentle with ourselves and can forgive mistakes, perfection doesn’t seem as urgent. This is much easier /said/ than done, of course! Also, I think that becoming self-sufficient in some sense of the word would be a great idea. Perhaps if we felt independent in the sense that we didn't need others to validate our feelings and responses to things, and in the sense that even if everything in our lives turned to shit, we’d still feel ok, because we have the most important person we need – ourselves – that would be good. If I can master that outlook, and be gentle with myself, and realize that I am awesome even when I make mistakes, I think I’ll feel better all around.
    That makes a lot of sense. Also, the self-sufficiency provides a kind of personal strength, taking away some of the layers of fear, especially the fear of loss. Any little bit of certainty helps.

    I would so love to go out with you for a cappuccino right now.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

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    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    How do you process anger? How do you know when it is justified, or when it is indulgence?

    I have a great deal of trouble processing anger. It so quickly alters thinking. How can you trust it? It seems rooted in entitlement which I have long come to see as a useless frame of mind. I have some anger at the moment, but don't have a system by which I can tell if it is justified. How do you know when anger is constructive vs. destructive?
    I've been sitting here trying to think of instances where I've been really angry at someone, and I haven't come up with anything. Annoyance and frustration, yes, I experience those. But I don't think things ever escalate to anger for me. If someone would say something to me that would cause most others to react in anger, I tend to just get quiet and just get hurt and upset, and then I start thinking I did something wrong. The other problem is that I am usually able to understand why a person acted the way they did, and can see things from their perspective. By the time I see things from their perspective, I can't really be angry with them.

    But this is just what my immediate reactions are towards things. I tend to immediately assess what *I* did to bring about things, and I only belatedly make the connection that I might not have done anything 'wrong' and might not have deserved what someone said to me. But 'belatedly' is the operative word -- by the time I realize I might not have deserved something, I'm kinda past the stage where anger would be present for most people.

    But if it's something that *doesn't directly involve me* -- like it involves friends and I don't like how friends are being treated, or something on a larger scale like world events or things that matter greatly to me (like environmental issues) - then I can definitely experience emotions more in line with pure anger.

    I'm apparently unable to fully experience anger though when it comes to interpersonal relationships. Like I said, much of it is that I tend to understand why the other person is acting the way they are, and also initially think I must be in the wrong. But I also think part of it is that the thought of my anger being unjustified is something I can't stomach, so I spend the majority of my time trying to figure out if I'm justified in feeling hurt/upset or not, and by the time I've figured it out, my feelings have cooled down for the most part anyway. :rolli: So the 'anger' I feel by the end of the process isn't something I have any need to express outwardly - like, it's lost its oomph by that point, and I'd be more rational, I suppose, when explaining to the person why I was hurt/upset, rather than being emotional about it. If that makes ANY sense at all. :-)
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by cascademn View Post
    I've been sitting here trying to think of instances where I've been really angry at someone, and I haven't come up with anything. Annoyance and frustration, yes, I experience those. But I don't think things ever escalate to anger for me. If someone would say something to me that would cause most others to react in anger, I tend to just get quiet and just get hurt and upset, and then I start thinking I did something wrong. The other problem is that I am usually able to understand why a person acted the way they did, and can see things from their perspective. By the time I see things from their perspective, I can't really be angry with them.

    But this is just what my immediate reactions are towards things. I tend to immediately assess what *I* did to bring about things, and I only belatedly make the connection that I might not have done anything 'wrong' and might not have deserved what someone said to me. But 'belatedly' is the operative word -- by the time I realize I might not have deserved something, I'm kinda past the stage where anger would be present for most people.

    But if it's something that *doesn't directly involve me* -- like it involves friends and I don't like how friends are being treated, or something on a larger scale like world events or things that matter greatly to me (like environmental issues) - then I can definitely experience emotions more in line with pure anger.

    I'm apparently unable to fully experience anger though when it comes to interpersonal relationships. Like I said, much of it is that I tend to understand why the other person is acting the way they are. But I also think part of it is that the thought of my anger being unjustified is something I can't stomach, so I spend time trying to figure out if I'm justified in feeling hurt/upset or not, and by the time I've figured it out, my feelings have cooled down for the most part anyway. :rolli:
    I relate to these comments very much. In situations where others expect me to be angry, I find I am actually confused and frustrated. Perhaps, I need to learn to become angry.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

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