A – Anger: External and Internal

Straßenschild Anger
Straßenschild Anger (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A raw emotion that sucks the life out of us, anger is a byproduct of one of the two core motions: hate. The other core emotion is love, but that does not apply here. Oh yes, people will cry “anger!” in the name of love, but alas nothing could be further from the truth.   I read a lot of self-help books and (as you know) attend meetings to help me in my recovery from alcohol. One of the emotions touched on a lot is anger.Internal anger:  that rage you feel when you perceive an injustice.  Oh how could they do this to me!  Those bastards!  You get that knot in your stomach, your heart races and it takes all your mental strength not to resort to tactics of passive aggressive neanderthalism.  Now, for a drama junkie (or a former one like yours truly) this is prime pickings for digging deep down in the crevices of justification so the gnashing teeth of self-righteousness can prevail. And if you are a true alcoholic or have anger management issues, this leads to external anger.

External Anger:  not always beating the crap out of someone.  External anger comes in the form of violence (against others and/or self-harm), breaking things, driving recklessly and silent scorn.  External anger stems from unchecked internal anger.  Think about it.  If you weren’t so pissed off inside, you wouldn’t feel compelled to exude physical forms of anger.

There are a lot of ways to deal with that seething, inner rage:

  • count to ten or twenty.
  • go for a brisk walk.
  • run.
  • write (careful with this one – it can keep you in the anger).
  • find a place (alone) to scream, yell and cry.
  • listen to music.
  • clean.

After you’ve calmed down, if you’re angry with someone, and you’re able to talk it out, be sure to come from an “I” place and not an accusatory “you” place.

How do you handle anger?

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Author: D. A. M. Steelman

I could get through life just fine quoting heavy metal lyrics.

18 thoughts on “A – Anger: External and Internal”

  1. Excellent post…and very informative. A couple things that I do to address this issue are: going on walks with my dogs and noticing the beauty of nature and the country around me; and refraining from immediately commenting if someone says something that is meant to provoke or frustrate me.

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  2. As a recovering rage-monkey myself, I’ve wrestled with anger since I was old enough to properly express it: the screaming, the tears, the needing to hit something… allll that good stuff. Anger for me was a power thing. It was the only way I felt/found power in my little world. Now I live with almost none of that, though the filaments and roots will ever be a part of me, and given a long enough day in the sunshine would be only too happy to come back out again.
    Living beyond my anger will always be a lifelong journey for me. The thing that helped most was learning my triggers and avoiding the situations as much as possible. Beyond that, once the trap had been sprung, removing myself from the situation as quickly as possible and just letting the storm pass with nobody else around to participate.
    I’ve spent a lot of time in bathrooms. The sound of rushing water always helps. It mimics the angry torrent I feel in my head.
    Finally I’ve learned to know which things are worth getting angry about. I still make the wrong choice every now and then, but at least I’m learning.

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    1. Karoline.. I love the sound of rushing water.. it’s funny you mention that, because whenever I am really in a bad state, I put on some water meditaiton sounds via Spotify… it really helps.. and I also know what you mean about anger/power. I alwats felt when I was angry, I had the power and the control.. I realize now it was the opposite.

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  3. I hate it when I jump into road rage. Thankfully it doesn’t happen all that often, but when it does, I know it’s a sign I’m tired or haven’t been practicing my self care.

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  4. It’s easy to let anger get the best of us, and I think you’ve listed some great tips. I wrote about “alone” today and touched on meditation. I think our posts could easily go hand-in-hand–your tips are definitely applicable 🙂

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