Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom): an understanding that anger energy can be used to unify rather than divide. [Anger is a wake-up call, a signal that change is needed. If you can respect other people’s ways of dancing while working towards making room to do your own dance, the anger can lead to more understanding, communication, and caring. Not easy, but doable….]
Three ‘R’s make up the Anger Trifecta: Resentment, Rage, and Regret. We all know that. And almost every human that’s ever lived has experienced these emotional states.
How not? They are body- and gut-reactions to Life-Its-Own-Self and one of the complex internal body working systems that kept our survivor ancestors alive long enough to produce each and every one of us bobos.
The Smarty Pants who study brains and bodies have pretty much put together all kinds of charts and things that can tell us in excruciating and really boring detail how all the little hormones and the complex neural chemmies with the multi-syllabic names that cruise around in our bodies can transform a mild-mannered meekster into a big, bad, mega-monster.
Smarty Pants who study social interactions among us humans as well as every wise guy and every little judgy old uncle or aunty and P.C. advocate that ever lived have spent all kinds of time telling the rest of us slobs how we are supposed to handle the effects of our own personal Anger Trifecta so that we don’t blow up this consensus-world we are building together.
The world keeps on spinning. We humans keep on packing ourselves onto it and we keep tripping all over each other’s feet.
Because the Anger Trifecta is such a potent part of each and every one of us, the stacks of social behavior “shoulds” and “oughts” and the parameters and restrictions and constraints on the actions that arise out of this very human emotional stew has gotten huge.
Fancy-dancing dreamers trying to shape their own worlds in the middle of all this do have to pay attention and factor in the effects of this age-old paradox:
Anger really is a built-in, organic, specialized information-gathering mechanism that’s focused on personal survival.
ANOTHER PARADOX, ANOTHER PROBLEM
Here is an extraordinary little YouTube video, “Learning To Be Angry,” which was uploaded in 2020 by the School Of Life. It explains a bit about why developing the ability to express our own “rightful sorrows” is an important skill to develop and learn how to use.
According to the video, “For every person who shouts too loudly, there are at least twenty who have unfairly lost their voice….”
To me, at least, it seems that the absence of all those other gone-silent voices and their different perspectives of Life-Its-Own-Self add up to an incalculable loss in the possibilities for meaning and mana that we humans can pursue in our consensus world.
This does not seem like a good thing to me.
Maybe some D.I.Y. life-hacks for dealing with the individual components of the Trifecta might help.
RESENTMENT AS A TEMPER-ATURE GAUGE
Resentment is very often a sign that you are feeling the effects of an unmet need that has consistently not been resolved or satisfied.
Take a look at this: Every human has all kinds of needs. There are body needs, emotional needs, mind needs, social needs, spiritual needs…on and on. Each of us has our very own unique collection of them, which, paradoxically, is a lot like those held by the rest of us.
At some point or other, at least some of these important-to-you needs are not going to be met by your own self or by the other people in your life.
When that happens, it hurts. It can make you feel sad and bad and pressed-upon. Irritation, annoyance, and indignation are likely.
Because it is so very hard to look at what hurts you and makes you feel vulnerable, you may not be able to look at your unrecognized fears and the unresolved pains and griefs you’ve experienced in your life.
Resentment is a kind of nebulous, undefined cover-up for all of the really crummy stuff you’d rather not look at.
If you just “can’t get no satisfaction” and you start feeling frustrated that these same needs are not being met over and over again no matter what you try to do about it and regardless of how long you wait for the situation to resolve itself, this can become problematic.
Also, it seems, ignored or set-aside resentments are cumulative.
The older you get, the more resentments you acquire (unless you are good at letting them go). This pile of resentments can breed more and more connected resentments that can work themselves around into becoming triggers for episodes of full-blown rage.
There are all kinds of good advice about how to “manage” anger. Whole libraries of books have been written on the subject.
All kinds of systems – scientific, spiritual, and heart-based — have been developed that can work for you, and lots of people have been trained to help you get yourself past the resentment-collecting when it starts to adversely affect you in your life.
I did find a really good YouTube video, “Anger Management: Warning Signs + Anger Thermometer,” which features Woody Schuldt, LMHC talking about how you can identify your own personal warning signs. It was uploaded in 2019 by Therapist Aid.
Using this “thermometer” can help you notice. It can send up signals that you need to pay attention when you are starting to feel the nudges of some resentment or other.
If you look at the incidents that start the resentment and temper build-up from your ground-zero calmness, maybe you can start to figure out why you are getting mad and where your trigger points happen.
If you need more ideas for the physical effects of the rise of your temper, you can click on the button below to access a post, “Recognizing and Owning Your Anger,” on the Affordable Quality Counseling website. Dr. Paul Standal and his team present a list of common signs of anger and upset as well as a checklist that details indications for hidden anger.
RAGE AS RESEARCH
Spiritual teacher-author Eckhart Tolle tells us, “Where there is anger there is always pain underneath.”
That is a truth.
One of the very best how-to’s for using anger as a gude to finding your own self-expression can be found in a post on the Tiny Buddha blog by life-coach, psychologist and healer Anne K. Uemura.
As she says, “Embracing anger may be counter-intuitive, but in doing so you become aware of old, unconscious reactive patterns. In becoming aware of these patterns you free yourself to choose from a place of power.”
Click on the button below to access that post.
I think her strategies and tactics make a lot of sense. (Also, I’m here to tell ya they do work.)
However, for all of that, I do have to admit that my own inclinations are delineated by that icon of icons, Edna “E” Mode, in Disney/Pixar’s silliness, “The Incredibles.”
In this 2011 YouTube video clip uploaded by Pixar, that quintessential feminist gives the self-pityful Elastigirl some right-on relationship advice….
REGRET AS A STEPPING-STONE
Science writer Daniel Pink is “a recognized authority on the science of motivation, the science of timing and the business zeitgeist.” His bio on the Thinkers 50 website says so. I have been a fan for years.
His 2022 book, THE POWER OF REGRET: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward, is the result of his analysis of more than 16,000 stories he collected in his World Regret Survey.
Drawing on information from the latest of scientific experiments on the subject, Pink was able to identify four different kinds of regret and the events that can lead to each one. In true, Pink-fashion, he also makes suggestions about how we can make peace with our own mistakes and disappointments.
The regrets Pink points to are as follows:
- FOUNDATION REGRETS. These are the regrets that revolve around a failure to behave like a responsible person and includes the bad habits that have negative long-term consequences for life. Things like overspending, skipping school, neglecting your health and all the other stuff the Bigs used to tell you were important for a “good life.”
- BOLDNESS REGRETS. These come from being fearful and over-cautious. They are the you-coulda-but-you-didn’t ones that comes from too much risk aversion.
- MORAL REGRETS. These are centered on the other people that our actions and failings have hurt.
- CONNECTION REGRETS. These regrets encompass lost relationships with family members, friends, colleagues and community. It’s the sad that comes from finally understanding that you really don’t get a second chance to make new old friends and the pain of knowing that you messed up in your dealings with the heart-people in your life.
Of all the regrets, the last one – connection – turned out to be the most common experience in Pink’s survey.
In his book Pink does touch on strategies to cope with the regrets we already have.
Not keeping the things bottled up and hidden away is the first of the strategies. Acknowledging your bad and figuring out what you did and how that managed to screw things up for you allows you to take a hard look at even the most painful of the regrets you carry.
The trick to this, Pink tells us, is avoiding hitting yourself over the head over and over again with all the bad stuff. Self-forgiveness needs to happen…and that one can take a good long while to get through. If it’s bad enough, you might even want to ask for help.
This self-disclosure can be a most private thing locked in the pages of your journal. And if you can’t stop beating yourself up, you can always go find somebody who can help you with your angst.
In all of this, you do have to recognize your errors and cut yourself some slack. (Eh! You are probably not the worst super-villain the world has ever seen. Stop being such a braggart, you!)
And then, once the healing starts, maybe you can step back and figure out moves that will help you avoid repeating the same-old stuff you did to build up your very own regret mountain.
At the same time, Pink also advocates what he calls a “pre-mortem” every time you are in the throes of making some decision or other.
What you do for that is imagine the worst possible potential outcome that might arise if you make this or that one move that could compromise your values or wreck your future health and happiness.
None of this is new stuff, but it makes for good reminders about the lessons you’ve already learned and may help you find better ways to move in the future.
Here’s a poem:
GO GOOD, MY BRADDAH
You have your issues
And they push you –
This I know.
Your wants color the air around you
And perch on your shoulders
Grimacing at me like
A crowd of gremlins.
Their yammering fills up your ears,
Blocking out the words
Trying to climb in.
Their fingers cover your eyes,
Letting you catch glimpses only
Of the world around you.
Their fragrance clogs up your nose
So you can’t smell the scent of rejection,
The signals others send.
The taste in your mouth
Comes from the ashes
From the burning fire in your gut.
The gremlins have hold of you.
They’ve made a fortress all around you
Out of all the knives and smokes and mirrors
In your mind.
Nothing I can do or say can reach you
Through that shifting kaleidoscopic shield they’ve raised up.
It all gets lost in the flickering movement
Of your tumbling thoughts.
No can, li’ dat.
Go good, my braddah….
By Netta Kanoho
SOME OTHER POSTS TO EXPLORE:
(Click on each of the post titles below and see where it takes you…)
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