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Why Anger is Such a Confusing Emotion

Anger is a confusing emotion. It can appear when you are least expecting it. It can take over your wh
Why Anger is Such a Confusing Emotion
By Jordan Brown • Issue #84 • View online
Anger is a confusing emotion.
It can appear when you are least expecting it.
It can take over your whole body.
And before you know it, you’ve said something you deeply regret.
Plus, there other aspects of anger that make it a confusing emotion.
I’ll reveal all below.

The Anger Shield
Let’s be honest. Anger usually isn’t the primary emotion.
There is usually something else going on beneath the surface when a person gets angry. It’s typically a cover for some other emotion, such as fear or sadness.
But fear and sadness are not as socially acceptable as anger. This is especially the case with men.
Before they become men, they are little boys, and to this day, little boys are still taught to show only certain “acceptable” emotions. And anger is one of those acceptable emotions. Fear implies weakness and uncertainty. It’s much more “appropriate” for a boy to show anger rather than reveal he may not know something. This happens in schools and sports fields all across the world.
Times are changing, but we still have a long way to go.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Can Anger be Healthy?
I think that it can. I think anger can sometimes be righteous. To right grievous wrongs, we sometimes need to get angry.
Be careful, though.
Too much anger can be destructive. It’s best to keep it limited. After all, humans don’t respond well to anger. Softer, more compassionate approaches tend to work best.
What to Do If You're Angry
If you are frequently consumed by anger, here are some actions you can take.
Stop and reflect on your anger
Now, this is difficult in the heat of the moment. Once the anger train has left the station, it’s almost impossible to bring it back in. So, take time when you are not angry to think about what has tripped you up the most.
What kinds of situations make you angriest? Who makes you angriest? Why do you think that happens? Is your anger really a cover for some other emotion?
These questions are only intended to be starting points. Follow your curiosity wherever it leads you.
Now think about what you can do instead of being angry
Do your best to remove the angry response and replace it with something else. “Remove and replace” is an extremely powerful strategy, but it first requires awareness. To change a bad behavior, you first need to know that it’s there. And context matters. So collect as much evidence of your angry interactions as possible. This will be hugely beneficial when you take the steps to do something about it.
Reflect. Remove and replace. Repeat.
Remember these words. Create a 4-R acronym of some sort if you need to. (Hey, I should copyright that!)
In Conclusion
As you can see, anger is one of the most confusing emotions for a reason. The way it manifests can be mysterious, and the ways to change it often seem elusive. But with practice, anything is possible.
So practice. Remember the 4 R’s. Take it one step at a time.
Because there’s no such thing as angry people, just people who sometimes struggle with anger.
Did this post make you angry? If so, I want to know why! If it helped, I’d like to know that as well. Just respond to this email.

Thanks for reading,

P.S. Be on the lookout for a SHORT survey in the next few days. I’m thinking it will be 4 questions and take less than 2 minutes to complete. Now that this community is well over 400 people, I want to ask you some questions to make sure I’m sending you the kind of information you really want! As always, just reach out if you have a comment. Toodeloo!
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