These are both very strong emotions. They have the power to completely take over our brains if we let them. There are plenty of things we could and should be angry about. It’s not an entirely bad emotion, but it’s what we do with it that’s key. More often than not, there are plenty of things that we end up being angry and/or resentful about that maybe we shouldn’t be, or we hold onto that anger and resentment much longer than we should. And then those feelings begin to build and snowball so that pretty soon we’re angry about anything and everything, even very insignificant things. It doesn’t take much to end up in that downward spiral.
It’s definitely not easy, but finding ways to channel anger and/or resentment into positive energy would be ideal. I do not like to hold onto negative feelings because they get stuck in my head and then I “overthink” things, which only causes more negative feelings to build. Talking about my feelings and what caused them is usually helpful, but only if the person I am talking to is willing to listen and hear what I have to say. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen all that often for me with certain people, so I end up putting my thoughts in writing. I don’t know if they are being “heard” any better that way or even at all sometimes, but at least they are out of my head, and usually I can say what I am really trying to say a little more concretely and completely. Sometimes I write to the person who is causing my anger and frustration, and other times I write or talk to a good friend or family member just to vent or help organize my thoughts. That helps me to not overthink things as well. A couple times I even wrote a poem about things my husband did or didn’t do that led to the demise of our relationship, and it definitely got his attention more so than just telling him they bothered me.
Keeping things all bottled up inside and not wanting to talk about the issues or circumstances that are causing those feelings is not healthy. It only ends up coming out in the form of sarcasm, bitterness, defensiveness, and other forms of disrespectful behavior. And that only leads to further frustration and anger on the part of the person or people who are on the receiving end of that behavior. Too often people choose to just lash out at others, either physically or verbally, and that’s certainly not constructive either.
So I guess what I am saying is that good communication skills and being willing to talk about your thoughts and feelings are a big part of anger management skills. It’s difficult to have a constructive conversation about an issue when there is so much animosity built up from keeping it all in. It makes it challenging to refrain from reacting emotionally and negatively. I think it’s much better to find a constructive means to express what is causing you to be angry, and hopefully you are talking to someone who is willing to listen to you. If not, then keep trying to find other constructive ways to get your message out. You can’t change how the other person behaves or reacts to the message, but you can keep yourself from getting too angry and stressed about the situation. It may not resolve the issue, but it will help you keep your sanity.
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