How Well Do You Express Anger?
Not only does pent-up anger not feel good, but it's bad for our health, potentially leading to depression, high blood pressure and other stress-related conditions. Learning healthy ways to express anger can help us feel better physically and emotionally and bring more authenticity and intimacy into our lives.
Answer the following true/false questions to discover how well you express anger.
- I build up resentments over time, and then let them all out in one big blowup.
- I sometimes cut people out of my life when they make me angry.
- It's unsafe to express anger. I internalize it and then end up feeling depressed.
- If I told someone I was angry at him or her, I'd make myself too vulnerable. The other person would then be angry at me and might end the relationship, or, somehow, I'd pay for it.
- I lose it when I get angry. I've been known to yell, break objects and say horrible things that I later regret.
- I have a tendency to be sarcastic or "leak" my anger rather than be open and direct about my feelings.
- Anger lets me know that something isn't sitting well with me. I allow myself to fully feel and acknowledge my feelings.
- I express my anger after I've had some time to acknowledge it and release excess energy. I may beat pillows, whack a tennis ball, go running or rant and rave in my journal. Then I can calmly give voice to my feelings without saying things I'd later regret.
- To prevent resentments from building up, I express my feelings of anger as soon as I can do so calmly.
- I use "I" statements when communicating my anger. That way, I avoid blaming and telling other people what they feel.
- I hold a safe, respectful space for others to express their anger towards me, trusting that honest communication leads to greater intimacy.
- When bad things happen that I have no control over, I find ways to let off steam: I might cry on a friend's shoulder or take 5 minutes to rant about my frustrations.
If you answered true more often in Set 1 and false more often in Set 2, you may wish to learn some more effective ways to safely release and express your anger. Please don't hesitate to call if you'd like support in exploring this further.
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