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Finding your anger

Updated: Jun 13


Should I be angry? Am I allowed to be mad at my parents? Now that I've found my anger, how mad I am surprises me! Now what!?

We live in a society that often discourages us from expressing our emotions. From an early age, we’re taught to “be strong” or “keep a stiff upper lip. A client once told me that his mother asked him, "Why are you going to therapy? Why don't you just get a second job?" This moment will always stay with me as a therapist. It is a gift! For a facilitator who provides psychoeducation like myself, I am grateful to have this clear demonstration of how we find ourselves stuck in survival mode.

Isn't that the assignment? Just take it one day at a time and keep pushing on. I don't want to "rock the boat" by telling my partner how I felt! Expressing how I really feel may make us feel even more distant.

Emotional Intelligence. You must practice!

Often, when starting therapy with new clients, one main focus is providing a supportive environment for them to increase their emotional intelligence. Most clients struggle to put a name to an emotion. In addition, many clients don't understand the significance of being in tune with their emotions. Therapy serves as a safe space where clients can explore and understand their emotions, including those they may have been avoiding or suppressing. They might make a statement such as, "My mother was not always available when I needed her emotionally, but it wasn't all her fault. She was young. There isn't any point in being upset at her." Here, we see a clear example of a person afraid to confront their emotions. Clients have repeatedly made similar statements showing limitations to their emotional range.

Finding your anger is important for what the relationship could be! However, finding your anger is only the beginning stage of your emotional intelligence journey. Finding your anger means letting go of feelings such as numbness, apathy, and boredom. It means allowing yourself to feel hurt and pain - maybe feeling these emotions for the first time. This process can be transformative, opening the door to a more authentic and fulfilling emotional life.

Become a paleontologist!

It is now your time to explore the emotions underneath your anger. At this stage, we must become scientists searching for fossils that can help bring more truth to our experiences. Emotions that can be even more challenging to face. Emotions such as embarrassment, shame, sadness, guilt, or loneliness. Acknowledging these emotions is most important because it allows us to communicate clearly and honestly with those we love most.

Clients have often heard me say that I believe that they have the answers. My job as a therapist is to clear the clouds and provide the tools for them to live healthier lives. After reading this article, I hope you feel at least a little clearer about the importance of allowing yourself to feel, and more specifically, to feel deeply.

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