This is my first blog post – what should I write about? I think I want to share experiences I find interesting and hopefully you will too. I love thinking about emotional topics and I always want to inspire others, so here goes….
Recently I had an experience of someone who was very angry and out of sorts. They are normally rational and intelligent, but on this particular day, after a challenging experience, they were very upset.
When small upsets happen, it is not so hard to pop yourself out into a better mood with positive self -talk, a time out etc. But when a really big upset happens, it often trigger deep emotions from childhood, and that kind of raw emotion wants a safe place to release.
The trouble is most of us want to ‘head for the hills’ when someone is that upset! Anger can be scary to be around, especially if you are the target for blame. Your own triggers jump into action, you stop listening and start defending yourself, especially if you are being blamed in the wrong! Before you know it there is a full scale row, because now both of you are gripped by painful emotions and reason has flown out the window!
But if you can take a step back, encourage the person to tell you about their upset and listen, something magical can happen – the bad mood lifts. Mind you, you can only carry this off if you are in a calm mood and can listen without taking it personally. Luckily I was able to do that this particular day and encouraged the person to let it all out.
Releasing anger usually means loud noises and vigorous actions, because anger is an energetic emotion. This is why we want to slam doors, yell and stamp our feet to get it out. So with some encouragement the person was able to get their anger out through some crying and yelling, while I listened.
Gradually as the angry energy released, they calmed down and it was so nice to see them relax, clear their head and feel good again. Of course it is not always appropriate to do this, especially if someone has a history of violence.
But when it is someone you know well and trust who is upset, it is a real gift to listen and give them space to tell you about their upset, and something they will really appreciate. Being able to express anger without someone getting angry back is as rare as they say in Ireland as hens’ teeth! Good luck!