Ladies, it's Time to get Angry
So I went to a party on Saturday. Standing in a group, I was in a conversation with my husband and two other men. Then, two other men preceded to join us, introducing themselves one by one - to everyone except me. Stifling down my WHITE HOT RAGE, I whispered to my husband that this was completely unfair. Because I had a dress on, and maybe breasts, I guess? I wasn't worthy of an introduction, let alone a conversation. The five of them chatted away, I didn't say anything and am still stewing on it three days later.
You know I wrote in my last post that to experience joy, we need to have the courage to look inward. We need to find our truth and nurture it, to consciously choose ourselves. What I didn't think about though was anger's part in that, and just how hard it is for females to not only recognise - but own and channel their anger.
Anger is an essential human emotion. It exists to warn us of danger and pushes us to fight back. It motivates us to stand up for ourselves and to move to create change in our lives. However, as Soraya Chamaly points out in this enlightening TED talk - women are often discouraged from externalising their anger, and can even fail to recognise the physiological signs of it.
I mean, how many times have you been made to feel your rage was unjustified? That it was exaggerated? Have you ever been mocked for being angry? Or kept quiet because you were afraid of being ridiculed?
I think we all have.
A 2018 study even found that when females expressed anger during a group discussion, it undermined their argument and made other participants more confident in agreeing with the opposite opinion. The same study also found that when men got angry in that very same group, it helped their argument. Pretty ironic how pissed off this makes you, hey?
Look, I'm not proposing that we all go out and unleash everything we've ever been angry about on the people in our lives, but I do think we all should all be more willing to let ourselves get angry, accept the information that our anger is giving us and start using it to make meaningful change in our lives.
In light of that, here are a few tips on how to get comfortable with anger:
Allow yourself to be angry; it does not make you a bad person to do so.
If you can excuse yourself then do it, find a safe space where you can express it.
Understand it's role - anger is fundamentally human condition and is neither good or bad. It exists to inform you so learn to listen to it.
Acknowledge yourself - You deserve to be valued.
Tune in and try to understand why it is that you feel so angry. Is it this particular situation, or perhaps something a little deeper?
Don't be afraid to express it - take some time for yourself and cry/scream, in your room or your car. Smash rooms are fun too!
Exercise - there's nothing like a boxing class or lifting weights to get the anger out.
Anger is an opportunity. It's a chance for us to learn what it is we really yearn for, and also an opportunity for our loved ones to understand what's important to us as well.
If we speak up for what we want, we just might get it.