“You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.” – Bruce Banner (a.k.a. The Incredible Hulk)
Anger might just be one of the most destructive emotions that there is!
It’s also one of the most enjoyable emotions – though we hate to admit it.
Just look at the amount of websites that just churn out “rage-bait” every day and you’ll quickly realise it’s true.
We like being angry.
And, guess what?
But when anger starts to get out of control (when you start to Hulk out), then you start to have a problem.
Especially if that anger is directed towards another person.
So, in this blog post we’re going to be talking about how to let go of anger.
Is It Really OK To Get Angry?
Believe it or not, it’s actually OK to get angry from time to time.
And I know that’s not the typical approach for an anger-management blog post, but anger is ultimately just another emotion.
It’s a part of you, so you can’t just get rid of it.
Anger is something that everyone goes through at one time or another.
Some people experience it more and some people experience it less.
And that’s OK too!
So you can’t really just get rid of your anger.
Anger Is Not A Problem
Anger itself is not the problem because it’s just an emotion.
It’s no better or worse than any other emotion.
Where things tend to go off the rails is when you act out of anger without thinking of the consequences.
Most of the time, that’s going to go extremely poorly for you and the people around you.
Why You Shouldn’t Bottle Up Your Anger
Now, the typical response to anger is just to push it down, bottle it up or box it in.
This was my method of “control” for many years.
I pushed my anger deep down and hoped that I would never have to deal with it.
The only problem is that’s not how emotions work.
Especially not anger.
You can think of anger like a wild animal.
If you just lock it away in a basement or a cage somewhere, it won’t become any more tame.
In fact, it will just grow wilder and angrier and it’s far more likely to hurt you then.
If you just bottle up your anger, it will grow and grow.
It will only get stronger the more you ignore it.
So, how do we learn exactly how to let go of anger in a healthy way?
How You Can Start To Let Go Of Your Anger
If you’re angry, no amount of denial will change that.
You must first accept your emotional state of anger otherwise you cannot continue.
These are YOUR emotions and YOU have to deal with them appropriately.
Besides, being angry and expressing that healthily is a great sign of authenticity.
And authenticity is CONFIDENCE!
If you’re angry at someone for some reason, you should be able to tell that.
Or if you’re angry at a certain circumstance, you should be able to express that to yourself.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you should give away responsibility for your emotions to anyone or anything else.
No one can really MAKE you feel anything.
Emotions always come from within you regardless of whether it’s a conscious or unconscious choice to become angry.
How To Express Your Anger So That It Doesn’t Come Back
When the time comes to confront someone who you feel angry towards there’s something that you always need to do.
Take a deep breath.
And then make sure that you say everything that you need to say.
Now this doesn’t mean just verbally lashing out in anger in order to hurt someone because that won’t make you feel better in the long-term.
What I actually mean is to tell that person exactly why you’re angry, how they contributed to it and how you want to be treated in the future.
You can’t just hold back how you feel for the sake of safety all of the time.
Otherwise, you’ll end up wishing you had said more and beating yourself over that.
You’ll just be turning your anger inwards instead.
So, if you’re angry because your flatmate didn’t do the dishes even though it’s there day and you feel disrespected because of it, tell them that.
It’s no use just telling them that you’re angry.
You have to explain why otherwise there’s not much hope that events will change in the future.
Why Confrontation Is Important
Now I’ll be the first to admit that confrontations are scary.
After all, the last thing that you want to do is lose control and say or do something you’ll regret.
But if you don’t get it all off of your chest then nothing will ever change.
And you will begin to resent that person for not changing.
But it would be your fault for not saying what needed to be said.
That person will be living under a false understanding of how they contributed to your anger.
Now, if it helps, you can write down a few bullet points of exactly what you need to say to the person that you’re confronting.
It might seem a little formal, but it’s a method that’s worked for me over the past few years and I would recommend it to anyone.
Most importantly, once you know what you have to say, don’t stop until you’ve said it all!
The person's either going to accept it or they're not going to accept it.
But at the end of the day, if you’ve said what you need to say then you will be able to let go of your anger.
Leave nothing unsaid if it’s going to make you angry in the future.
Because if you just bottle up your anger, then it will only grow worse over time.
Final Thoughts On How To Let Go Of Anger
Being angry and expressing that anger in an emotionally healthy way is a statement of authenticity.
It involves you accepting who you are and how you feel.
And then it allows you to say what you need to say to move past it.
As long as you say everything that you need to say then there will be no need to return to that anger.
The process of learning how to let go of your anger is acceptance and expression.
And as you get better at that process, you will increase your trust in yourself to deal with your emotions.
And the more you trust yourself, the greater confidence you’ll be able to build in your life.