I learned to suppress my anger very young. I was afraid of becoming like him. Anger seemed quite dangerous to me. Because of that, all of those moments when my gut intuitively knew that anger would be the cleansing emotion for the situation -- the emotion that would help me process through a situation and motivate me to make changes to help me through, I unconsciously suppressed it. I bottled it all up inside.
- "Having an important goal blocked or prevented
- Having an important or pleasurable activity interrupted, postponed, or stopped
- You or someone you care about being attacked or physically or emotionally hurt by others
- You or someone you care about being threatened with physical or emotional pain by someone or something
- Losing power
- Losing respect
- Experiencing physical pain
- Experiencing emotional pain"
- "Emotions motivate and organize action
- Emotions communicate to and influence others
- Emotions communicate to ourselves" (Skills Training Manual for Borderline Personality Disorder)
I am learning that the best way to deal with my anger is to take a break, calm down a bit, and then try to resolve the issue that is causing me to feel angry. If resolution is not possible (and even sometimes when it is), I practice Opposite Action by:
- Gently avoiding the person I'm angry with, rather than attacking them in any way. During this time, I take a break and slow down my breathing
- This one really gets me, but it is suggested by Dr. Linehan (and has actually worked): Do something a little bit nice. This can be something simple, such as using a calm, gentle tone of voice.