Perhaps it’s because I’ve been counseling some couples for their marriage to be that I’ve been thinking about anger and forgiveness. To be more specific, I’ve been pondering what’s going on behind the anger within us and within others.
Anger within us is tricky. Sometimes we know we’re angry, but we don’t know why. It takes time to discover why we’re really mad. I read somewhere once that we get angry because our needs are not being met. In relation to others making us mad, this makes complete sense. However, I’d like to point out that when others make us angry, it’s not always just them.
Sometimes we get angry with others’ behavior or attitudes because we, on the flip side, know that we have done the exact same behavior as them and we’ve had the very same attitudes toward others as they are having toward us. I think that a certain amount of our anger needs to be directed inward, recognizing that we’re also upset with seeing ourselves in others.
Another dynamic of anger is when it relates to people being mad at us. Because anger takes time to understand, I suggest we all step back and ask the question: Where is this anger coming from? Also, who specifically are we or they angry with? I know, I know; it’s not easy to “step back” when we’re in the midst of anger. Fair enough.
But check it, not always is someone’s anger toward us what its all about. What I mean is this: sometimes people are actually mad at someone or something other than us; we just so happen to be the person that catches the brunt of their wrath. This doesn’t make it right, but it can help us know how we can work through anger popping up in a relationship and how to move forward.
- Tweet: The best thing we can do when angry (us or someone else) is to communicate. I guarantee we’ll respond well when someone else cares to find out our side of things or when we ask the other to explain more so that we can better understand them. If anger does legitimately happen when needs aren’t being met, talking about those needs is a great first step.
- Tweet: The best counter-action to someone being angry is forgiveness. Recognizing that I’m angry and just blew up on someone is a good thing; what’s even better is being able to forgive myself and learn from the blow up. We as people will get angry; it’s a part of being human. However, when we’re angry, our humanity is determined by whether or not we’re learning from our behavior and attitudes toward others. If it’s the other person that’s mad, we may need to forgive them first (for our own good and growth) in order to begin communicating with them about their anger (for their own good and growth).
There’s so much more I can say on forgiveness, but perhaps I’ll just write another post soon. Forgiveness is a subject and way of life I’m very much into and seek to grow in constantly. I’m still a work in progress, and perhaps so are you, but that’s ok. What thoughts would you add to this discussion on anger and forgiveness?
Until next time, LIVE on!