On the importance of letting myself get angry.

When I was teenager I used to have quite a temper. I’d get angry for no real reason and once I was angry, I couldn’t control my temper. As I got older, especially after the initial stages of dealing with Crohn’s disease and beginning on antidepressants, I found that I calmed down quite a bit, to the point where I rarely got angry at people at all.

There were people in my life growing up who had irrational tempers. I got to a certain age and associated getting angry with losing your temper. My shrink would point out that there was difference between anger and fury. We naturally get angry several times a day. Anger was an emotion that arose when we feel we have been done wrong by.

Whenever I would feel someone had done me wrong, I found that I didn’t get angry in the moment. When I was with people, I’d try to be happy all the time, as if any time we weren’t enjoying ourselves was an indication of faults in our friendship. If someone did make me angry, I’d calm myself down, let it go, keep my temper and inevitably get angry at them in my head later. Eventually I’d build up enough resentment towards them that I would stop seeing them all together.

I’ve since realised that being able to get angry with someone shows more trust in the relationship. Trying to be happy all the time is emotionally distancing.

It’s taken a while to start to get angry again, mostly to feel confident in my relationships with people to know that if I do assert myself, I won’t lose them. I realise now that I may even feel closer after a fight because it’s the only time we properly communicate. Expressing anger, also allows one person to see the extent to which they’ve upset the other.

I’m aware that fights and getting angry can also be destructive. However, I think my fear of anger wasn’t helping my relationships with people.

As I’m putting my work out there on sensitive topics, as I’m sure nearly every other writer knows, I will inevitably have people who don’t like what I do. When I realised that my novel was likely to accepted, part of me became scared that once I had entered into a public sphere, I would gather a small army of people who didn’t agree with me.

However, that hasn’t been the case. It may seem quite late in the game to have this revelation, but differing in opinions with someone doesn’t mean that I can’t remain close with them.

It’s obvious when I think about it now, but I couldn’t have been sure until it was put into practice. I really don’t want to spend my life fighting for my opinions. The point of writing on certain topics is to create a platform of thought, where others can join and give insight on matters I wouldn’t otherwise be able to talk about on such a large scale.

Blogging has proven to be the perfect arena for this endeavor. Before I began blogging I was scared I would hate it. But, frankly it’s been fantastic. Making contact with people from around the world and talking about what matters to me is fantastic. This is everything that I want from writing.

I can see now why everyone keeps a blog. It isn’t a self serving, self promotional tool. It’s about connection. At least for me. I can’t believe I took so long to start.

136 thoughts on “On the importance of letting myself get angry.

  1. Pingback: Lady of the Keep Addresses Confrontation | Lady of the Keep

  2. When my husband and I started dating, we both were coming out of relationships where we repressed all negative emotions until we just couldn’t survive in the relationship anymore. So we made a pact to be honest with each other when we are frightened, when we are angry. We haven’t done so perfectly, but at least we’ve tried, and it’s one of the things that makes our relationship strong. As you say, it deepens the trust in the relationship.

  3. Very well said! I feel exactly the same about blogging. At times, it may make me feel inferior, but for the most part, it is all about the connections and learning from people you would never meet without the blog. Cheers!

  4. You make an important point about anger that I can relate to, and still struggle with. I am too good at hiding anger, when it would be best to express it. It is yet another tool to build trust and strengthen relationships. The key of course, is not to be violent or abusive, nor do what I have done, which is stew silently and then explode one day on the poor unsuspecting person in front of me. Blogging is a good way for me to rant, because I can’t get into a personal attack. In order to make a point to multiple readers, I’m more effective when I can rage against a common enemy: corruption, ignorance, arrogance. In any case, you’ve given me much food for thought. Thank you.

  5. Wow! I love how you articulate the connection between anger and trust–being happy in a relationship all the time IS emotionally distancing! As someone who grapples with anger, and is trying to find balance in healthy relationships, I can so relate. Wonderful perspective, Eli!

  6. Pingback: I’m grateful for anger. | Life's little mercies

  7. Pingback: On the importance of letting myself get angry. | Eli Glasman | Moments of Awareness

  8. I loved your final statement about connection. I felt the same when I found the world of bloggers out there – at the end of the day that’s exactly what it’s about. Great post.

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