Tell us about a time when you flew into a rage. What is it that made you so incredibly angry?
I don’t fly into rages. Yes I get angry—but I deal with it quickly stopping it developing further along its continuum and having a greater impact on my life.
The anger continuum has 3 points:
I put out spot fires of anger, stopping them becoming bush fires of rage or mega wild fires of fury. The further down the continuum you go, the more out of control the emotion and the more damage you are likely to do to yourself or others.
Anger is a valid, strong emotion. It comes about when we feel personally wronged or attacked. By acknowledging what I am angry about, I can decide what I need to do about it. My response usually comes in one of the following ways:
- Acknowledging that I have a right to be angry about it and that I was hurt—no further action required.
- Taking some deep breath, listening to my favourite loud music and just chilling for a moment. Pink’s music works well here.
- Ventilating my anger in a healthy way e.g kick a ball around, journal my feelings or just yell for a minute of too.
- Responding to my anger and speaking to the person involved. To do this I would make a time to discuss the matter with the person I am angry with. I let them know why I am angry using ‘I’ statements. I am entitled to be angry and they don’t get to tell me I shouldn’t be angry—they also cannot take my feeling away. However, by talking about it with the person concerned, together we open the lines of communication and make a plan to get to the bottom of the issue. Being heard by the other person helps me feel validated and allows me to let it go.
- My last option is to discuss it with a friend/mental health work colleague. This gives me closure and helps me see the situation through the other persons eyes. Many people may use therapy to help with this stage.
I grew up with and still where possible follow the biblical quote on this topic— Ephesians 4:26 “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger”— as failing to do so has a great impact on one’s mental health.