When the feeling of anger arises (a.k.a. annoyance, irritation, impatience), it is an indication that your boundaries are being crossed. We have both physical and emotional boundaries. Your physical boundary is the three-foot invisible bubble that surrounds your body. This is your personal space. Anytime that someone who you are not comfortable with enters that space, you are likely to feel discomfort. Your emotional boundaries consist of your values, beliefs and life experiences. This makes up who you are and defines your integrity. When your emotional boundaries are crossed through thoughtless or intrusive actions on the part of others, anger in some form will (and should) arise.
Anger is the energy that bubbles up inside, letting you know that whatever is going on is not in alignment with you, your values and your beliefs. This doesn’t mean that the other person is right or wrong, it’s just an indication that whatever they are sellin’, you ain’t buyin’, and that’s okay. The feeling is there to let you know that the situation is headed down a path that doesn’t align with your values and beliefs.
Unfortunately, none of us were taught the purpose of anger… why it arises within and what we are supposed to do with such strong, uncomfortable feelings that make us feel like ripping someone’s head off (OK… that’s accumulated, repressed anger). In its simplest form, the feeling of anger is a warning emotion. The purpose of it is to get your attention and let you know that you need to set a boundary. If you ignore the feelings (repress, minimize, rationalize), you will block the intended warning message, stuff the uncomfortable energy, and fall into a state of feeling helpless or powerless, blaming others (or yourself) for your dissatisfaction.
Setting boundaries isn’t easy. To paraphrase a quote from Aristotle, “Anyone can have an adult temper tantrum…that’s easy. But, to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, for the right purpose, in the right way in order to protect your boundaries…that’s not easy!”. Your challenge is to pay attention to when you start feeling irritated and to notice what is going on around you. Remember, there is a reason for the discomfort.
Next week, we will learn about the feeling of Frustration. Ever feel judgmental of others? Stay tuned to see how that’s related to you feeling frustrated with the person or situation.
This blog post was provided by Cindy M. Nelson, M.B.A., C.S.L.C. from Anakh Leadership Coaching LLC. We specialize in developing business leaders and professionals by increasing their self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and overall effectiveness thereby increasing personal satisfaction in their lives. For more information, please go to aleadershipcoach.com.
Connect on social media: