Working with Anger

I used to think that anger was unimportant.

In my mind it was a weak, childish emotion that I could -- and should! -- talk myself out of with logic and reason. "That's not worth being angry about," I would tell myself, as if refusing to acknowledge anger would simply get rid of it. While I silently judged and criticized people who expressed anger, my own anger did not in fact magically vanish, but instead came out sideways as things like sarcasm, superiority, and aloofness. Needless to say, this approach didn't lead to happiness. In addition to living with a lot of internal judgment and criticism, I allowed other people to be mean to me, and had no idea how to stand up for myself.

Only in the past few years have I started to see anger less as something to be afraid or ashamed of, and more like a friendly messenger with valuable information that I could pay attention to. This has vastly improved the quality of my relationships with other people -- and with myself.

Each person's experience of anger is different, but if anger is something you struggle with, or simply want to learn more about, I hope you will come to my Befriending Anger workshop next week. These small group workshops provide a safe, intimate setting for you to learn more about where anger comes from, and practice simple tools for restoring your well-being without harming others in the process. Teens, tweens, and adults are all welcome.

If you are interested in the topic but can't make the workshop, I also highly recommend Karla McLaren's website, which has a ton of great information about how to understand and work with different emotions. Karla's work is the foundation for a lot of what I will be teaching, and I am so grateful that she shares it there for free.