This is the second article in the series of five examining the emotions. In the first article it was discussed when sadness is repressed in turns into chronic depression. Any chronic condition is unnatural. We need to look at our first feelings. The core emotions of grief/sadness, anger, love, envy, and fear are being examined in this series. These are the natural emotions and are uncomplicated in their purity. I am not suggesting they are comfortable, I am suggesting they are uncomplicated in their truths. Anger is, in my opinion, the most misunderstood of all of the five emotions. I am teaching the emotions in an effort to help you to relate better to those in your life. In my article on communication I discuss how communication is not the issue, rather we have trouble relating. Use your five simple emotions and see how much better you can relate.
I would like to break anger down into its simplicity. Anger is our response that says “no thank you.” It is always attached to adrenalin and the more primitive parts of our brains, but anger is a natural emotion. Anger is an emotion we all feel, thus it is an emotion we can all relate to. Some outside trigger comes into our life, and the response from our guts tells us this is not correct for us and we have the emotional experience of anger. Its message to us is ‘please set a boundary.’ It is a signaling system. It is really that simple in its original form. Anger tells us to say no when we need to say no. It is intuition’s warrior serving to protect us from the unkind things of the world. If every time we felt anger and we had the simple knowledge that it is there to tell us when to say no, I believe we may all do things differently. Anger never has to be violent or disruptive. It is simply ‘no thank you.’
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Anger is the most confusing emotion, especially for children. It seems odd to a child who watches their parent get angry, yell, and have tantrums, but when the child does the same thing it is considered bad behavior. Parents do not approve of anger and so do not want the child to even experience the emotion let alone express it. If we were angry as children and our whole system was flooded with the feeling of NO THANK YOU we were often punished, humiliated and degraded. We were considered bad. So we learned to repress our anger, to keep it in. In doing so we lost our ability to say no thank you. How scary is that? If as children we were allowed to not only experience this emotion but also express it, we would have learned our anger was the natural response we would have when we were not able to say no thank you. If that were the case we would have learned to work through our anger quickly and effectively and in a way where there did not need to be any violence.