But I don’t want to be angry…

July 23rd, 2013

I have heard that statement – or something very close to it – many times from my clients.  Many people are very uncomfortable with anger.  So uncomfortable that they will deny it exists.

I’ve listened to people talk about awful situations with their parents, spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend, or a friend in great detail.  And how they want to still be friends, make the relationship work, see how they can work things out – but never say “I’m pissed!”  So I often ask, “But are you angry?”  The conversation flows from there.  “Yes I’m angry!”  or “Hmmm.  I don’t know.” or even “I don’t want to think about that.”

So why don’t people want to experience anger?  We aren’t afraid of our “positive emotions” like joy and happiness.  But we often push anger away.  Some people are afraid they will “lose control”.  Others wonder what good it will do to experience anger.  A few folk think that experiencing anger means that you have to let the person with whom you’re angry know about it.  Instead, people often bottle their anger, resulting in feeling depressed, blowing up at insignificant situations, feeling cranky and irritable, or even experiencing road rage when they consider themselves “happy people.”

One of my jobs it to try to help people understand their emotions…including anger.  It’s a legitimate feeling.  You can’t control it – it’s here.  But you can learn how to express it.  And I believe that expressing it releases it.  And even makes room for more of the positive, enjoyable emotions.


If you’re looking for a therapist in Dupont Circle, Washington, DC, feel free to contact Mike Giordano, LICSW at 202-460-6384 or Mike.Giordano.MSW@gmail.com.

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