Do you ever feel like your fuse is short, you get frustrated too quickly and you’re kinda walking around angry for no real reason?
Or maybe you always feel like there’s this low-level buzz of annoyance and irritation just under the surface…but you don’t know why?
In this blog, I’m sharing some hidden reasons and some real remedies to help you deal with overt and covert anger, because here’s the thing: you’re NOT angry for no reason. You can also see me go into more detail about this in the video at the end of this post..
If you’re walking around in the world always on the brink of being pissed off…there’s a reason. What’s possible is that you’re not clearly seeing what’s actually provoking you.
It could be modeled behavior and/or you might be so habituated into this experience, that at this point, it’s just the way you are in the world.
It might feel like annoying things are always happening to you, the truth is that it is your perception and reaction to the stuff that happens that creates your internal experience. And those perceptions and reactions are actually coming from you.
If your default protective position is being snappy, bitchy or highly annoyable…it’s time to raise your awareness and do something about it. Why?
Well, it actually takes a lot of bandwidth to exert this kind of low-level vibration. Perpetual irritation can be a defense mechanism against feeling vulnerable. So what are the repercussions? Beyond the toll it’s taking on your individual wellness (being angry all the time is exhausting), it can also take a toll on your relationships and on the level of intimacy and love in your life.
Being someone that people feel they need to walk on eggshells around doesn’t encourage intimacy. Instead, the people in your life might feel like they have to manage or handle you and that’s just not the same as being authentically connected or known. And I so want that for you.
So let’s get into how you can uncover the real reasons behind your anger so that you can start to find healthy ways to understand, to release and to change.
Your Anger Blueprint
The family culture we grow up in gives us a blueprint for how to behave. That imprint of modeled behavior can continue to affect us in adulthood. Understanding your particular blueprint is essential to getting clarity on why you do the things you do.
Do you come from a long line of angry people? If you were raised in an angry home, with people feeling or acting pissed off or irritated all the time would normalize that experience.
In this week’s cheat sheet, I’m giving you questions to help you identify if you have a downloaded blueprint around anger, so be sure to download it right here.
If you have unexpressed expectations of the people in your life, that can be a source of anger. When you leave things unspoken, you’re setting yourself up to feel disappointed and frustrated when people don’t meet your expectations.
If you really want something from someone in a relationship, you can’t leave it unexpressed. You need to use words to communicate your desires because no one can read your mind, and it’s not fair to expect them to do so. Take responsibility for what you want and manage your own expectations.
It’s all about raising your awareness when it comes to remedying any behavior, and self-inquiry in the moment is essential. The moment you start to feel annoyed in a situation, take a breath and ask yourself:
“Was there a boundary that was just crossed?”
“Is there a need I have in this moment that isn’t being met?”
It’s when we start to be able to take that pause and identify what is actually happening that we get the power to change what’s not working. Boundary crossing can be a real trigger for anger and frustration, especially if there’s no conversation around it. You might not have the language to set an appropriate boundary, but the good news is this is absolutely a skill you can develop.
If you grew up in a home where there was no model of healthy anger (like I did), what can end up happening is that you might either repress or transmute your anger into a different emotion like annoyance or sadness. I give you some real-life examples of what this can look like in this week’s video above.
Your Displaced Aggression and Emotional Transference
Displacement was identified by Anna Freud as a defense mechanism, that is, a psychological strategy put into play by the unconscious mind in order to protect the conscious mind from unacceptable or potentially harmful emotions or stimuli.
So what could this look like? You come home from a shitty day at work and you take it out on your partner or your kids. You had an argument with your sister and suddenly you’re flipping someone the bird in traffic. You’re not really mad at the person you’re taking it out on, but somehow, your unconscious mind sublimates the real culprit because it perceives it to be “safer” to express your intense emotions in these displaced ways.
Can you see how important it is to bring this into your conscious mind so that you can make a healthier choice and improve the quality of how you’re feeling and your relationships?
Emotional transference is another way to experience displacement. So you might be responding to a situation in the present (like with a bully boss) with extra heat or emotion because of what you’ve experienced in your past (like a bully parent). In this week’s downloadable, I walk you through an exercise to help you identify what’s really going on, so be sure to grab it right here.
How are you taking care of your health? Or, as my friend Kris Carr would say, how are you tending to your “God Pod”?
Your physical state absolutely affects your emotional and mental wellbeing. I want to encourage you to get real with yourself and tune into your body.
How are you sleeping? Eating? Are you moving your body? If you’re not sleeping enough, if you’re drinking too much, if you’re binging on Netflix, if you don’t hydrate, if you eat shit food all the time… all of these things affect your physical health and that can definitely inform your mood.
Listen, I’m not asking you to be perfect. There is absolutely a time and a place for indulgence. But I am asking you to be mindful and take responsibility for your choices and for your body.
We are alive right now. This is it. This is what is happening. Your physical wellness is an incredible gift. It impacts everything else. Take care of yourself and see if better health habits don’t have a ripple effect on your mental state.
I want to applaud you for being open and committed to raising your awareness and becoming more mindful about your mental health. You can create more space and train your mind to respond instead of react.
The highest level of evolution is to become a witness. To respond without judgment. To become curious. This is your beautiful, one-of-a-kind life. People are always going to do shit that gets on our nerves. How you respond, is your choice.
I hope that this added value to your life. I don’t want you walking around this life being pissed off all the time. Life is precious! And you always have a choice.
If you liked this episode, please share it on your social media platforms. I appreciate you so much. Thank you for watching, for listening and for sharing. I hope you have an amazing week (being present and chill!) and as always, take care of you.
Terri Cole is a licensed psychotherapist, transformation coach, and an expert at turning fear into freedom. Sign up for Terri’s weekly Newsletter, check out her blog and follow her on Twitter.