Anger: A Living, Breathing Thing
Have you ever been angry for so long that the anger intensifies into what seems like a living, breathing thing? The anger seems to take on a life of its own right along side of you. Even more disturbing is that it takes on a life within you.
Let’s move beyond your own anger for a minute and consider the following. Can you recall any instances where you and someone else were mad at one another? Do you remember finally getting over that anger (and I hope you did exactly that) and reaching out to that person only to discover that they are still engulfed in anger? Before you realize it, instead of being grateful for being able to let go of the anger, you become angry all over again because the other person hasn’t let go of the anger. That’s what I call “taking ownership of other’s anger.” Now let’s talk about that for a minute.
Taking Ownership of Other’s Anger
Taking ownership of other’s anger simply means that, consciously or subconsciously, you are angry simply because they are angry. No matter the reason, in your head, other people’s anger does not belong to you and you should refuse to take ownership of it particularly when you are fully able to let go of your own anger about the situation.
I recall years ago when a co-worker and I had butt heads and we stayed angry at each other for some time (I mean a really long time). It came to a point where the anger was consuming me and the situation that had caused the riff had long passed. I remember reaching out to this person to end the tension and the effort was met with no response whatsoever. After a day or so, I completely let go of that anger and decided at that moment, to refuse to take ownership of someone else’s anger. I refused to let their problem with me, become my problem. It’s quite a relief to be able to let go of something that is so mentally stressful and damaging to our well-being.
Take a look at your life and what’s going on around it. Should there ever come a time or another time when you take ownership of someone else’s anger, I hope that you’ll be able to recognize it quickly and let it go. This also involves taking ownership of your own anger and your contribution to the problem.
Let It Go
Once you take ownership, it’s easier to let go of ill feelings as well as whatever caused the bad feelings in the first place. This applies to anger, disappointment, disenchantment, hurt feelings or whatever the emotion is that causes you emotional turmoil. If it involves another person, depending on the situation, you may be the one to reach out first and make some effort to connect. After you have reached out in earnest and the effort is not welcomed or reciprocated and you can’t work it out, sometimes it has a way of working itself out so don’t feel bad about stepping back from the situation. Perhaps the other person will reach to you when they finally realize that the anger isn’t worth jeopardizing a relationship or after that have finally let go of what hurt or harm that kept them at bay. Don’t let anger take on a life of its own. It can only worsen a situation and damage relationships unworthy of losing. Above all, be grateful that you can heal from the hurt and forgive yourself and others.
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