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Old 06-10-2024, 10:27 AM
 
23,718 posts, read 71,126,947 times
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As anger is generally an emotion frowned upon in polite society, any expression may also be seen negatively by others, due to THEIR societal conditioning. Don't get caught in "people pleasing" when anger is justified.

Succinctly, "anger" has a purpose. It may be from an action by another goes against your own values, it may be because of a seeming unfairness, there can be any number of causes.

The bodily function of anger is to bring awareness and provide the hormonal energy to take action. Cortisol gets released, adrenaline may get released. Dealing with the effects of these self-generated drugs in the system is a PITA and can cloud judgment.

Resolution of the cause of the anger in positive manner can be a good way of handling it. Exercise of some sort can help with processing the chemicals. The area where therapy can be most helpful is in establishing ego boundaries, formulating an emotional and intellectual framework that is consistent within itself and resilient under stress.

When there is anger that cannot be resolved, a re-examination of the situation, looking at larger perspectives and effects can be helpful. You may want to accept your impotence to control a situation, and still see your anger as having been valid but unhelpful to you in that case.
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Old 06-10-2024, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
20,534 posts, read 14,983,068 times
Reputation: 39887
Quote:
Originally Posted by bu2 View Post
You don't have to like people you do business with. But you are polite. Think of your ex as a business relationship. You (apparently) need to get things done with him. Being polite is not being "fake." Its just manners and its effective in getting things done.

Its over. That's where you need counseling. To learn to let it go. It is his personality flaw, not yours. He is who he is. Your parents are who they are. You left, so you quit letting him get away with it.

It sounds like you want payback or retribution or revenge. Here are some great quotes on revenge from Confucius to MLK:
https://www.azquotes.com/quotes/topics/revenge.html
Just a couple:
"Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves."

"The best revenge is massive success."

"An eye for an eye leaves everybody blind."
I find it strange that you get that from what I'm saying. I don't want revenge, I don't want suffering, I just wish that people who do a lot of harm to others might wake up one morning and at least acknowledge that they did something wrong. That maybe it is not good to treat others the way that they have done. It bothers me that they seem to go blithely through life not even considering why anyone might have a problem with it, when they did something incredibly cruel. I mean, I guess I'm wishing that some might rightly feel some remorse, when they really are not going to, and it isn't within my control and I know that. Which is why punching pillows feels silly.

And yeah, it could be said that I have the revenge of massive success, particularly in contrast with my ex husband's miserable lot...he is in terrible health, living in squalor, and suffering a lot all the time. But this brings me no joy. He is just such a waste. He is determined to waste his gift of a life wallowing in nastiness and it was such a waste of my life trying to save or help him in the past.

When I mention justice, I mean there are people who literally did crimes and got away with it. And appear to feel that they are entitled to do so...yet there are other people in this world who may steal food to feed their children and get thrown into jail. It's anger sometimes at the unfairness of things. The wrongness. But there won't be any justice now or ever. There is no way to square this up, set it right. It just...IS.

And not only am I not sure how to feel nothing in the face of a lot of wrongs in the macro of humanity or the micro of a few of my own relationships...I'm not sure that feeling nothing at all about some of this is what I'm really shooting for. I feel like it would be a little bit...almost sociopathic...to feel just fine about some of the real harms perpetrated in this world. Not that I want to go around stewing with rage, which I don't think I do anyways.

Honestly...I think that sometimes a little bit of righteous anger is the correct response to some situations. Not of a kind that turns inward to harm of the self, nor outward to harm of others. Just a way to know that one's own moral compass is functioning. And denying those feelings has felt a lot like silencing myself, fawning to survive, or going along with bad things that should not be met with agreeableness.
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Old 06-10-2024, 10:38 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
20,534 posts, read 14,983,068 times
Reputation: 39887
Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
As anger is generally an emotion frowned upon in polite society, any expression may also be seen negatively by others, due to THEIR societal conditioning. Don't get caught in "people pleasing" when anger is justified.

Succinctly, "anger" has a purpose. It may be from an action by another goes against your own values, it may be because of a seeming unfairness, there can be any number of causes.

The bodily function of anger is to bring awareness and provide the hormonal energy to take action. Cortisol gets released, adrenaline may get released. Dealing with the effects of these self-generated drugs in the system is a PITA and can cloud judgment.

Resolution of the cause of the anger in positive manner can be a good way of handling it. Exercise of some sort can help with processing the chemicals. The area where therapy can be most helpful is in establishing ego boundaries, formulating an emotional and intellectual framework that is consistent within itself and resilient under stress.

When there is anger that cannot be resolved, a re-examination of the situation, looking at larger perspectives and effects can be helpful. You may want to accept your impotence to control a situation, and still see your anger as having been valid but unhelpful to you in that case.
Thank you. I think that the bold sounds a lot like what I'm trying to work on. And yeah, I do intend to establish a relationship with a new therapist after I move. I did not expect much from the one I began to see, but we were actually starting to get into some interesting and thought provoking territory...and then she had a loss in the family and left the practice, and since I was also moving it did not make sense to see another new therapist in the short time I had left here in AZ.
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Old 06-10-2024, 10:52 AM
 
Location: SF/Mill Valley
8,963 posts, read 4,101,179 times
Reputation: 6327
Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
As anger is generally an emotion frowned upon in polite society, any expression may also be seen negatively by others, due to THEIR societal conditioning. Don't get caught in "people pleasing" when anger is justified.
I disagree anger is frowned open; it’s an emotion we all experience. That said, folks may express an unfavorable opinion toward those who have an inability to address/express anger in a healthy way, per the thread, and instead lash out at others (as if they’re entitled to do so). Everyone gets caught up in a moment of anger sometimes; however, if one regularly ‘goes off’ on folks, no matter how justified they think they are, it is dysfunctional communication and an ineffective way to deal with anger (and will likely lead to health and relationship problems).
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Old 06-10-2024, 11:53 AM
 
3,408 posts, read 1,893,434 times
Reputation: 10615
Quote:
Originally Posted by bu2 View Post
You don't have to like people you do business with. But you are polite. Think of your ex as a business relationship. You (apparently) need to get things done with him. Being polite is not being "fake." Its just manners and its effective in getting things done.

Its over. That's where you need counseling. To learn to let it go. It is his personality flaw, not yours. He is who he is. Your parents are who they are. You left, so you quit letting him get away with it.

It sounds like you want payback or retribution or revenge. Here are some great quotes on revenge from Confucius to MLK:
https://www.azquotes.com/quotes/topics/revenge.html
Just a couple:
"Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves."

"The best revenge is massive success."

"An eye for an eye leaves everybody blind."
I may be in the minority but I believe that revenge, when applied with impunity, to a foe who has harmed you unjustly, is gratifying and righteous and is a human instinct and perhaps an imperative.

But I don't think it applies in OP's case because I feel the issue is not anger at a specific offense, but a long-simmering resentment and the erosive effect of frustration as a result of impotence.
The best way to dissolve these painful feelings is to focus on what you CAN do going forward to control the situation. It may at least abate the distress that comes from dwelling on the unalterable past.

So revenge won't work in this case... (but when it does, BOY, does it feel good!)
But finding peace and living well is even better.
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Old 06-10-2024, 01:29 PM
Status: ""There's not much intelligent life down here Jim"" (set 4 days ago)
 
Location: Middle America
11,411 posts, read 7,458,252 times
Reputation: 17305
The only possible examples of a healthy anger would be, say, protecting a child or family member from an assault, or protecting a home from a break-in. Anger could be beneficial in providing the maximum defense and offense. Maybe some additional situation where repeated words and messages are being ignored or won't sink in, and emotion is the last resort to get the emphasis across.

I can think of no other situations for "healthy anger".
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Old 06-10-2024, 02:15 PM
 
19,992 posts, read 12,517,790 times
Reputation: 27034
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic_Spork View Post

But I'm beginning to get a little clarity on something. For a long time, I denied angry feelings about certain situations. I insisted that I had forgiven people for doing unforgivable things. That carrying "negative emotions" such as anger or sadness, was "taking poison and hoping that your enemy will die." I tried to be the bigger person. And I think that in a sense, the unhealthy thing that I have been doing is denying that I have the feelings that I have. And that maybe, being honest (with myself at least!) about how I feel, and giving myself a bit of space to feel some of this stuff, and realizing that you know...I have cause. It isn't unjustified. It feels like it might be a step in the right direction for me. Emotional honesty as a path to healing, perhaps? I had tried to just "let it go" for most of my life, but it did not in fact go anywhere. I'm wondering if taking it out, putting it in front of me, and looking at it clearly will be any better. I don't know yet.

Maybe it is a mid-life thing. I am very tired of being fake and pretending to like people that I don't like, that I haven't liked for a really long time. I'm tired of going along to get along. I'm sick of pretending I'm fine with things I'm not fine with. I at least want to be honest with myself. Or maybe I'm just ruminating, and maybe this is worse?

It sucks that my therapy stopped when it did, she had a loss in her family and left the practice with no planned return date, and I am moving out of state anyways. I'll have to figure something out after the move. I didn't expect to get much out of it, but it's given me a lot to think about, for all that we'd barely gotten past the "setting up the background and cast of characters" phase.

So what do you think? Do any of you carry anger about things from your past? How do you handle it? What does healthy, versus unhealthy anger look like to you? Does the way that you process such things feel healthy to you? Do you carry such burdens lightly, or do you struggle with them?
It sounds like you are on the right track to face these feelings. I don't know about healing, maybe that means different things to different people.

I've never been able to "forgive" as in let it go. The memories always return and sometimes are forced on me as the fallout has affected my life permanently in practical ways that I cannot control. When I remember details I feel the same angry feelings I felt then, my heart rate and blood pressure increase and I get that stress response. I know it isn't good for health so I try to self soothe but it takes a while and the stress will always return with the mental reliving of the events. I can't keep those thoughts away fully. I hate that the people who caused these issues don't think they are wrong, or don't care. I can't change that but it sure is frustrating.

I just think this is part of life. Maybe some people can let things go and compartmentalize but I can't. This is part of the map of my life and I can't pretend it isn't. I'm just glad I have a functioning moral compass, even if it doesn't always work in my favor, it gives me comfort to know it's there and I will defend it if need be. I guess there is a sense of pride in that.

I've been spending time sharing with others who have experienced the same kinds of issues that have caused me anger and pain, in some ways it keeps me upset but it is comforting not to be alone with these feelings because I'm stuck with them. They are part of me forever and that's ok, they remind me that I'm "keeping it real" I guess, no denial, no pretense, no excuses. And no one gets to edit my reality by telling me I shouldn't feel these feelings, they are VALID.
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Old 06-10-2024, 03:29 PM
 
7,701 posts, read 4,266,855 times
Reputation: 7082
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic_Spork View Post
I find it strange that you get that from what I'm saying. I don't want revenge, I don't want suffering, I just wish that people who do a lot of harm to others might wake up one morning and at least acknowledge that they did something wrong. That maybe it is not good to treat others the way that they have done. It bothers me that they seem to go blithely through life not even considering why anyone might have a problem with it, when they did something incredibly cruel. I mean, I guess I'm wishing that some might rightly feel some remorse, when they really are not going to, and it isn't within my control and I know that. Which is why punching pillows feels silly.

And yeah, it could be said that I have the revenge of massive success, particularly in contrast with my ex husband's miserable lot...he is in terrible health, living in squalor, and suffering a lot all the time. But this brings me no joy. He is just such a waste. He is determined to waste his gift of a life wallowing in nastiness and it was such a waste of my life trying to save or help him in the past.

When I mention justice, I mean there are people who literally did crimes and got away with it. And appear to feel that they are entitled to do so...yet there are other people in this world who may steal food to feed their children and get thrown into jail. It's anger sometimes at the unfairness of things. The wrongness. But there won't be any justice now or ever. There is no way to square this up, set it right. It just...IS.

And not only am I not sure how to feel nothing in the face of a lot of wrongs in the macro of humanity or the micro of a few of my own relationships...I'm not sure that feeling nothing at all about some of this is what I'm really shooting for. I feel like it would be a little bit...almost sociopathic...to feel just fine about some of the real harms perpetrated in this world. Not that I want to go around stewing with rage, which I don't think I do anyways.

Honestly...I think that sometimes a little bit of righteous anger is the correct response to some situations. Not of a kind that turns inward to harm of the self, nor outward to harm of others. Just a way to know that one's own moral compass is functioning. And denying those feelings has felt a lot like silencing myself, fawning to survive, or going along with bad things that should not be met with agreeableness.
For good or bad, I cut all that out of my life. If somebody brought up something they did wrong, I would simply tell them that is wrong and I would no longer plan things with them, or I would at least tell them that they need to fix that problem.

I guess you can say that I do it to set things right. But the real truth is that I don't want any trouble. I don't want their relatives, associates, exes coming after them and I happen to be in their company. I don't my family in attendance of any of their parties and potentially be placed in harms way.

My social circle started small once I did that. Not anymore. Now it is filled with people who don't bring trouble to themselves or others. They call it "living in a bubble." Well, it took guts to make this bubble and it takes effort to maintain it. Nobody lets you off the hook when you do something wrong.
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Old 06-10-2024, 04:47 PM
bu2
 
24,380 posts, read 15,226,155 times
Reputation: 13251
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic_Spork View Post
I find it strange that you get that from what I'm saying. I don't want revenge, I don't want suffering, I just wish that people who do a lot of harm to others might wake up one morning and at least acknowledge that they did something wrong. That maybe it is not good to treat others the way that they have done. It bothers me that they seem to go blithely through life not even considering why anyone might have a problem with it, when they did something incredibly cruel. I mean, I guess I'm wishing that some might rightly feel some remorse, when they really are not going to, and it isn't within my control and I know that. Which is why punching pillows feels silly.

And yeah, it could be said that I have the revenge of massive success, particularly in contrast with my ex husband's miserable lot...he is in terrible health, living in squalor, and suffering a lot all the time. But this brings me no joy. He is just such a waste. He is determined to waste his gift of a life wallowing in nastiness and it was such a waste of my life trying to save or help him in the past.

When I mention justice, I mean there are people who literally did crimes and got away with it. And appear to feel that they are entitled to do so...yet there are other people in this world who may steal food to feed their children and get thrown into jail. It's anger sometimes at the unfairness of things. The wrongness. But there won't be any justice now or ever. There is no way to square this up, set it right. It just...IS.

And not only am I not sure how to feel nothing in the face of a lot of wrongs in the macro of humanity or the micro of a few of my own relationships...I'm not sure that feeling nothing at all about some of this is what I'm really shooting for. I feel like it would be a little bit...almost sociopathic...to feel just fine about some of the real harms perpetrated in this world. Not that I want to go around stewing with rage, which I don't think I do anyways.

Honestly...I think that sometimes a little bit of righteous anger is the correct response to some situations. Not of a kind that turns inward to harm of the self, nor outward to harm of others. Just a way to know that one's own moral compass is functioning. And denying those feelings has felt a lot like silencing myself, fawning to survive, or going along with bad things that should not be met with agreeableness.
I realized you are looking more for "justice" or an apology, but its still revenge in a sense.
You want them to ask for your forgiveness as their "punishment." You aren't letting go of the desire to get retribution even if its only an apology.

[I]There is no way to square this up, set it right. It just...IS.
So let it go! Don't let it continue to eat at you. You can't have it both ways. You can keep your righteous anger, but it will still eat at you if you do that. You are choosing to let what they did continue to harm you. The past is beyond your control but your response to it is. Another quote-- "Give me the serenity to accept what cannot be changed, the courage to change what can be changed and the wisdom to know the difference."
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Old 06-10-2024, 05:20 PM
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
16,235 posts, read 21,483,047 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bu2 View Post
I realized you are looking more for "justice" or an apology, but its still revenge in a sense.
You want them to ask for your forgiveness as their "punishment."
Wow, that's not at all what I'm getting. What I take from this is that she wants to say to herself (and possibly to the offenders) that their actions are NOT okay with her. She no longer wants to just silently accept it, and pretend it's not upsetting, in order to get along. That's not nearly the same as asking for an apology or getting justice. It's a realization that she doesn't have to deny her own feelings because of other people. How she handles those feelings makes a difference, but it's crazy to tell her she shouldn't accept that she has them.
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