Licensed therapist here, and my advice to you is to allow yourself to be more angry. I always get a confused look on someone's face when I look at them and say, "It might help you if you were a little more angry..." I fear that some people assume I am being sarcastic, but in reality, I mean this wholeheartedly and sincerely.
First, let's understand a few things about the human mind. We are logical beings (some, more so than others). We are also emotional beings (even to our detriment at times). What this means is that we must find a balance between these two opposing yet fundamental parts of ourselves. Can you imagine an Artificial Intelligence system that did not factor in human emotion? Some of the most difficult world problems could easily be solved by the most heinous and atrocious solutions possible (e.g. Question: How do we solve racism? Answer: Eliminate all races but one). See how too much logic with no empathy or emotional intelligence can create a huge problem? It's not as simple as 1 - 1 = 0. Or, what if humans chose to operate on all emotion and no logic? There would be 7 billion people in the world, all impulsively following their own individual, self-imposed desires and moral codes with no order. Pure and utter chaos. Therefore, we must find a balance between logic and emotion.
Anger is a naturally intense emotion. It is often depicted as a raging fire or violent storm. So then, why would a therapist say that anger is an acceptable emotion if it can cause so much destruction? Let me, first, assert that emotions, all emotions, when applied appropriately, are meant to do one crucial thing—connect us to one another. The problem with anger is that many people allow the emotion to overcome us, and it can lead to some destructive and devastating behaviors.
"Erm, then how is anger supposed to create connection?" You might ask... Well, the essence of anger is this: there is something present in the environment that has occurred that does not resonate with who I am; now, I want to let 'you' and everyone else know about it, so we can work together to fix or correct it. This requires teamwork, collaboration, cohesion, and connection. At its best, anger motivates us to be better versions of ourselves, and it requires others to respect the boundaries which we set forth to protect us. If we perceive anger in this way, it is evident how crucial it is to our well-being and maintaining our relationships.
Many people may have learned that anger is bad and ugly. Emotions, however, are amoral. They are neither good nor bad. They just are. On the other hand, how we respond to our emotions can either be healthy or unhealthy. Sigmund Freud, referred to as the father of modern psychology, said this, "Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways." I have seen this many times over to be supported. When we repress our anger, it often comes forth in either violent, overt, or covert, passive-aggressive ways. Therefore, I make my case to those who believe 'hiding your anger' is best. I implore you to 'be more angry.' This does not mean to be belligerent, destructive, or harmful in your anger, but rather to apply logic and learned skills to manifest your anger in a healthy, constructive, and generative way. A licensed therapist can help you navigate that process.
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Sam Nabil is the founder of Naya Clinics and is a Cincinnati therapist and a Cincinnati Marriage Counselor.
Sam offers therapy in Cincinnati and Cincinnati Marriage Counseling for adults suffering from relationship challenges, life transitions and anxiety.
Sam was featured in many prestigious publications. Check out his interview with Aljazeera English And Cornell university , Yahoo News, USA Today, Marriage.com,
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