"Notice what you're feeling in your body, what it’s telling you?”
- Dr. Lisa Cooney
Walking on Eggshells
So, any volcanoes in your life?
If you know, you know.
I’m talking about people you encounter and...oh boy, that vibe, that look in their eyes. Your shoulders just hunch up.
You start tiptoeing, avoiding the slightest disturbance, anything that would cause an explosion of temper.
And, of course, sometimes it’s still not enough.
I used to do this with my mom. I really don't like tiptoeing either. Being in that hyper-vigilance is hard, it takes a toll on your body. Your hormones, your cortisol levels - anticipation and reactivity manipulate these body processes. It’s hard on a person physically.
What to do?
That being said, your body is your friend when it comes to temperamental people.
Notice what you're feeling in your body, what it's telling you?
You feel a pang in your gut? It's like a Spidey sense. Take a look around.
Who are you with? Where are you?
You can change your environment, after all. If you haven't done anything requiring your presence then just leave.
But yes, sometimes you can't get out of the way of it.
What are useful tools for someone in your life who’s angry?
Find a way to get them into some kind of counseling, couples therapy, coaching, personal development. These kind of interventions work.
It's not worth living under the scourge of rage, it's a terrible wondering if someone's going to blow.
But there IS help.
What Causes Anger?
If anger causes such issues, what on earth causes it?
Sometimes it's biological, it’s a person’s genetics. It's a neurochemical imbalance.
There are treatments for that, available with the help of a medical professional.
Sometimes there are legitimate circumstances causing anger. People let each other down, situations are disappointing sometimes.
I have a friend who lost her job. She was fired so abruptly she didn’t get paid for her vacation days, money to which she was entitled. She was quite angry! Fortunately she’s taking action.
Related to this, sometimes a person does something accidentally. You break something, and you’re angry it happened.
Let’s take a step back, though. Is anger really worth it, even when there’s a decent story behind it?
Truly, today’s anger is next week’s old news. Life is too short. Most of us learn that, yet anger still persists.
Choices cause anger.
Choices can create a life that doesn't work for you. People in such a position are angry at themselves for bad choices.
It surfaces as depression, anger turned inwards. You’re angry at yourself for believing you weren't worth something better.
With my clients sometimes I just openly ask, what are you angry about?
I like listening to their physical symptoms for information about why. The body is full of indicators and signs.
You're having trouble digesting? What can't you digest in your life?
You’re having liver issues? Often this turns out to be an old regret.
Who is the person that's "galling" you til it manifests as a stomach issue?
Tools for Anger
What tools are there?
Tips for Helping an Angry Person
Sometimes even with abundant background and training - I just need space for my feelings. Space breeds acceptance, and afterwards a person is ready for collaboration again.
This can be such a great tool in a working relationship: overnight, 'it's just money' prevails where the day before people could have just gone crazy at each other.
Giving Space Works
My mom is a great example of emotional evolution.
She used to have such angry words for my father. I’d reply, "Mom, he's dead, can you let it go?"
Seriously! The man had already died. Forty-plus years of marriage turned into a grudge that lasted years after his death.
Fortunately, I let my mom have space. I learned appreciation for her relationship to my dad. And she finally worked through those issues, finally acknowledged her hatred, though it took multiple repetitions.
They had a pretty tumultuous relationship, so I'll give her that.
No Matter Who’s Angry
Remember, whether it’s your feelings or those of someone around you, there are always options, always choices.
I hope this has helped you, and I can help you again in the future, no matter what your situation is!
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