Healthier Divorce Part 3: Anger & Openness/Vulnerability

Anger & Openness/Vulnerability: How to Take Control of Your Emotions

Allow yourself to feel angry. It’s okay. We all have moments where we just want to break something, shout out of frustration, or cry from pain. Anger is a powerful and complex emotion and it’s important to try and understand it instead of rejecting it.

How to Use Your Anger Instead of Being Used By Your Anger

Anger should never be used as an excuse for violence or other destructive behavior, but if it’s expressed in healthy ways, it can empower you to create positive change. Learn to see your anger as an opportunity for growth. Pay attention to what is triggering it and then use that information to recognize any patterns or issues you need to address in your life. Once you start to recognize these patterns, commit to making changes that will improve your life and lead to more fulfilling relationships.

Why Anger Is the Most Misunderstood Emotion

Anger is often seen as a wholly negative emotion when in reality it can be incredibly helpful. By recognizing anger for what it is – an indicator of something going wrong in our lives – we can use it as a tool for personal growth and self-improvement. If you understand what makes you angry and why, you can also develop better strategies for managing it.

Sometimes people think that if they don’t express their anger openly, then it must not exist. This is far from the truth. Some people may not show their anger outwardly, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still there and having an effect on their life and relationships. When people don’t understand their anger, they can end up using masks to protect themselves from difficult emotions. These masks might be pleasant smiles or even apathy, but they will still prevent you from getting your needs met while limiting your ability to form meaningful connections.

Where You Are on the Anger Continuum and How To Deescalate Your Anger

When it comes to controlling anger, knowing how far along the anger continuum you are is key. Are you feeling slightly irritated, frustrated, or full-blown enraged? Recognize that there are steps between these points and actively work to de-escalate the situation. Count to 10, take deep breaths, try physical activity, or talk to someone who might be able to help bring you back down.

What Masks You Have Used to Protect Yourself in the Past

We all use masks at times in order to hide our true feelings, especially if those feelings are really uncomfortable. We may pretend to be calm while seething inside; put on a smile while feeling deep sadness; or appear emotionless while our hearts are breaking. But these masks rarely work in the long run. Not only do they prevent us from getting our needs met, they also prevent us from forming honest, meaningful relationships with others.

Limitations of Using Masks

Using masks to cover up our authentic selves can be comforting in the short term, but in the long term, it can lead to further isolation and unhappiness. Not showing authentic vulnerability means we never learn how to manage our own emotions or develop real coping strategies for dealing with difficult situations. Additionally, when we wear masks, we are hiding who we truly are from others, making it impossible for anyone to fully accept or understand us.

Why You Can’t Get Needs Met While Using Your Masks

When we are wearing masks to cover up what is going on below the surface, we become disconnected from our feelings and can no longer accurately read the feelings of others. This makes it nearly impossible to build successful relationships and get our needs met. In order to have fulfilling relationships with other people, we must learn to open up and show our true selves without fear of judgment or rejection.

How Vulnerability Is a Strength and a Way to Create Fulfilling Relationships

Having the courage to be open and vulnerable allows us to become deeper, more meaningful individuals who can establish meaningful connections with others. When we shed the masks and allow ourselves to embrace our authentic selves, we gain the power to heal past wounds and create lasting relationships built on honesty and trust.

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