We’ve all got ‘em.
That co-worker who regularly doles out backhanded compliments.
That neighbor with the loud, weeknight parties. Like, every week.
That family member whose political opinions run counter to your own and feels holidays are a great time to bring up immigration reform.
(Are your shoulders up around your ears just thinking about it?)
Being human and existing in the world means that you’ll inevitably encounter people + situations that ruffle your plumage and rankle your sensibilities.
The good news? You can heal unresolved anger and resentment.
The slightly-less-good news? Healing those feelings takes work.
And the only one who can do it is you.
The reason you’re angry isn’t external. It has nothing to do with the outside world.
It’s within you.
Think about that one person (or people) who get under your skin. Maybe when you think about them your hands clench and your heart races. Maybe you even think you hate them.
Are you thinking about them?
Right now, while you’re thinking of that infuriating human, write down what makes you so angry with them.
Take your time.
Now take a long, slow read through the reasons you’re angry.
Take a big, cleansing, deep breath.
The parts of these people that infuriate you could be unresolved parts of yourself.
(I can hear you all the way over here.)
“No way! That’s crazy. I am NOTHING like these people!”
But yes, dear one. It is possible you could be.
We can resent in others the unresolved parts of ourselves.
Acknowledging this is the first step to healing our anger.
As difficult as it can be, take this opportunity to look at your anger-maker not
as an enemy but as a teacher. In a way, they’re guides pointing out the parts of ourselves we still need to work on.
If we can accept this, then we can stop blaming and criticizing the other person.
Instead, we can fold inwards + get introspective on what we are feeling.
If we’re really, deeply honest, below the anger is always the experience of hurt.
And it’s hurt that we want to feel because it’s where the healing can begin.
Feelings of hurt and anger usually come from the deep-seated belief that, on some level, we are
: not enough
: not lovable
Rather than feeling the hurt and taking an empowering action to heal it, many of us get defensive + angry and project those feelings onto the people around us.
Taking action from an unconscious, hurt place won’t help you create a life
you love. Taking loving action from a place of deep awareness doesn’t mean you’re “rolling over” or accepting others’ poor behavior. Taking action from a place of awareness means you’re taking responsibility for your life by consciously choosing next steps.
Can you stand up for yourself + give voice to your less-than-positive feelings?
But as you do, don’t forget to look inwards and simultaneously ask:
What about this person is triggering me?
Are they simply a mirror reflecting back unhealed, fearful parts of myself that I need to be more aware of?
If they’re just the messenger, what would be the lesson I need to learn?
How am I being asked to take greater responsibility in my own life?
With a good dose of self-awareness and introspection, we can learn the lesson that comes in the shape of the annoying coworker or the challenging uncle.
With a bit of work, we can even learn to smile + love through the ruffled feathers.
What can you learn from the person who angers you the most?
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I like this post + tips, because we ALL have someone that makes us grit our teeth.
“We resent in others the unresolved parts of ourselves.” — I can see both sides of this (agree + disagree). I think we all sometimes feel irritated by people with traits we see in ourselves that we don’t like. But, I don’t think this is always the case for people who make us angry. For example, the person who came to mind during this exercise is someone who was very hurtful/condescending/mean to me in a workplace setting + has never had to apologize or speak to her negative actions. Every time I’m around her, I feel infuriated — but I am not a hurtful, condescending, or mean person, so the traits are based in hurt, but they aren’t based in unresolved parts of me.
I like the idea of “If they’re just the messenger, what would be the lesson I need to learn?” — this is a great way for me to approach this person/situation + come out stronger on the other side!
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