The Person You Are REALLY Angry At
I always find it interesting when a client comes in very angry at someone else. Real anger or rage directed toward someone else; either for something that has happened, or a perceived insult. Nine times out of ten, when they really look at why they are angry a big part of it is anger at self, or at some part they have played in what has happened. Most of the time it’s not setting a boundary when they should have.
The worst part of any issue is the upset you feel at yourself, which often gets directed at someone else without you even realizing these feelings are about your own actions. For example, a person makes the following comment after being very angry when his mother showed up drunk to a family event
“I shouldn’t let my mom come to family events, it always turns out badly.”
“I wasn’t even going to invite her because no matter what she says, she always does this. I keep believing her when she claims she has changed.”
In this example, the client is angrier at himself for falling for his alcoholic mother’s story than he is at her for just doing what an alcoholic does.
“I am so angry at my sister for not helping me take care of our sick father. It’s not fair I do everything.”
In this case, the client is angry at herself for taking on her father’s care when he is capable of hiring help. This added burden has caused great conflict in the family. Instead, she must learn to be a bit more like her sister and set boundaries by saying “no more.”
When you feel extreme rage at someone, take a moment to stop and look at the possibility that you may be angry at yourself for part of the situation. Ask yourself:
“Did I fail to set a boundary when I should have?”
“Should I have said no to something that I said “yes” to?”
“What can I do differently in the future to prevent this from happening again?”
Taking a moment to reflect and do an honest assessment of what really happened is not only very healing, but it helps you grow greatly as a person and takes the edge off the rage.
Some People WILL take advantage of situations if you let them. Unfortunately, it’s in some people’s nature, just the way it’s in a wild animal’s nature to bite. Know this, and adjust your behavior accordingly.
Love yourself enough to do the hard work of healing, and know that it’s best for everyone if clear boundaries are set.
Jill Thomas CCHT