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How Do You Deal With Anger?


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My therapist gives me a slogan every week from a random deck of cards. This week the slogan is something along the lines of "no blame, we are all doing the best that we can."

 

I was having a fine week until I started thinking about this slogan this morning and I'm so angry.

 

I do blame him. It is his fault. And it seems unfair to say that it isn't-- in order for us to be broken up, somebody had to call it quits. And that was him. That makes it his fault, ipso facto.

 

I tried and tried to work on our problems and every time he stonewalled at me or walked out the door or denied they existed, or he yelled at me (and then said "this isn't yelling. You haven't heard me really yell yet.") And then one day he completely unexpectedly up and leaves and says that we are just too different and we don't have enough stuff in common. 2.5 years, half of it living together and we don't have enough stuff in common! How is this possible? I worked so hard to accommodate him and emotionally he just shut me out, all the while telling me that he wasn't shutting me out.

 

Meanwhile he is with someone else and I don't understand why she hasn't walked out on him given his terribly poor manner of dealing with conflicts. surely they've fought at least some. He deserves to be walked out on! And I'm angry it hasn't happened yet. I want him to feel as devastated over me as I do over him. I don't want him to suffer harm, but I do want him to be miserable.

 

My motto has been peace (thus, "peace" and "lily" indicating renewal). But I feel like I'm at war. In our relationship, he always had to be right, and I let him. Letting him be right about the fact that we needed to break up just seems like the ultimate defeat for me. I don't want to acknowledge that he was right in any way ever again. He's taken enough from me already.

 

But if I don't acknowledge that the breakup was right, then how can I get past this (not a rhetorical question)?

 

I feel like I lose either way. I'm angry because he's so wrong to have left or I'm angry because he's right to have left and I'm so wrong to have wanted to stay. Given that we have opposing positions, we can't both be right. There isn't a case of nobody's fault.

 

I am so so angry and I cannot focus and get my work done today. I just wanted to post here so I didn't feel so alone. I would appreciate advice on this particular issue, both on coping with the anger and getting past it.

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I am no therapist, so I am not a professional!

 

My personal way of dealing with anger is rechanneling that hate into something, not just ignoring it. I hated that my English teacher said nobody would get an A in his class. I knew he was just goading us to make us work harder. But I finished that class with the only A. I hated that I wasn't a bulky muscular guy, so I pushed myself HARD for a few weeks working out Soem results, not worth the time, but still... I hated that I couldn't cook, so I did, and a fairly kickass job of it as well.

 

Most of that hate came from being alone, girls "teasing" me, leading me on, or at myself for missing opportunities. But I rechanneled it into something else. This defiance = made ME stronger, a better person, picking up skills along the way, and was burning off hate without "hating" anyone, and let me use it in constructive ways, not distracting ones like being unable to read a book, etc.

 

So, I am of the school of "don't supress and ignore, burn it off somewhere else". Hope that helps.

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Can I just say...I think that's a terrible slogan!?! That slogan MAKES me angry! LOL.

 

I actually find it very difficult to get properly angry at people, because I DO think that many folks try hard to do the right thing and just bumble through difficult situations awkwardly, accidentally stepping on toes. Others are just brash and unthinking, or they view the world from their own perspective and can't break out of it easily.

 

But when I read that slogan and think about my ex and some of the things he did and said when we were breaking up...even *I* feel like growling, and that was YEARS ago! Ummm...yeah, many people do their best, and then there are some people who do their best to be mean and selfish wankers!

 

I'm sorry. I can't actually address the substantive part of your question because the slogan irritated me so much. Maybe I drank too much coffee?

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The slogan makes sense to me. I mean why waste your time with blame? It's exhausting to be angry all the time and in your case very distracting. Being at peace really just means being detached from those feelings and letting yourself become an observer. I take a meditation class so when I am feeling angry, I focus on my body and my breathing and meditate. You might want to try it!

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If you stay that angry, you continue to give him power and control over you. It's time to take that back. I think the quote can be interpreted in a different way. Instead of thinking that not blaming him is accepting that he was right to end it, think of it as just taking the idea of blame out of the situation. Look at the situation just for what it was. You were putting your all into the relationship and he wasn't trying and left. Is that a blame issue or a compatibility issue? Do you really want to be with someone who wouldn't even try? You can do better than that.

 

Take control again by saying that you will in time move on from him. Use your anger to give you the motivation to learn from the relationship, move on, and better yourself in the meantime. This is YOUR time to focus on you and what you want to do with your life. I think taking control will help calm the anger.

 

But also realize that it's OK and natural to be angry. This isn't what you wanted. It's how you handle it though that matters. I think it will also help if you just accept that you are angry instead of trying to push it away. I know that kind of conflicts with what I said, but I think if you accept that you are angry and then work on saying "OK I'm angry, now what?" it will help. It will help you focus more on getting through it than staying stuck in that anger.

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I also dont like that slogan! I have been EXTREAMLY angry for the past month and have been trying to find ways to channel this anger but haven’t found any yet... Im actually thinking of joining a kickboxing class or something just to kick the sh*t out of something!

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Try reading this book: The Last Self Help Book You'll Ever Need: Repress Your Anger, Think Negatively, Be a Good Blamer, & Throttle Your Inner Child by Paul Pearsall.

 

link removed

 

This book really helped me emotionally. If you have the time, you should read through some of it.

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If you stay that angry, you continue to give him power and control over you.

 

I guess I just don't see how this is true. I was rarely angry during the relationship and he had tons of power and control over me then.

 

We were together for a long enough time that he has influenced me and the person I have become. That doesn't mean that he has control over me now. And so, too, with the anger-- it's not a way he's influencing me; it's a reaction to his horrid treatment of me.

 

How can he have control over me if I'm not even talking to him? He's not telling me what to do anymore. And I don't make choices based on the fact that I'm angry at him. I'm just really really angry. It feels like an implosion not an explosion, if that makes sense.

 

And saying "now what" just reminds me that since I can't talk to him, I can't do anything about it. Tried the kickboxing class, it worked for a while but not a good idea due to some pre existing physical injuries that I have. Would focus on other stuff if I could but the whole point is that this is keeping me from doing that.

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I meant emotional power and control. He's not deciding your actions, but if your intense anger is still caused by him, that's still in a way controlling your thoughts. It's not literal control, more metaphorical I guess.

 

I guess my question is, if you are so angry at him and it seems like there was a lot of negativity in your relationship, why exactly did you want it to continue?

 

Maybe the saying "now what" reminding you that you can't change anything is a good thing. You cannot control his actions and make him get back together with you. This is the decision he's made. I think it's hard to accept that, which contributes to the anger. But remember that even though you cannot control his actions (the fact that he left, that you can't talk to him), you can control yours. Eventually you come to a point where you can choose to continue to be angry or you can choose to move on and let yourself be happy again. It can take time to get to that place though.

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But there wasn't a lot of negativity in our relationship and I wasn't angry then. It was mostly good and I felt happy and fulfilled. Sure, we had conflicts and he handled them badly, but every relationship has conflicts. It was a good relationship. (The list of good stuff would be at least 5 times as long as the list of bad stuff I've posted elsewhere on this forum.) One day were making couples dinner plans with new friends and the next day he just bailed. And hooked up with someone else 3 days after he moved out.

 

And I don't want to get back together with him. At all. I don't want to be with someone who could treat me the way that he did, who could say the nasty things that he said to me during the agonizing two weeks it took us to break up and the two months that I stayed in touch with him and tried to be his friend thereafter. (Here's a list of some of the nasty things he said to me: "I'm less attracted to you because you gained 5 pounds." "I think you are a negative person with a weak personality." "I love you but I'm not in love with you anymore" And something else that basically suggested I wouldn't have any friends if he hadn't been around.) I have zero interest in getting back together with him. Zero. So why can't I just forget all about it?

 

I could talk to him if I wanted to. I cut off contact, not him, and he contacted me once at Christmas. I did not write back. I still don't write because I don't think it's healthy for me.

 

Why is it not okay for me to blame him when it is his fault (not a rhetorical question)?

 

People tell you that the other woman is just a rebound and that your ex will feel the pain of your break up eventually but this is not happening. I am angry that I have been replaced and that after all this time he can't be bothered to reach out to me and say "I still don't want to be with you, but I'm sorry I was a complete jerk to you. I'm sorry I treated you as if you were so insignificant. It was wrong." All he can say (and did in his Christmas message) is "I'm sorry I had bad timing." This is such a minimal effort as to make me feel worse.

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No one is saying it's not OK...but I think continuing to blame keeps you in that place of hurt and doesn't allow you to move on. Why the need to blame so much? Yes he treated you badly and he chose to end it. Yes he is responsible for your pain. But continuing to have the mindset of "blame" keeps you right where you are. You say you want to forget and move on, but you can't forget if you continue to blame him. It's not saying that he isn't responsible for all that, but letting go of the blame is letting go of the pain and hurt you've been caused and just moving on.

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No one is saying it's not OK...but I think continuing to blame keeps you in that place of hurt and doesn't allow you to move on. Why the need to blame so much? Yes he treated you badly and he chose to end it. Yes he is responsible for your pain. But continuing to have the mindset of "blame" keeps you right where you are. You say you want to forget and move on, but you can't forget if you continue to blame him. It's not saying that he isn't responsible for all that, but letting go of the blame is letting go of the pain and hurt you've been caused and just moving on.

 

What you are saying sounds very sensible to me. I just don't know how to do this. I wasn't thinking of blame until I read the slogan and then I was just so angry. I guess I am just confused-- blaming someone is saying that they are responsible. So if I cease to blame him, does he cease to be responsible? looking at this question, I am thinking the answer is no.

 

But given that he refuses to accept responsibility, me not blaming him makes his responsibility just fade away like it was nothing. I'm in law school and we talk a lot about moral blameworthiness and retribution in class. Where's the retributive justice if I quit blaming him? It's not just about me; it's about the idea of trying to make the world a fair and just place again. I want him to be held accountable for his treatment of me (the way he broke up with me and the way he treated me during the relationship, not the fact that he broke up with me.) No one should treat anyone the way he treated me, let alone someone they claimed to love.

 

If I let go, who will hold him accountable? Who will say that what he did is not just hurtful, but also morally wrong?

 

I do want to forget but it seems that whether I blame him or not, I still remember how much it hurt. I am feeling less angry now.

 

Thank you for your thoughtful and kind replies. I know I am not the most rational person at this particular moment. I can't let go yet, so I guess I will give up on thinking "there is no blame" for now and just stick with ignoring the blame for awhile. It was working for me before.

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The thing is, you continuing to blame him holds him accountable in your mind only, not his. It's not making him accept responsibility. And he doesn't even know how much you blame him or how angry you are since you aren't talking right now (which I think is a good choice by the way). So really, it's only affecting you, not him. He's just going about his life.

 

You cannot force someone to be accountable for their actions. Instead of trying to hold him responsible, why don't you try to learn from the relationship. You can look at the good things and learn about what you want in a relationship. And you can look at the bad things and learn what you will not tolerate in your next. Instead of turning it into a one-person blame game, take it as a lesson for future relationships.

 

I get where you are coming from. I had a two year relationship with an emotionally abusive relationship. It took me a long time to stop being so mad. And honestly, sometimes I have moments where I'm still a little mad. But then I let it go because it doesn't do anything for me. I did learn a lot from the relationship so I can't really dwell on it. The more you dwell, the harder it is to move on. And even though I wish I hadn't let him treat me the way he did, I'm also glad that I learned that I will never stand for that king of treatment again.

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My therapist gives me a slogan This week the slogan is something along the lines of "no blame, we are all doing the best that we can."

 

I was having a fine week until I started thinking about this slogan this morning and I'm so angry.

.

 

I think you need a new therapist. I think that slogan is ridiculous. Its not about us all doing the best..it is about strictly us doing the best we can individually.

 

Only you have the power to overcome your anger..your fears to reach a rational place. Once there you wil notice life for what it is without fear or anger. You will be able to assess events clearly and then realise how much we lose by harbouring those negative emotions . By being angry we lose power of ourselves and give it to others. We are not in control.

 

You have a right to be angry at him but realise that this is holding you back from moving forward . My trick is to forgive them ..not for them but for yourself to move on free. When we are angry we stifle ourselves...flick the anger and take a deep breath in..They werent worth it.They are not worthy of even your anger. They are rude arrogant so and so's .But still why take their bad behaviour into your heart with burden it was their bad behaviour...not yours!! Forgive their stupidity...You are free it was not you that behaved badly..you are a good daughter..a good friend..an honest one..

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"no blame, we are all doing the best that we can."

 

i understand that...when reading ''how to fix a broken heart in 30 days''

(yeah i bought it..so much for 30 days, lol, but it did have alot of good pointers and one of them was about forgiveness...that when you take away all the rancor, take away yourself you find a person (your ex/dumper) stumbling trying to find his/her way through life towards happiness, too...some of us are more sensitive to others' needs while some of us are not ie, the hurt we inflict intentional or not.

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