> Cultivating healthy emotional practices for our wellbeing > xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
alcohol. This is why some people get angry, aggressive and even violent when they drink. There is also a tendency to cultivate a drinking habit as an outlet for their anger because they find that their aggressive actions are more easily explained or forgiven when they are drunk.
Ironically, we have all heard the myth that when you get angry, to just let it all out. It is good to scream or shout or even punch a wall, bang the door or kick the table. The logic is it releases the anger. Reality is, it may feel good for a while but at what consequence? Essentially, anger is not conducive because it tends to inflict fear and pain, which sometimes can be irreversible.
At the other end of the spectrum, there are those who are passively angry. Those who sulk or brood and not willing to talk about what they are feeling. According to Lina, these people tend to naturally not acknowledge their own feelings and emotions. They either don’t want to or are not used to it. “That is why sometimes if you ask them, they don’t even know why they are in that reactionary mode.”
The fact is anger should be dealt with. “If a feeling or emotion is not resolved and instead is suppressed, it does not go away. It still stays, fester and will eventually affect a person’s personality, habit and behaviour,” says Lina. This can lead to frustration and spiral into depression.
When angry, it is important for us to understand and remember that it is an emotional reaction to something that we perceive as unfair. But, how does one act or react to make it fair? “Most of the time, you do need to communicate to others on what makes you feel that it’s not fair. So, how do you put the message across?”
DEALING WITH ANGER
The first step is to acknowledge that one is angry and understand that it is fine to be upset. “Your mind and body is sending you signals. Look at the signals, don’t ignore them.” Then by engaging the mind, one can apply good emotional skill sets to handle the situation effectively.
Lina suggests to translate the anger into a tangible form. “Let us put it in a simple rainbow colour chart of red, orange, yellow, green and blue. We will call it Communication Zone Chart.” Each colour will represent different anger reactions.
Red represents verbal or gestures that are physically threatening to others.
Orange indicates that you are about to go red like clenching your fist, slamming your fists into something, slamming the door or kicking things.
Yellow means communication that are emotionally threatening. This includes raising your voice, threatening tone of voice, yell and shout. It also comprises all words that are threatening, accusing, cursing, anything that is hurtful, vulgar or mean.
“Basically, when you are in this red, orange or yellow zone, the other party is not interested in what you have to say to them. In fact they will be busy defending themselves,” says Lina.
An essential part of communication is about you wanting to be heard by the other person. In the case of anger, one is looking for fairness. However, if you are in the red, orange or yellow zone, you have defeated yourself in your attempt to be heard. Lina says, the other party is now only concerned about themselves, in defending themselves from you.
On the other end of the spectrum is blue. It represents the angry person who refuses to talk about his or her feelings and instead chooses to brood and sulk.
“This is a failure to communicate. It means that you have not taken an action that is effective enough to
communicate your feelings like being silent, being cold, giving the cold shoulders or sulking. So in a sense, blue is almost as bad as yellow, orange or red.”
GREEN FOR COMMUNICATION
The solution is to leave these forms of communication or lack of communication behind and go to the green zone. Green represents assertiveness, which means communicating your feelings or concerns in a way that does not cause the other person to