Sometimes people say that Anger is a bad thing and that we shouldn’t express anger. However, what I am beginning to learn is that anger is a perfectly normal human emotion. We can express anger, we just need to learn how to do it in a healthy way.
If I get angry at people I tend to keep it in. I am a people pleaser and so getting angry at someone hardly goes hand in hand with trying to be nice to everyone. However, today I learned a good way of being able to tell people when they make you angry, and at the same time, taking ownership for how you’re feeling:
“When I see you do/ When I hear you say … What I make up in my head is …. and as a result I feel…”
Following the Banoffee pie incident in my previous post, I never actually told the other patient who said that comment how angry it made me. Instead, I kept all the anger inside and let it eat me up. I figured that I can’t expect everyone to understand what triggers my ED and it wasn’t a personal attack on me and so I have no right to say anything. But applying this new way of expressing anger, I could have said:
When I heard you say that the pudding was gross and you don’t have to eat it, what I make up in my head is that I am a greedy, gross and disgusting person for eating it, and as a result I feel really angry and upset.
Saying this wouldn’t have been an attack on her as I was taking full ownership for the fact that it was my head that told me I was gross, not her. Also, it may have made me less resentful and may have prevented similar comments being made around the dinner table in the first place. Win Win!