Where’s the Hurt?
Anger is a secondary emotion. It’s not what you’re feeling it’s how you’re reacting. And the primary emotion—the one you’re reacting to—is almost always hurt…or (sometimes) fear.
This idea is really helpful. Liberating. Especially in our closest relationships. If I’m angry at my spouse (best friend, co-worker, or the guy who nearly ran into me on the freeway) anger isn’t primarily what I’m feeling. Anger is a defense mechanism our brain uses to protect us from the overwhelm of pain and its concomitant worry.
And if I know that the real thing I’m feeling is hurt:
I can address the real problem, not just try to put a Bandaid on it (i.e., not just manage the anger.)
The steps are
Address the hurt by internally
And resolving it
Then choose a response instead of just letting my mouth (or actions) succumb to my brain’s automatic protection device: anger.
We’ll talk more about what to do with this revelatory info. But you can start to temper your anger right now. Since the first step in addressing the real problem is recognizing it, next time you feel your temperature rising, ask yourself. “Where’s the hurt?”
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