November 2, 2015
Responding to Anger
Maybe it's just a brief irritation. Maybe it's seething resentment. It could become screaming rage, or stony rejection. Often we feel the desire to punish the person who has angered us, even if only in a small way. Return the insult. Refuse to help. Start an argument. Get revenge.
But when we get back at others for the various ways we think they have wronged us, is the situation really better? Often, the feeling of anger or hurt remains. And now the other person also feels angry, resentful, wounded. The negativity multiplies.
Sending a gift addresses a particular instance of anger. However, relationships often get stuck in patterns that need to be addressed with a different kind of gift. Most of the time, people who cause us to suffer do so out of their own pain and insecurity. If we understand that, we can begin to give them what they need to feel calm and safe. Sometimes it is simply a matter of paying attention to them and giving them our sincere understanding.
Much of the pain and anger that arises in close relationships comes from a sense of being neglected, ignored, and misunderstood. If we let go of our own defenses, focus on the other person, and allow ourselves to see what the underlying need is, things will start to change.
When we gain real insight into another's heart, it can be surprisingly easy to do what is needed to ease the pain. Our interactions will become more positive, and the relationship will become more stable. Both people will feel a sense of relief. As we grow calmer together, we will be less likely to react with anger, and more inclined to respond with love.