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Anger issues?




I have always had an incredibly complex relationship with my anger. 


It was something that for various reasons, I had decided very young, that I was just not going to engage with. 


I had been around it a lot, I had seen it play out a lot and I know how it made me feel as a kid so when I grew up I saw no value in it. 


I would push that feeling down and I remember sometimes literally having to swallow just so my brain knew I wasn’t going to engage. 


I was always seen as a “nice guy” , someone who was “so laid back I was horizontal” and I felt it, but it didn’t feel relaxing, more kind of empty. People mistook the lack of reaction for a chill nature rather than a man feeling nothing. 


This happened for so long, I avoided my anger for so long that I no longer recognised the feeling, it was still there but my brain just thought it was something else, so in my confusion at what it was I turned to drink, drugs and anything I could to disconnect and zone out from life. 


I knew it felt awful, but I just kind of guessed it was sadness maybe? 


I was out for a meal with a close friend the other night and we got onto the subject of anger and specifically how nothing in the world will quite put you in touch with it as much as raising your children. 


I recognised I had gone from total unhealthy abandonment of my anger to now going from 0-100 in seconds. 


What was it that was taking me to this place? I had to face the fact that I had been coaching people on for years and something that has formed the core of how I coach. 


You have no control over others, what they say, think or do. The only thing you can control is how you respond. That is how you create change. This is how I had to process and deal with being trapped with my anger. 


I studied the art of “Respond VS React” in being able to feel the feeling but process it and respond from a place of thought rather than the instant gut emotion. 


Breathing helped massively in this regard, it is why learning more about it is number 1 with a bullet on my 2024 list. 


Slowing down and being able to see the scenario in front of you, taking the corner in a racing car at a controlled rather than foot to the floor speed. 


Also I have committed to two things: 


  1. Allowing myself to engage with my anger, I am human and anger is normal and healthy. I am responsible for how I act and the things I say during it, but it is OK to feel it and express it. 

  2. I will always reflect and apologise or explain my anger after any conflict. I can be angry and sometimes act stupidly or not like I wanted to, so I always make sure to go back and apologise for how I got my message across, even though the anger was valid. Providing this context clears the floor for moving forward VS an argument starting over how I acted. 


I think for me as it is with most men I talk to, our anger is something we are still learning to live with, I know when you push it down it creates a monster, when you deal with it you can learn how to navigate it in a healthy way. 


I would encourage anyone who is struggling to engage with their anger to reach out and tackle it. 


As we say in the project, BE THE EXAMPLE. 


Cheers

Phil

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