T: So what happened tonight?
D: I lost my temper recently with an animate object. I broke it. The anger was over in seconds, and I felt better instantly. It was during a sporting event. I felt foolish afterwards, but then maybe even that is social conditioning?
T: You say the you felt foolish at the anger. How else did the anger effect you?
D: Well, as well as feeling foolish afterwards, I felt a sudden release. Everyone was understanding when they realised I had had a sudden release but was calm and courteous straight away.
T: Did everyone act this way?
D: Well no, it’s interesting you ask that. One friend stormed off, and gave me the evil eye on the way out.
T: How did that effect you?
D: Well their reaction, made me feel dreadful. I felt as if I was a horrible person, that I had done something absolutely unforgivable, and so I felt unloved in that moment… by that friend… which hurt me deeply.
T: It’s interesting that the other peoples’ reactions, were forgiving and kind, and seemed to have a positive effect, whereas the friend who stormed off, caused you deep pain.
D: Yes that’s exactly right! The different reactions are fascinating. If the friend hadn’t stormed off and acted in that way, I feel I’d have overcome the anger immediately and laughed it off.
T: What might make you feel better about this situation?
D: I feel I need to focus more on the positive reactions I received, and the kindness and understanding, as that was very healing for me. My other friend’s reaction shows their issues over anger. If I had shown disproportionate rage, or hurt someone, I feel their reaction would be justified, however in this case their reaction is out of proportion. It would also make me feel better if I could get them to understand, that acting that way is not helpful, and indeed wasn’t the normal reaction of any others who were present. Indeed showing anger against anger is never going to help. Indeed in the past, this kind of reaction has damaged my relationship to my own anger, which certainly doesn’t help me understand it, or work with it effectively. I think I need to develop a healthy relationship to all my emotions, and almost have a dialog with them, and indeed their underlying causes.
T: So to conclude, you feel you should focus on the more positive reactions, and over time you’d like to talk to your friend about their reaction when you show anger?
T: But it also sounds like you want to keep working with anger, but in a more compassionate and healthy way.
D: Yes, I feel I need to temporarily sidestep my friend’s reaction, in order to have a healthier relationship with my own anger. In this way I hope to work with anger in a more positive way, although currently I’m unsure how, as I’ve tried so many things.
T: Thanks for today’s session.
D from Swansea & T, our kind therapist.
Copyright MEN HEAL 2016