“On Anger and Letting off Steam” Comments, Page 1

Just click to return to the article “On Anger and Letting off Steam”.

7 Comments on “On Anger and Letting off Steam”

  1. Hi Sarah,

    Thanks for a very thought provoking post.

    A few thoughts.

    The first from Fritz Perls: emotion is too important to waste on a catharsis.

    The rest from me.
    Anger has certainly does have physical elements. If you are angry try not breathing; the anger goes away as breathing becomes more important. And comes back again perhaps.

    I think that emotions are energy but not just a neutral energy. I think the emotions are particular qualities of energy. (Expressing our anger won’t necessarily address our sadness or regret – though it may if they are about the same incident.)

    Catharsis I think can be valuable for another reason. It shows people that it is possible for them to express the emotion and survive. The emotion then can gradually be integrated into their repertoire.

    I do think it is possible to learn to express anger (and even rage) in ways that don’t damage ourselves, others, or the furniture.

    Where the addiction comes in I think is when the focus is narrowed to the individual and neglects the environment. The anger is about something – even if it is long in the past and forgotten. If anger is expressed purposefully I think addiction will be less of a problem.

    I’m not sure that the observer and the parts of us that get absorbed are separate from the angry part.

    I realise these are a bit random, hope they make sense.

  2. Hi Evan –

    I like the way you remind me that every emotion has its own particular emotional frequency – coming from its own specific place -I think very often anger is the first, bluntest emotional instrument that comes to hand, and it covers up all the subtler energies of shame or sadness or whatever. I think usually it protects us from fear.

    I think once you realise this then expressing the emotions “underneath” may well made the anger response redundant.

    I think anger itself is always invariably about a narrow focus on the individual. The rest of the context and any kind of empathy goes out of the window when within the energy of anger.

    I only got lost at the very last point – “I’m not sure that the observer and the parts of us that get absorbed are separate from the angry part”.

    I am not really thinking of this in terms of parts, and I am not entirely sure what you mean…

  3. Hi Sarah,

    Yes, thinking in parts can be a problem (though speaking in other ways can be quite difficult I think).

    I was responding to your comment that people are better off building up other parts of themselves (observer, happily engaged etc) in the final paragraph.

    It seems to me that anger may help to direct us to what to pay attention to or help us to know what engages us.

    Hope this is clearer.


  4. Aha – you were referring to my own comment – of course I didn’t actually read my own post before reading your comments, life being too short ;-)

    So I used the parts language myself! I think that was a bit lazy and inaccurate on my part (sic!). I meant more just exercising the muscles of our capability to be actively engaged, to observe what is happening etc, rather than using separate parts of us to do those things.

    I think indeed that anger can be a very helpful pointer to what engages us or what we need to pay attention to. (And I really enjoyed your recent posts on anger, by the way,which expressed this really well). Particularly for those who don’t feel anger so often, who are not “wired up that way” or who have learnt that feeling anger is not OK. I suppose in my post here I was mainly considering people who feel anger as a knee jerk reaction to almost everything, or people with a short fuse.

  5. I loved your article… Great!!!
    And the ongoing conversation…..

    I use to tell my friends I have a problem with anger. I don’t like it and I think its knee jerk action is at best primitive… In my early days when I felt what I used to call anger I would step back and than later ask that energy to be channeled for doing good. When your a mom you have to constantly deal with your childrens emotions. Children often hit, or take anothers possession but usually their also quick to interpret pain caused and run to hug and make up so to speak and they don’t carry it into the next moment. That comes later I think….Mostly they are present in joy and delight and these events are minimal. NANd ther just exploring.

    I think you hit the mark on the resentment statement. Regret and unfairness and resentment and how we follow up on these types of experiences with others. Its the holding of these that can develope
    triggers to temper outbursts. One of the Buddhists meditations that deals with this directly is taking your mind to the worse case scenario
    and all the while noticing everything and then letting go… Kind of like tencing a muscle and then relaxing after that.`You’ll notice big difference! That mindfulness not to be too reactive.
    Especially when around a raving angry person you can notice their body and adrenaline push and tell they definately enjoy it in away. I never thought of an addiction though.

  6. Glad the post resonated with you, Diane!

    I think you point to two really important ways of dealing with anger, the spontaneous way that young children do – without those extra layers of interpretation of experience maybe to muddy the waters – it rises up and then finishes.

    Then when we have acquired those extra layers,buddhist mediatations or other mindfulness meditations are excellent ways I think to practice noticing the arising and then letting go mentally, so that it can finish naturally.

    Thanks for your input!

  7. Sarah
    Too much of any emotion is not good; Anger is really not good to hold onto, but then someone that is on opposite end of scale that has too much happiness is not healthy either. A common ground needs to be found, a balance of the in-between needs found.

    With any over abundance of emotion one needs to find root cause of that emotion to understand where it is coming from. Anger is big one for this; catharsis may feel good to do, but each time more will be needed to get same feeling of release. One may break something, or brake one’s own bone in the process, or harm another if becomes out of control. When root cause is found and dealt with maybe anger can evaporate and person can be person again. But then some people such as Antisocial need the anger to feel anything for their system is wired different.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
 characters available

In accordance with our Privacy Policy, your email address will not be published with your comment or shared in any other way. Please do not SPAM. Comments which solicit personal advice, are rude or inflammatory, are not about this specific post, or are otherwise not in keeping with our Terms of Use may be deleted at our discretion. If you would like to make a comment or ask a question about something other than the subject matter of this post, please do get in touch directly.

Overseen by an international advisory board of distinguished academic faculty and mental health professionals with decades of clinical and research experience in the US, UK and Europe, CounsellingResource.com provides peer-reviewed mental health information you can trust. Our material is not intended as a substitute for direct consultation with a qualified mental health professional. CounsellingResource.com is accredited by the Health on the Net Foundation.

Copyright © 2002-2023. All Rights Reserved.