Sense Three: Unhealthy Anger (vs. Healthy)

In the old TV program, Lost in Space, the beleaguered robot always knew when Will Robinson was in danger and would sound the clarion call of “Danger, Will Robinson” that was, and is to this day still, a catch phrase that signals trouble ahead.

Like Will Robinson usually did, we, too, seem to ignore the danger signs of anger that is causing us to run aground on the sometimes rocky shores of life.

The thing about Unhealthy Anger is that it seldom just happens. As we have seen in the previous two senses of Anger and Stormy Anger, there seems to be definite traits that lead us to those places in anger and, in many ways, can be turned around with a thoughtful embrace of the principles that were talked of in a previous post.

But Unhealthy Anger is just that; Unhealthy.

Unhealthy Anger has many of the traits of Stormy Anger, but where they are different is really in the overall personalities that are from the Anger-givers. It has been my observation as a Life Coach that when clients come in a Stormy Anger state-of-mind that underneath, they are just happy people waiting to get out. As was stated in the last post, Stormy Anger seems to have at its base, conditions that seem to have caused an out-of-control state that the Stormy Anger is reacting to.

Many times Unhealthy Anger is more relationship based, it seems and exhibits many of the traits of Stormy Anger, but the Unhealthy Anger is more of a continual state of mind.

Now, i preface this discussion going froward as one coming from experience as a Life Coach and not as a trained psychologist. So if you know someone in the grips if Unhealthy Anger and they seem to be beyond a calm and loving approach, please take steps to get them the professional help needed.

It is been my experience that Unhealthy Anger has, at its core, a rage that sometimes makes no sense to those who are at the receiving end of it. Its one of those, “i did not even see that coming” kind of experiences because Unhealthy Anger is always looking for an excuse to be angry. The ego of those in an Unhealthy Anger state-of-mind will forever be there until that power is taken back from the ego-centric mind that inhabits the Unhealthy Anger.

Whereas Stormy Anger seems to have more conditions attached to it, Unhealthy Anger seems to have its roots in relationships to a greater degree. It is more of the “seething rage” that is based in the ego’s attempt to protect you from life but has become so convoluted that the actions no longer really have a sense of continuity to them.

The traits of screaming and yelling, physical expressions of anger, violence or threats of violence, sulking, manipulation, emotional blackmail, silent smoldering, and anger used to punish are proudly on display in Unhealthy Anger.

However, these traits are so deviously used by the ego, and sometimes with such joy, that the Unhealthy Anger doesn’t even seem like anger. This is why so many times, the person that is in the state of Unhealthy Anger, is so often discounted that when something so extreme happens, it seems it that it comes from far, far left field.

I had a client that i was once coaching, a more mature lady, who seemed so soft-spoken that one never would suspect that she was filled with Unhealthy Anger. Where her anger came from was that she had allowed others to decide most courses of action for her life.

She had given control over to others because she was so in the grips of “wanting to please” others that she was afraid to make a “wrong” decision and was concerned with what others thought of her every action; literally EVERY action.

The Unhealthy Anger subtly manifested with sulking, rage and a silent smoldering that was based in shame, but for what she did not know. “It seems,” she would tell me, “that i am out of control but don’t know why.” One thing she did know was that she was spiraling downward and had major life decisions to make but was angry and afraid to be “wrong.”

One trait of Unhealthy Anger i have noticed is that the person in the grips of this anger has seemingly lost a sense of self. The relationships that surround them have often become so toxic because of the anger, that it is difficult to see any light at the end of the tunnel.

Years spend as a director, i noticed that when people brought their frustrations and anger into the play rehearsal, it affected their overall performance. I would usually begin the rehearsal telling the actors and crew that life is a bubble and that here in the rehearsal hall, we are presenting a bubble unaffected by the outside. We are here to bring a creative interlude to the lives of our ultimate audience; an escape for a few hours. Isn’t that the very thrust of why we lose ourselves in TV and movies to begin with? To “tune out” for just a bit?

It is the same approach we are to take with Unhealthy Anger.

Create the bubble first.

3 Ways to Approach Unhealthy Anger

Step 1: Isolate

As a director, I had to detach to a degree from the individuals as friends who had the various roles and look at the total production. All of the moving parts were what mattered here and each played a role within it.

As with Unhealthy Anger, all of the elements that make the anger manifest are what is need to be dealt with. Sometimes, if you are close to the person, it is difficult to separate, but you need to isolate yourself and become a director, of sorts. Also, there is an isolation of the Unhealthy Anger as well. If you need a Life Coach at this point, the so be it, but at the heart of Unhealthy Anger is an egoic tendency that needs to be rooted out. So, at the very outset, the Unhealthy Anger is the target, not the person. The person is merely the vessel.

Like with my client who felt out of control, we isolated the root cause of her anger was that she had given over her life to having to be accepted by everyone. When i told her that it was none of her business what others thought of her, and she finally got it, she began to reclaim her life one Now Moment at a time.

Step 2: Direct

This is the crucial element of dealing with Unhealthy Anger; Direct it away.

After you have isolated the elements, the players of the anger, it is now time to see how the ego has affected each one. Many times Unhealthy Anger plays out on the surface but like the iceberg that sank the Titanic, the mass underneath is what is causing all of the damage. As a Director, you must get beneath in an impartial way knowing that the ego has been masking the anger very, very well. Once you have identified the anger sources, you must direct each part.

As a Director, yes you have actors who are the leads, but understand that all actors in the show get the same attention to detail as far as direction goes. The play, such as is life, is great to every level. As a coach i tell my clients that is not the details of life that matter, but the details of the details that make it all worth the ride.

Step 3: Close the Show and Start A New Production

In a sense here we are opening and closing on the same night. Doesn’t seem fair, but this is Unhealthy Anger here. It doesn’t deserve a long run. Quite frankly, it probably already has had its long run. What we are doing here is impressing upon the person where the Unhealthy Anger was residing that we are essentially ridding ourselves of all of the parts that were not working, we are doing away with the causes of the egoic mindset that was causing the Unhealthy Anger and closing the production down.

When you detach the anger in parts, it becomes a bit easier to do. Now, know that this may be a process but one that is worth the journey. What is important in this process is that we are making this as impersonal as possible for it is the anger, not the soul, that we wish to destroy.

Yes, Anger needs to be destroyed. it has no place in lives.

Trust me, i have heard it all before, “How can you not be angry, it is unhealthy.”

Really? Never heard a lot of news accounts of joyful people going off on others and committing inhumane acts of violence.

The ultimate journey is joy and anger is not to be a part of it. Isolate and Direct the Unhealthy Anger away and reopen in a Joyful State of Mind for here is where true living plays out.


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directyourownlife@gmail.comDA Southern is a Strategic Life Coach, teaching the spirit of living in Now Moments with the principles he experienced during over 35 years as an actor and director in live theatre. DA coaches his clients to rid life of limiting beliefs that have kept them from achieving miracles in all areas of their life by embracing Mindfulness of the Present Moment with a renewed Vision for life. Contact DA Southern for coaching