Habituated reaction: Anger, rage, hatred – Part 1
Updated: Apr 24
Does this sound familiar to you? Someone ignores your right of way, jumps the queue at the supermarket, grabs your favourite project at your workplace from right under your nose – you feel wronged; anger, rage, sometimes oven hatred come up. Sometimes you swallow theses feelings, sometimes a snappish comment slips out, sometimes you have a fit of anger.
Probably everyone has found themselves in a situation like this or a similar one. Some say, “venting your anger is good – let it all out – bottling up your feelings doesn´t help either – at some stage you will explode anyway or you´ll get sick”. Others say, “I was in the right, it was he who ignored my right of way.”
Is there another way? A way, that the feeling of anger doesn’t even arise?
When we look at this anger in more detail, where does it come from?
We feel ignored, disregarded, wronged, we think we are in the right with our response. Our reaction dominated by anger works as a protective mechanism. But does it really protect us? Do we feel great, while we are experiencing and expressing our anger, rage or even hatred? Can anger, rage, hatred ever lead to something positive?
Let us conclude: Anger, rage, hatred are not the primary emotion here, it is a secondary habituated behaviour – a protective mechanism, so that we don´t have to feel the feeling of being wronged. We have learned, that we don´t have to deal with feelings falling into the category “unpleasant/hurtful”. Instead, the learned, these days mostly automatically happening anger-response-pattern starts up. Most people – and I´m speaking from my own experience – regret their outburst right after.
From the yoga viewpoint: Anger, rage and hatred are negative energies, that can accumulate in the body and make us sick. Psychologists also state: long-term chronic-negative emotions can harm the mind, the heart and other organs.
The next time you find yourself in a situation where you feel disregarded or wronged, before you let your habituated response pattern of anger, rage, hatred take over, mentally go through the following aspects:
1. How do I really feel? What was before the anger? Which underlying need was hurt?
2. Remind yourself of the humanness of your counterpart – making mistakes is only human – you don’t know the reasons for his/her behaviour. Maybe this person just didn’t see you, maybe he/she was in a hurry to pick up his/her child from the kindergarten.
„You never know what someone is going through. Be kind. Always.”