Anger can be informative in so many ways, but above all anger, no matter what form, tells you something MATTERS.
Did you ever find yourself fuming when someone jumped ahead in a line while you waited patiently? Or were you judgmental about the person who selfishly helped herself to the last piece of pie when you would never have taken that for yourself? Or did you criticize the friend who stood up at the party and in spite of a bad voice belted “Happy Birthday” as if she belonged on Broadway? You probably can imagine your own situation where you feel angry, judgmental, critical, or some other negative feeling about someone else.
That feeling may point you in the direction of your own shadow–that part of yourself that is”not me” or is a part you’d prefer to keep hidden from view or it could even be the part of you that isn’t permitted to live.
Take note of what irritates you. It may be objectively something most people would find irritating, but it’s worth asking yourself if you might gain any personal information from the situation. What is this other person giving herself permission about that you might not give yourself permission for? It may point you in a direction where you are too hard and unforgiving of yourself. It might give you an idea where you need a little more space to be human. It might suggest a value that hold that has never been questioned or revised (some of the rules we learned as kids need revision as life becomes more complex.)
The other important learning anger can lead you to has to do with its proportion. If you step back and weigh your internal reaction in relationship to the event that caused it, if it seems out of proportion, then the anger definitely is pointing to something else. The situation is like the tip of the iceberg, and the underlying issue is bigger that what triggers the anger. For example, if your husband brought you red roses for your birthday but you really love yellow ones, and you find yourself exploding about how “He never pays attention to what I like.” Well, I think you get it.
Good luck letting your anger be a helper to find out something new about yourself. Let me hear from you when you find out something you didn’t know!