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Entitled to Anger

Updated: Jul 4, 2020

Today I felt angry and I tap into this emotion far easier than most people know.

I also felt upset at myself for being in a bad mood because someone else judged it.

First of all, anger is not inherently "bad" or "forbidden". It is an emotion we all need and it provides messages to us just like any other emotion. However, as people (especially Black People, Black Women) we are often met with attempts at shame or guilt trips whenever we do express this internal message. No matter what it is our human right to experience and express anger.

For me it is about how I act through anger that can move me toward or away from my values. With that being said the choice is mine to make. As people, we can exercise it in whatever direction we choose! Checking in with your values simply allows you to be a reflective and a honest investigator. Investigation of why the emotion is showing up and what action would lead you closer to a desired outcome that minimizes unwanted risks.

As a Black woman in America and a human, there are a lot of things that make me angry personally, societally, professionally, etc. I find that managing anger was not necessarily taught to me growing up. I also find that folks often suggest feeling anger and our other emotions; however, may not consider the folks who may struggle with knowing how to do so. In order to hold space for the dynamic feeling of anger I am often engaging in emotion regulation skills that provide me space to feel, mobilize, and be human under stress.

Skills like:

  • Validation and simply allowing myself to be angry

  • Creating my own boundary for dealing with it

  • Deep diaphragmatic Breathing

  • Talking to myself about why I’m angry

  • Giving myself the choice to act in favor of change or stewing (knowing stewing will not comfort me but the choice is mine. Sometimes it is just what I need in the moment.)

  • Leaning on someone else for validation/ comfort

  • Challenging and pushing against the cause of my anger when it is fitting

  • Challenging myself to self regulate when pushing may not workout in my favor

  • Finding comfort from myself and my immediate environment. (often it’s TV and sweets and that is my choice; however if I find these coping mechanisms are hindering my goals, values, or inner peace I will re-evaluate.)

  • When I need a distanced perspective, I check the facts of the situation as objectively as possible.

I am not always able to engage in all of them and sometimes I choose not to engage in any. However, what I have learned is that reflecting often allows me space to accept and be comfortable with my anger showing up. Based on the situation I will usually attempt to proceed mindfully in the direction that benefits my values most but this can be difficult.

We aren't perfect and sometimes the behaviors we engage in get us in trouble. However, we are fully entitled to our experience and the impact that situations have on us.

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