Monday, October 8, 2012

What's Anger Really About?

Don't you love lightbulb moments?  When light is suddenly shown on something in a new way and it clicks in your head and makes things comprehensible?

That happened to me today.

We were in a team meeting and we were meeting with the EAP lady (Employee Assistance - the group you call when you have stress, emotional issues, whatever).  Our group has been through the ringer with changes in the last 6 months - and even longer.

We talked about a lot of things but one thing has really stayed with me.

What's underneath anger?  What is the base for why someone has an angry response to something?

Feeling devalued.

Wow!

I started thinking about situations where people get angry due to bad customer service.  Or in traffic situations.  Or in a grocery store.  Or in my workplace.  I started thinking about the times that I get angry.  And I could easily draw a line directly to what I was really feeling - devalued.

So much of my negative feelings surrounding my job is actually based in feeling devalued.

When I've heard others rant about a problem, vent about a spouse, complain about a child's teacher... they don't feel valued.

Doesn't that seem powerful?  Doesn't it feel like there is so much room to make easy improvements in our lives and the lives of others by knowing that?  When you see someone getting angry at you, can you pause and figure out where they are feeling devalued and how you can correct that?  When you feel yourself getting angry, do a value check.

And the biggest key for me is realizing that feeling valued needs to be in line with my priorities.  It's most important to know that I am valued by God, by my husband, my kids, by my friends and family.  Feeling valuable in my workplace is important and it's something I've been able to communicate to some people lately - but not being able to connect my feelings of anger and resentment to that sense of not feeling valuable.  When I have a strong sense of value based in the areas of top priority, that sense of value can transcend into other areas.

Valuable - very important, priceless, admired, appreciated, cherished, respected, worthwhile.

Devalued - beat down, belittle, disable, minimize, deflate, cheapen.

It's easy to see what list I want to fall under.  And what list I want other people in my life fall under.  I want people around me to feel that I value them.

What can you do today to feel more valuable in your own right?  And what can you do to show someone else that you value them?

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3 comments:

Ashli Moore said...

This is how God sees us...

Valuable - very important, priceless, admired, appreciated, cherished, respected, worthwhile.

This is how Satan wants us to feel...

Devalued - beat down, belittle, disable, minimize, deflate, cheapen

Don't let Satan with this one...Seek Him and remember that it is not those of this world who is our standard, He is our standard. He will never waiver in his feelings toward us so we shouldn't either...

Thanks Liz. As always, a great reminder for living!

Katherine said...

We had a similar conversation at my work, about why patients and patient families can often be so angry with us as healthcare providers. Often, I think that fear is underlying a lot of their anger, but that fear probably arises from a sense of being devalued. Great post.

Garret Atherton said...

That's a lot to think about...