IS EXPRESSED ANGER A GOOD THING?
Updated: Jan 24, 2019
Frequent angry and aggressive behaviour or outbursts is mainly part of our personality (behaviour pattern) and stems from our experiences in the period when personality is formed (that is from birth up till 16-18 years). There are often deep and unresolved traumatic emotions connected to this behaviour and it presents itself as an overreaction in social context. For example we can't imagine why someone reacts so violently to an innocent remark.
Constant anger has a destructive and hurtful effect on a love relationship and with time, can become a marriage breaking problem. Angry and aggressive people are difficult to live with for they drain others’ energy. (Hulle maak jou moeg).
However anger as part of the grieving process is rather essential. The therapeutic approach is to encourage expressions of anger and to help people to verbalise those feelings even if the things said are harsh. Not to try and stop, slow down or soften the impact when people who hurt show that they are very cross. That anger is an energy that only subsides or “comes out” of the heart when "spilling your guts". The faster and stronger it shows, the better. When most of the anger is gone, the door of that prison-cell called "Anger" opens and one is able to proceed to the next emotional stage of grieving. You can’t really help. Your task is just to be there, listen and absorb. Stay as long as it takes.
The difference? The test is not the strength of the anger expressed nor the duration thereof. A valid measure is the frequency over a lifespan. When it is anger after a loss it is a good thing. Be glad. It will pass. People do get over their losses. Life goes on. It will for you too.