The Feeling of Angry
When I feel angry I feel it in my upper arms and shoulders. They feel warm and alert. Not quite tense, but ready to get tense.
I also feel it pulling my upper lip up. My eyes get droopy.
I haven't had much success with anger. I've never had the response to my anger be a change I wanted. Maybe it's my cultural place, or maybe it's the same for everyone, or maybe it's how I express it, but anger has only meant trouble for me.
Supposedly if you learn non-violent communication you can express your anger in a constructive way. Well, a big problem is no one else has learned non-violent communication, and even if they have no one else wants to use it that moment. If you can really control yourself you can transform their violent responses into non-violent constructive responses.
That is not what my upper arms get warm for.
Anger sprouts up from fear. Easy enough. Get yourself in a situation where you aren't afraid, your old angers will also slink away.
What to do with these emotions that careen you from problem to problem, barely giving you time to appreciate the scenery? Express them, when they are a figment of the chemicals in your brain, and by speaking them you have made what could've been temporary a permanent fact?
Maybe anger doesn't sprout from fear. Maybe fear is anger subsumed. Maybe the choice is in your self-description- "I am a fearful person" versus "I am an angry person." "Many things make me anxious" versus "Many things piss me off."
I haven't had a lot of luck with anger, but nor have I had a lot of luck with fear. Both have foiled me.
When I feel afraid I feel it in my chest, below my throat. And in my hands. And in my knees.
The activists will tell you you don't need to choose anger or fear, you can choose powerful action. I don't buy that. This world is intent on killing every single one of us, and it will get us.
So in the end, what kind of an asshole are you going to be? The blowhard or the whiner? The psychopath or the neurotic? Believe me, at some point you will be an asshole again, and failing to plan is planning to fail.