I remember the many times when something has sent me fuming inside. But the specifics aren’t as clear as the feeling of holding anger inside. Anger is another one of our many natural emotions. Unfortunately, it can be one of the the most damaging emotions we experience. If you’re sitting right now replaying an event that happened in your past or just a few minutes ago, you understand the beginning of silent anger.
At this point, it feels like being a kettle building up with steam. And it’s building and swirling around inside, filling the space, searching for a way out. At the top of this kettle, we have a perfectly designed hole that not only blasts steam from within, but screeches it into a high pitch noise that no one can ignore. And you’re right there just like that kettle, with the fire roaring underneath and the steam building. But instead of using your perfectly designed voice to vent it all, you stick a cork in the top.
This is the very picture of being silently angry. The fire is still burning underneath, but for whatever reason, you can’t or will not vent your steam.
Believe it or not, it’s okay. You’re okay and things will be okay. Because for now, you’re silence is a gift.
Maybe you’re angry with your self that you’re not speaking up. Or maybe you think who ever you’re angry with doesn’t deserve to see you get mad. Like that may give them the satisfaction you want to deny them. Perhaps you don’t want a backlash and know that expressing yourself won’t help. Maybe it’s not the right time or place to let our your anger. Maybe venting that anger will rock the boat and you don’t want waves. It could be that you don’t even know the right words to express how mad you are. Or maybe it would just be too draining. For whatever reason, you’ve left the cork in the kettle and your silence can bring you exactly what you need to get past the anger.
We all know what kettles do when the water inside is angrily boiling. It goes crazy whistling and shrieking. The sound is alarming and demands action and attention right now! Sounding familiar? While you’re sitting silently now, you may be wondering, how do you benefit from silence while you’re still boiling inside?
(If you’re still with me on the kettle analogy, I promise it’s a good one :D) The same way you handle a boiling kettle, you lower the heat or remove it all together from it. Give it time and instead of it continuing to boil, your water eventually cools just enough. This is how your silence is a gift. It is a gift of time.
Before we erupt and spew our anger or negativity or judgments all over others or who ever we think caused it, there is a moment when we can choose how to respond. And your silence just elongates that moment.
Remove yourself from the situation if possible and find ways to cool your anger.
My own example of using this simple technique with success, came as a surprise to me. Like many of us, I’ve definitely experienced moments at my old jobs when I felt so offended or frustrated with someone and didn’t say a word. It’s wonderful to communicate and do it well. But, here’s that big but, not when you’re kick down the door angry. Sometimes, I’d say nothing. Inside I’d kick myself for not standing up for myself or feel frustrated knowing that I probably wouldn’t be able to resolve the issue with the person. Confronting the issue and resolving the problem is what I thought was best in general. In some cases it is. But I tried a different approach, silence. And to my surprise, the anger would pass. Sometimes it passed because that person I was mad at, wasn’t mad at all with me and started being friendly. Or I would grab my lunch and realize, they’re just being who they are, on their own paths.
Whatever happened, it happened without me having to say a word. Often we think, if we scream and rage or let it out, our venting or arguing will change things. It’s surprising to see that sometimes not saying anything at all can also have a positive effect and can avoid damaging relationships.
This is not to say that it’s good to avoid talking about how you feel so as not to rock the boat. However, silence can help us choose our battles, remove us from the heat of the situation and it can help us lower the flames under that kettle.
When we are silent, we can dwell on the anger. Or we can breath, relax, let go, laugh and come back to the issue with a clear mind. By no means should we bottle up our anger always and forever, but with time and careful release we can benefit from silence. Silence gives us the time it takes to be rational, forgiving or choose our words wisely. It takes awareness and patience with your self to understand that this can be a new habit if practiced enough. So ask your inner wisdom, your highest self, your spirit, could this work for you? Mine says, let peace overwhelm your anger, you don’t need your anger to fight your battles.
**Set up a session with me today for support with carefully releasing pent up anger.**