Thinking Out Loud

If our behavior is intended to get our needs met, and our feelings are the result of our needs being met or unmet, then understanding what those needs are is the key to changing the behavior. Understanding why we do what we do does not dismiss or justify bad behavior. The more we understand our intentions and our needs, the more power we have to find and implement healthy ways of communicating and getting those needs met.

Dear Anger

I hear you…

I hear you when you feel the need to scream, insult, demand and criticize. I see your need to feel heard and feel like you matter; feel like what you say matters; feel like your existence matters. When your volume increases, I see your need to be seen, heard and acknowledged.

When I look past your words, your volume, tone and gestures, I see your scared soul afraid of being abandoned. I see you trying hard to prove your worth and your search for purpose and belonging. I see how you feel like you have exhausted all other ways to get your needs met. I see how you begin to lose control and become upset when you have tried communicating in healthy manners. I know that neither of us wants you, Anger, to feel like you have to criticize or become loud and aggressive. I know this is not a part of you that is true to who you are, but it is a part of you who fights and protects yourself the same way that you protect the ones you love.

When your tone changes, at first, I struggle to understand what happened to cause you to show up as you do. I understand that the meaner you get, the longer your needs have gone unmet. I’m sorry that I was not there for you. You’ve told me how you struggle because people see you as being someone who is strong when in reality you are running on empty. You give so much to the people around you and it is difficult for others to understand that you too are struggling with your own fears and doubts. You’ve shared how you feel alone and like you don’t belong and that results in harsh words or tones when you interpret someone’s actions as them not wanting you around or not wanting you around long term. I see that sharing, even small day-to-day, things with you help you feel connected and fill you up with positive energy. They help you feel grounded and important. Small acts of inclusion may be subtle and unimportant to some, but they keep you, Anger, at bay because you don’t have to fight to have your needs met.

I know that the meaner you get the more hurt you are and the more acceptance you need so that you can subside. I know that underneath your verbal attacks is just a person who fears being abandoned and forgotten. I know that a simple invitation for you means that you will always have a place to go; a place where you are wanted; a place where you belong. I am learning, and I want to remind you that you do matter to me. That I will love you no matter what and that I need to take the time to reassure you that your words matter, your opinions matter, spending time with you matters, including you matters and reminding you that you are important to me matters.

I may not always understand why your behavior and energy changes so suddenly, but I do understand that you have a beautiful heart who does not want to cause harm, but rather is screaming/begging for love. I’m sorry for not seeing the increasing need for your needs to be met until something happens and you get out of control.

Anger, you scare me and you often catch me by surprise, but I see you. I see you trying to protect your soul. I may not always support you the right way, say the right things or see you coming; I may be hurt by you and need some time to understand why you showed up, but I need you to know that you are not alone and that you are enough and most importantly, that you matter! Thank you for protecting me!

Sincerely,

Your kind and loving heart

Thoughts and Opinions

Dear Anger

I hear you when you feel the need to scream, insult, demand and criticize. I see your need to feel heard and feel like you matter; feel like what you say matters; feel like your existence matters. When your volume increases, I see your need to be seen, heard and acknowledged.

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