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  • Writer's pictureJason Ranieri

Lashing Out

There is so much to be angry about these days. We have given up life as we knew it. Every day brings new changes in the way we live our lives. We get mixed messages from government. Assistance is inconsistent at best and negligent at worst. We may not be able to work and we may have no income. We are afraid, anxious, and stressed.

Is it any wonder that you find yourself lashing out at others? Even if during “normal times” you wouldn’t normally target others with your anger, you may find yourself saying things and doing things that hurt those with housemates, people at the grocery store, neighbors, and others.

What you need to do is to become aware of what is driving your anger.

Consider the following and make adjustments:

Are you embarrassed, insecure, hurt, ashamed or feeling vulnerable?

All of these feelings and emotions can trigger an anger response. This is especially true for people who were taught not to express these feelings. Anger may have been the most acceptable expression of these emotions. Consider that lashing out at someone who has hurt you may not be the best response.

Are you anxious or afraid?

Anger is often a reaction to your “fight, flight, or freeze” response to a perceived imagined or real threat. Anger is there to help you survive a threatening situation. The current pandemic is such a threatening situation. The thing is that you need others in order to help you survive this pandemic. Throwing your anger at those around you could limit your options when you need help from others.

If you have lashed out at someone else and hurt them, you may get stuck in a cycle driven by shame and embarrassment. Take some time to take a break. Come back and make peace with the person you’ve hurt. Not only will it make them feel better, you will feel better. It’s never to late to say, “I’m sorry.”

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