How Anger & Frustration Can Ruin Your Happiness
Feeling angry and frustrated in my opinion never feels good. I want to set the scene and explain where my anger and frustration came from. Those that have lived with an alcoholic will probably relate to this. Not all children of alcoholics and partners of will experience an angry home life but that was my experience.
I would go as far as to say rage became a regular occurrence for me as a child and I didn’t know how to handle the turmoil I lived in. No matter how angry I got it simple didn’t seem to have the effect I was hoping for, which was attention. Specifically the love and affection I needed and the calm hand and warm heart I so desired.
My Anger and how it started
It was quite a busy household with Mum darting here, there and everywhere. Rushing around doing one job after another, cleaning, sorting, organising and cooking. At times it felt like my sister and I were her staff. Thinking about my anger I think it probably started when I began voicing how I felt and then realised that it wasn’t taken seriously or when I said what I wanted it wasn’t considered or taken on board but dismissed out of hand. Certainly my anger and frustration towards my Dad started when I was old enough to realise he wasn’t accepting me as I was. He wasn’t able to deal with my character and nature and embrace it.
I was a difficult and rude child according to my parents, I was the one that asked ‘too many questions’ and wouldn’t just ‘do as you are told’. Dad made me angry because he wouldn’t listen, he was so strict and I wasn’t allowed to do anything fun and certainly not allowed to have friends over or go to the school disco.
This caused a huge amount of anger in me, I felt frustrated that I couldn’t get my own way. Most of the time if I asked for something the answer was a standard @”No”. My Mum was more lenient but she had to run things past my Dad and most of the time, that was quite a scary task.
Expressing Feelings or Demanding?
Whilst I felt I was expressing myself, I think I quickly learnt that saying how I felt didn’t really matter or have much of an effect. I think I resorted to acting out and causing problems to get the attention I wanted. I would rebel and express my frustration to the “No’s” and shout, slam doors and anything else I could do to express my dis-satisfaction. So that begs the question “Was I being demanding?” the answer to that is quite possibly.
My understanding is that I became demanding because I was unable to express my feelings because I didn’t know how to. I hadn’t really learnt to pay attention to them, my parents certainly weren’t going to encourage it because I think they just couldn’t deal with it.
Long Term Affects of Anger & Frustration
Anger and frustration was something that dominated my life right up to my 30’s,. This was due to me not facing my problems from my childhood and allowing what had passed to affect my present. This blog post is about how anger & frustration can ruin your happiness and I can say, hand on heart that it’s affected relationships, health and my emotional state.
People may say “oh I let that go years ago” but often that isn’t true. One key area to be aware of is that if you experience repetitive anger and frustration episodes then it’s likely that you haven’t let things go at all.
There are so many aspects to anger and frustration and whilst you may face one part of it, there is likely to be others lurking in the background. I believe it’s about facing those problems as and when they arise. Certain people will bring them out in us over others.
No one is perfect and whilst I’ve done years of self-development there are still occasions where what someone says or does presses my buttons.
Whilst I’d like to put the blame at someone else’s feet, and I do advise getting that part of it off your chest first. There is nothing more annoying that expressing your anger and frustration about something to a friend, only for them to say something about it being about you or your responsibility. Arrggghhh it drives me crazy.
How My Happiness Was Affected
My happiness was definitely affected by all the anger, resentment and frustration I held. I would physically feel rage and my body would tense and instead of letting it out by shouting etc I just kept it in. Continuing that for many years until I realised it affected my relationships, ultimately the relationship I had with myself. I didn’t feel like a good person, moaning and groaning about repetitive issues and how I felt everyone else was at fault and not taking responsibility for my actions.
My inability to let go of the anger and frustration just kept me stuck. I spent a lot of time chatting to friends and whoever would listen which can’t have been nice for them. I only recently let go of years of anger towards my Mum for not protecting me as a child. The only person it hurts is me and once I realised my Mum was a victim too I was able to let it go. I chose to use Emotional Freedom Technique to help me and it’s transformed my relationship with her and that is worth it’s weight in gold.
What Can You Do About Your Anger and Frustration?
That’s the golden question and my answer is this. Deal with it.
The sooner you deal with your anger and frustration the quicker you can move on and feel better about yourself. Whoever said it feels good to be angry and frustrated… I’m guessing not many people if any.
Everyone chooses to do this in different ways, here are some suggestions:
- Find a safe and effective way to release your anger e.g. boxing, screaming in the car, shouting in a pillow
- Identify your triggers, you may not get angry in every context – hopefully you know what they are
- Visualise yourself watching yourself and how you react – notice what is going on in the situation – what others are doing and saying – this should give you a more objective perspective
- Find things that calm you down, this is different for everyone e.g. leaving the situation(if possible), breathing, counting to 10
- Talk to someone either a friend or therapist
I’d love to hear your comments and thoughts, please feel free to email me if you prefer.