Shrink Rap: Working with Dragons and Taming Anger

We’ve all been mad–hot, steaming mad; cold, calculating mad; or something in between. And most of us have been mad in both meanings of the word: crazy and angry. Although crazy doesn’t always look angry, anger often looks crazy. But one thing is for certain: Trying to keep angry feelings inside can be crazy-making, for you and for the people around you.

Most of us grew up afraid of anger. We were hurt by being the target of anger from other people, especially the anger of parents or teachers or friends. And we were often punished for showing anger, especially toward parents or teachers or friends.

Fearful as it is, being mad is an unavoidable, necessary part of everybody’s life. And it’s not a necessary evil: Anger can be valuable and validating and motivating. It’s just part of being human, part of who we are. Continue reading