How Anger Can Hurt Your Relationships
How anger can hurt your relationships
Years ago, I was good friends with someone that was hung up on her ex. She constantly complained about how he made her life miserable. Before long he became the main topic of our conversations. Our friendship had taken a backseat to her grief, and she was no longer the carefree person that I remembered. Instead, she was uptight yet venomous.
Finally, I reached my breaking point and expressed how I was tired of talking about her failed relationship, and that the break-up had consumed her life. I hoped that she’d appreciate my brutal honesty, but sadly it ended our friendship.
Yet strangely enough, I found myself in the same position.
My boyfriend of three years dumped me for someone else (*and it was through email BTW). Naturally, I wallowed in my grief. But as time passed, my sadness turned into resentment. And he damaged my disposition and broke my trust.
Although my friends offered their support, I’d allowed my pain to crush my spirit. And alas, I’d lost myself.
Buddha once said, “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”
We tend to go through the same motions. We meet someone and fall deeply in love. But if the relationship falls apart, our sorrow manifests into cynicism. And our bitterness becomes a defense mechanism where we don’t show any vulnerability.
Resentment can be a slow burn that dims our light and hinders our joy. It not only creates unfair comparisons for your new partner because they’re burdened by your past, but it overshadows what you offer to the relationship.
You shouldn’t start a new relationship with a chip on your shoulder. It’s not attractive and bad karma. And if you project animosity, you’re attracting someone that may have harmful intentions. Or you could find someone that’s accommodating, and they will eventually grow tired of your hostility.
Anger is a complex emotion that tends to blur our judgment. It’s also the number one killer of optimism. Did you know for every minute of antagonism, you lose sixty seconds of bliss?
We must remain hopeful to move forward, or we could bypass something amazing that may be closer than we think. So, it’s only fair to enter a new relationship with an open mind, as well as an open heart.
I’m not recommending that you bottle up your emotions, and it’s okay to vent to your friends and family. That’s what they’re for-- to offer emotional support. But it’s unhealthy to cling onto your sorrow. And at some point, you must let go of the past, accept the present, and move on.
Recovering from a heavy heart can be difficult, but luckily there are ways to help you heal.
One of the most common solutions is exercise. Endorphins can do wonders for your mind, body, and spirit. And by carving out as little as 30 minutes a day, you are channeling your anger into something positive.
Another choice is journaling. It’s not only therapeutic, but it’s a wonderful way to truly express yourself without judgement. I have suffered from anxiety and depression for most of my life. Yet once I entered high school, I began to keep a journal of my personal struggles. I wrote whatever came to mind. Whether it was poetry, short stories, or songs, it helped me reconcile a lot of my grief, especially when I was dealing with a broken heart. Journaling is one of the most remedial ways to release negative energy. Plus, it’s practical and cheaper than therapy.
Speaking of therapy, art therapy promotes cognitive disruption by moving attention away from cynical thinking. By exploring your feelings through artistic expression, you’re redirecting your thoughts away from your remorse and regulating your nervous system. With your mind focused on creating, you can detach and process your raw emotions. And since there are no real rules to art, you don’t have to be tied down to one medium. From adult coloring books to free form design, art therapy can be liberating.
So, remember, anger can not only influence those around you, but it can hinder your prosperity. Moving on is never easy, but it is possible if you’re willing to release all the hurt from your past.
Quotes about Anger
James Thurber: Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness.
John Dryden: The intoxication of anger, like that of the grape, shows us to others, but hides us from ourselves.
Walter Savage Landor: Heat and animosity, contest and conflict, may sharpen the wits, although they rarely do; they never strengthen the understanding, clear the perspicacity, guide the judgment, or improve the heart.
Buddha: Anger will never disappear so long as thoughts of resentment are cherished in the mind. Anger will disappear just as soon as thoughts of resentment are forgotten.
Leo Buscaglia: Don't hold to anger, hurt or pain. They steal your energy and keep you from love
© 2008 Daisy Kane