Opening the "Vent"
I was gonna start a group talk about "Overcoming Anger", cuz that's the topic Buffalo Rambler chose-- when we had a recent impromptu meeting--in the "STAG Re-Creation" group on telegram.
I have some knowledge on this--as I used to be in a perpetual smoldering rage--but not so much anymore. But I do still occasionally have feelings of:
extreme rage, irritation, aggravation, frustration and anger, etc
These still come up from time to time. And sometimes I still go back and use the old techniques I learned from my 1st "really helpful counselor":
Shari Schreiber (I sorted by 'most popular', so all of her BDP videos are at the top)
To paraphrase her teachings, (or for Shari's Video(s) on ANGER click here now), but my paraphrase goes like this:
You can't just "sit with anger" and expect it dissipate and go a way. Anger is full of energy, and if you try'n ignore it or "wait it out" or worse yet, "stuff it deep down inside", then it remains there--as a part of your emotional and psychological being. You've just neglected it, and your anger is "waiting on stand-by", and if you really wanna learn to "let it go" or "deal with it" you have to take some kind of action instead of just trying to ignore it or waiting for it to pass.
Many people are in a constant state of rage--but they're pretending they're not--and so eventually something triggers them to act out and "blow off steam". Maybe you can relate to this feeling? The feeling of knowing that eventually something is gonna snap. Someone is gonna be on the receiving end of all of your pent up and suppressed rage. And it might be a stranger--or someone you love dearly--and you'll likely regret it... It'll feel like an over-reaction for something that's "not that big of a deal", and you might end up apologizing or feeling bad (or worse)...
Any of this sound familiar? Don't beat yourself up about it. It's pretty normal in this day and age--ESPECIALLY FOR MEN--to stuff their feelings down--and eventually reach some critical 'point of no return' and fly off the handle and yell and scream...
Maybe even break some shit or get in an actual physical altercation of some kind. (This used to be me...) But I found these steps I'm about to describe--and it's helped me so much--and when "covid" 1st started, I found myself back in some familiar territory...
I had some seething irritations! I found myself wanting to scream at people in traffic. Irritated with masked up morons at the grocery store... You know? And so I remembered my strategies that I learned from Shari back in the day, and I started using them again... And they really do help!
(this is the S.B. Alger Paraphrase. If you want Shari's original exact advice, please refer to the videos linked above.)
These strategies for "Overcoming Anger" graduate in order from "mildly irritated" up to "I think I'm going to fucking kill someone with my bare hands". So when you put them to use--typically--you would start with the 1st and easiest, and then continue down the list until you find your anger naturally dissipating:
Here they are:
- WRITE IT OUT!
- Open a word processor, or get a pen and pad, or type furiously in an email or TXT draft, and just say EVERYTHING that you're angry about. Write it directly to the person or the "things" that are driving you up a wall. Don't hold back. Swear and cuss if that's your thing. Be aggressive and derogatory and mean and cruel. Take it to the natural extreme. Keep writing and writing as long as you have that "Aggressive Energy" still flowing. Even when it simmers off a bit--keep it rolling--get it all out. And here's the secret: DO NOT PRESS SEND. This isn't an excuse to let your anger ruin a relationship or hurt any feelings. If you're confident that you can "safely save it", then that's okay--and you might even wanna go back and read it again, when you're not all pissed off--but, if you think the person you're angry with might find it--then it's best to just delete it, or "burn it up", or remove it by whatever means necessary.
- SCREAM AT THE TOP OF YOUR LUNGS!
- You can do this in your car, or in your back yard--if you live out in the country--or if you're sure that your neighbors are cool and their not gonna come-a-knocking or call the cops. With this strategy it's good to let people know what you're doing (if you can't make time to be alone), because when a grown man screams as loud as he can--over and over and over again--it can be really scary and confusing. So get yourself a smart location and just scream. This was my main strategy after "the covid BS" really started to piss me off. I made a playlist on my Amazon Music called "HONORABLE ANGER SING ALONG", and it's mostly old heavy metal and hard rock songs from my glory days. I am a rock and roll singer--and I've got pipes. I can sing and I can SCREAM. And screaming and screaming into a microphone has saved me from many confrontations and fights and possible trips to jail. It's probably saved me half a million dollars in therapy bills if I'm honest. So give this a try. Next time you're super pissed off--get in the car--and get far away from everyone and just SCREAM. Scream "FUCK! FUCK! FUCK!" or, "FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU! FUUUUUCKK YOUUUUUUU!!", and just see how good it feels. Or just roar and scream and yell--you can yell anything--you can scream like a girl or growl like a big dog with a bone. You gotta give this a try! (Please let me know how it works).
- GET A SMALL BASEBALL BAT OR BROOM HANDLE--AND BEAT UP YOUR BED!
- Okay this one take a little more care and preparation. You'll need a whiffle ball bat, or a kids size aluminum baseball bat, or an old broom handle or a stick... The instructions are as follows: Make your bed up real nice. Maybe add an old rugged blanket on top if you've got nice beddings or a pretty looking duvet cover--and then take your chosen implement of violence and just start smashing and hitting and whacking the bed. (You can vocalize during this one too--and it might help--but make sure you warn your housemates so they are not caught off guard)... But just GO TO TOWN on the top of your mattress. The only rule is that you have to keep on hitting and hitting and hitting until you literally don't have one drop left. Keep on smashing and whacking and bashing until you're out of breath and you can't even lift your arms up for one more blow. (Of course--please be careful--and take note if you've got prior injuries, or if you've got an old crappy bed that might break... And DO NOT USE A FULL SIZED BAT! Get something that'll work, but that's not too heavy. You wanna get the job done, but you don't wanna actually dammage and destroy anything.)
These are three fine strategies for "Overcoming Anger", and they've worked well for me. Typically--I just use the 1st two strategies--and it's pretty rare anymore for me to have to get my tiny baseball bat and beat the living shit out of my bed covers... But I've done it! It works!
These things have helped me more than any of the other things I'd tried in the past.
You see, what Shari taught me was this:
Anger isn't going to 'go away' if you just sneak into the back room and do some deep breathing exercises--or meditate or pray--or just let the time pass until you feel different.
Obviously those things DO work in a way, but what they DON'T do, is actually give vent to your real feelings of aggression and frustration. So if we just stuff it and stuff it and pretend like it's not there--then eventually--anger rears up it's ugly head and we say something we regret. Or even worse, we get in a physical altercation of some kind and we end up talking to the cops or other authorities. And this is just what we want to avoid!
We want to "Open the Vent", so that our anger can pass through... And that way we're not storing it up and unloading it on our loved ones or some poor schmuck who's making some "low IQ" moves at the cash register or something.
Guys, I hope this helps!
...and I'm glad that I finally finished writing it out for the group.
I'd be happy to get a call going in the group (sometime soon), and we could talk about it in more detail.
We can take turns sharing our stories--or maybe there's more strategies or practices that people might be able to add to the list--and then we can say we've honored our group's purpose, and Buffalo's "topic sugestion", and of course all of this will give us a chance to keep the momentum rolling forward from there.
I think that's all from S.B. for now.
So I'm signing off...
Love ya'll and let's have a group call soon.
If you'd rather this not be posted publicly on my blog--just let me know--and I'll change it to private and make it available some other way. I don't really have a 'readership' anymore, so I figured this is a fast easy way for me to make it available via hyperlink. Drop me a DM if it's a problem!