How Can One Deal with Excessive Emotions?


Q.  I have a conflict on how to handle some feelings. Say that you are in a situation where you feel anger at something. On one side, I get the sentiment that you should feel that anger and find an acceptable outlet for it. I mean, go home and beat on the bed with a tennis racket or go out in the field and shout at the sky if you are angry at a co-worker. Donít blister his ear, but find a constructive outlet for it. On the other side, there is the sentiment that says transmute that anger. Say, yes I am angry, which means that I want something I am not getting. What is it that I want and what am I doing to get what I want, and thus rationalize yourself through the anger. Which way is right?


A.  Both, depending upon where you happen to be at the moment in your thinking or feelings. Both ways work. They are just two techniques for helping to get it over with. The person that is suffering the most from your anger is you. So you have to rationally decide if the anger is justifiable and what should be done about it. Do you straighten out your own thinking because it is not rational for you to be angry, or should you straighten the other guy out because he is causing that justifiable anger in you? You have to try to see clearly what the root of your response is. You never become angry when you are in control of a situation. But bottling up anger and denying it is destructive. It ends up as hypertension and ulcers and things of that sort, which means that you really didnít get rid of the anger. You didnít discharge it, you just internalized it, and now itís taking it out on you rather than on somebody else.