There’s a shopping center where I live that I swear the movie Mad Max was based on. Let’s just say that the engineer who designed the parking lot probably struggled mightily in college, as there’s really only one way in and out of it.
I hate it. I absolutely hate it.
But it’s the only one with a Chick-fil-A and if you have kids then you know why I have to go there.
And if you know me and my husband, you know we very rarely argue... except when we’re going to Chick-fil-A.
I have to remind myself, “It’s okay to feel angry. It’s okay to be mad. It’s okay to want to tell the entire world to go to hell.”
Yes, it’s absolutely okay to feel angry. I know it’s actually important to feel it. I know if I hold it in, it builds. (And eventually I'll find myself screaming obscenities at that little old lady who cut me off on her way to buy her chicken nuggets.)
So feel that anger. But while you’re feeling it, just be cool. Let that person in.
And if you’re in that parking lot, please let my husband in. And if he lets you in (and he will!), please give him a “thank you” wave.
P.S. It’s absolutely okay to feel angry. Emotions like sadness, guilt, fear, envy, and anger are an important part of your emotional intelligence. They are just as important as feeling joy, happiness, and contentment. Here are some benefits of anger:
It motivates you to take action
Feeling angry about something can be the catalyst for you to finally take action and to motivate yourself to make positive changes in your life. For example, if you were working in an abusive work situation, feeling angry about it might be enough to get you to find a better job for yourself.
Denying your anger can cause unnecessary pain
Punishing yourself for feeling angry can lead to addictions, loneliness, and alienation as you try to avoid feeling the emotion. It may also lead to doubting yourself and not trusting your own feelings and emotions.
It keeps you safe
Being able to feel anger is actually an important skill. If you deny your anger, then you may deprive yourself of the ability to be aware when a situation is abusive or neglectful to you or even simply unfair.
Anger is a normal emotion
What isn't normal is thinking you can go through life and never feel angry. If you can't accept your own feelings then you'll be terrified of other people's feelings as well.
It's often the first step to processing deeper emotions
Anger is sometimes the first sign that something is wrong. It's a sign that you need to dig deeper and explore what you're really feeling deep inside. Allowing yourself to feel anger can also be a way to release painful emotions from the past. If you simply push away any feelings of anger without processing them you may cause yourself to feel deadened or empty inside instead of getting to the root of the problem.
You won't be able to know what you want
When our emotional intelligence is restricted, we often do not know what we really want, and can consequently struggle mightily with even the smallest decisions.
If you try to deny your anger, you may appear as fake or phony to others
You may come across as being unnaturally happy and may end up pushing others away because they don't trust you. Stanford researchers conducted experiments showing that when people try to hide their real feelings, they provoke a threat-response arousal in others.
If you don't process the emotion, it will continue to fester
If you simply deny your anger, it will remain as an unprocessed negative emotion. This can lead to you feeling resentment towards the other person or even causing yourself illness. You definitely can't be happy.