Abrasions to the psyche occur in the everyday rub of life. Our hearts become hurt, especially when we have no protection-of-God in place. And if we have no safe release regarding recourse to those who inflict hurt on us or cause us to become frustrated, we tend to transfer our hurts onto those we love. This is because we can, and because they are more representations of ourselves than we realise. Why else would we expose ourselves so honestly?
Those we love most are most susceptible for receiving our negative emotions because they may be least likely to reject us or attack us back in a dangerous way. With our family and loved ones we are afforded a special allowance of grace. Even when we overstep the mark we generally have a way back.
We hurt those we love the most, and too regularly, if we have no other outlet for processing our hurts, tensions and frustrations. What burns within must eventually purge.
Times When We Are Not Afforded Psychological Release
In many of our workplaces, for instance, we work for people, or with people, that incite within us reactions we simply can’t bear. This causes significant stress, and, as a result, anxiety. And even if we don’t consciously feel anxious, there is the rumbling of unconscious anxiety that plays itself out in many negative ways.
When we are not afforded psychological release the transfer of our anger is an obvious threat.
I used to wonder why I sometimes would be angry with family members upon arriving home from work. The stresses of working, the work, and the people involved in the work, all came together, and no matter how much I was looking forward to seeing my family, I sometimes treated them poorly, and I didn’t know why. And because I was taking my frustrations out on those I loved I became increasingly angry with myself. A negative cesspool of events had emerged.
The truth is when we have no avenue (or we see we have no avenue) for responding appropriately and effectively with workplace or other external stresses, we turn the stresses in and onto ourselves, and then we, as a result, transfer them onto the ones we love. We can add complex extended family relationships into this mix.
Whatever is external and out of reach, that which causes us frustration, threatens as a cause for hurting the ones we least want to hurt.
The Better Way
The better way than anger, which is transferred onto others from our inner emotions that we cannot bear, is honesty—a risk of vulnerability requiring courage.
When we can allow our authentic hurt and frustrated feelings to emerge, just for a moment, we not only open the pathway to God’s healing through our honesty, we don’t hurt our loved ones, and we even build intimacy. Just for being honest.
A better way than transferring our unprocessed anger is just being honest in our weakness. Everyone has weaknesses they cannot bear. Honesty is the only way.
Compassion For The Angry Love One
Not including abuse, we can afford to extend to our loved ones a little scope for grace, especially when we understand they may feel trapped without a process to deal with difficult situations.
This grace should extend to ourselves, because, of course, we will also grapple with stress and anxiety issues because of our dysfunctional relationships. All of us have them.
A compassionate ear and a kind heart are what frustrated people need. We can understand their anger prevailing upon us, because we may be the only ones these emotions can be expressed to. When we are compassionate we may be able to usher the angry one towards the better way of honesty.
Hurting our loved ones because we are angry about other things seems such a waste.
There is a better way. When we can share the source of our angry feelings with our loved ones, just being honest and taking care not to burn them with our anger, healing and intimacy are forged.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.