Do you find yourself bristling at comments during the holidays that would otherwise roll off your back? Do you get tense or sleepless just thinking about listening to a particular person at the holiday dinner table? Do you surprise yourself by slamming doors or snapping at loved ones over the simplest of holiday stressors?
You may wonder why this angry side comes out at this supposedly joyous and peaceful time of year. Anger is present in many people at the holidays because of old family hurts, resentments and strains that were never healed and are now literally on their doorstep, come to spend time over presents or turkey or midnight services. Families often seem to exist in this strange void in human nature where it is supposed to be okay to take out aggression on each other, be rude or cruel, or neglect one another’s needs, because “it’s family and families love each other” despite normal evidence to the contrary.
But deep inside, it is never okay to endure poor treatment and emotional abuse, no matter who is delivering it. So resentment and frustration build up without a means of addressing the issue and resolving the conflict. That buildup results in the confusing outbursts of anger and feelings of pressure and irritability. It’s ok, anger is a natural way of letting us know something is wrong. But anger can be unhealthy if left unaddressed or expressed in the wrong way. This year, take advantage of this resource, learn how to take a look into your anger, understand more about its origins and develop new skills and techniques for managing it.