Anger what are you doing here? It’s not your turn. Fear was supposed to be next.
I skipped the line.
Yes. Again! What are you going to do about it?!
Well I’m not sure it’s the time for you.
You’re wrong KA. It is the time for me. Now is the only time for me. If you wait it will be too late.
Sigh. You know what Anger? You really drive me up a wall sometimes. Let me check in with everyone else. Hang here a sec.
Ok. For once they all agree, it is time for you. Let’s do it then. You’re up.
Actually, when I think about it it’s very predictable that you would cut the line.
Ya. I’m like that. You never know where I’m going to pop up or when.
Tell me about it.
But Anger, I’d honestly argue that about any of you. Joy, Fear, Sadness – they are all around any corner – when we least expect them. But you certainly are the loudest vocally, I’ll give you that!
So. How are you doing today?
I’m mad! I’m mad I’m mad I’m mad. No. Strike that. I’m pissed!
But Anger, be honest. Don’t you kind of feel that’s your default? I mean really. You’re always mad about something.
Well sure – you have a point – but KA I really have something to say here.
Ok. And what is that Anger?
Well people don’t like to leave any space for me. They leave space for everyone else, but never me. A lot of people say I’m supposed to stay bottled up inside.
Well, I know it’s not healthy to stay bottled up, but a lot of the time you come out in unmitigated and unproductive ways that can be very hurtful. That’s what happens when you explode all over everyone all the time. And there are keys to that sentence anger – unmitigated, unproductive and all the time.
What do you mean?
Well, I personally agree with you Anger, that much of the time people don’t leave any space for you. You are a very polarizing and scary emotion. But I also feel that much change in the world has come from a place of anger. Anger is a very strong emotion and sometimes a strong emotion is needed in order to make change. Anger can actually be a very intense motivator for change.
We would never be where we are with AIDS treatments had a small group of men not gotten a little bit angry and insisted their voices be heard. And this turned into a large group of many and changed everything.
A small group of workers became angry about their treatment and unions were born.
A small group of women became angry and a movement was born.
A small group of educators voiced their anger at the system and education became better for it.
All of these things happened because people saw something happening in the world, got angry about it and change happened. They weren’t afraid to express it and give voice to it and ensure they were heard. BUT they also didn’t make it their default. They used that anger to be heard and then moved forward with 100 other emotions built into their arsenal.
Yes, yes, yes! That’s what I’m trying to say!
I do know that Anger, but with you, to be honest, often it is the only emotion we see from you. If you are nothing but angry all of the time how does anyone know when to sit up and really listen to you? It’s like the boy that cried wolf.
Well. Let me give you an example that happened to me recently. I felt very strongly about something. Something that made me angry. And I decided to express that anger publicly. But the thing is – I feel people stood up and took notice from me when I did it, (more than from you), because it is a rare emotion for me to show. So, the decision to do it was based in something very strongly that I felt rather than a default emotion.
And how did that work for you?
Well. First, I would say that as a woman I’ve been conditioned not to be angry. Certainly not to express it or give it a voice. People don’t like it when I show anger. When WE show anger. I really can’t emphasize this enough. It’s a conversation for another time but let me tell you it’s a big one.
And secondly, for me personally, people are used to me generally expressing one of two emotions. Gratitude or Joy. Karrie-Ann usually fits pretty neatly into a box people are very comfortable with and generally like.
But this wasn’t something I was willing to keep in a box. I felt it was too important. I FEEL it’s too important. Over the course of two weeks I’ve chosen to have a voice in a conversation. Having a voice isn’t easy. Those voices I’ve shared publicly have had a wide range from empathy, humour, caring, gratitude, wisdom in experience and yes anger. I’m very ok with that. I have not been one thing and I am not one thing. I have felt that this is too important for one emotion. And it’s too big to not speak what I believe – and yes that sometimes means I speak with anger. And I know that makes many very uncomfortable. Most of the time its all the other emotions, but yes, I’m also ok with anger sometimes.
Whoa. That’s a lot KA
I know right? This whole thing is a lot. It’s a lot of emotions to process and it can be really easy to push others aside. But we need all of you to get through this – we all have to work together and talk to each other. And that includes you too Anger.
But if I see you are nothing but Angry all the time and not leaving space for everyone else … well … to be honest I won’t be listening to you very much.
Even if its always about anger towards Trump?
Even then Anger. Even then.