Anger is related to personal space, about who we are, how we do things and how we define ourselves. Those are our boundaries. They are individual and sacred pillars for our authentic personality.

What if, it is not our own anger we’re dealing with, but someone else’s anger being directed at us? What if we are being targetted, because we’re not doing things the way the other person likes us to do them? What if that other person is mad at us, because the other person requires more of our support, than what we can or want to give?

It may sound like something that rarely happens to us, but when we begin to be aware and consciously look around us, there are a really many situations in which someone suddenly expresses anger towards us. Random People. People we may or may not know.
For instance, the bus driver who is angry at us because we take too long to count the coins to pay the bus ticket. Or the waiter in a cafe / restaurant, who gets mad at us because we change our minds on what to order.

When I experience such situations, I usually notice a body sensation first. My tummy aches. My heart beats faster. My palms begin to sweat. I sometimes feel nervous, but I usually am not yet aware of what I am feeling inside of me.

Not knowing something as essential as our own feelings is like being stuck in a situation of an unknown behavioural pattern. So I asked for a coaching session and only 45 mins later I knew better:
Insecurity, guilt and threatened were the feelings I found inside myself.
I felt insecure about the way I do things and if they are truly ok despite the fact that this angry person isn’t accepting them.
I felt guilt about not trying hard enough to please the other person.
I felt threatened and unfairly treated, being the subject of someone else’s anger. Someone who has issues on his/her plate to be settled in this moment – not me.
Insecurity, guilt and threatened.
All in all: I was questioning myself and my doings. I questioned who I was. My true authentic self. The one and only thing I actually should deeply honour and care about in my life.
My authentic self is protected by my own boundaries and I questioned them. Consequently I questioned my worthiness too.

Human beings tend to ignore their unpleasant feelings. Fear of potentially being in need of protecting our true authentic self and dealing with the question of worthiness is unpleasant enough to cover it up with other layers of our personality. Feeling insecure about ourselves and/or trying to please other people’s needs is one of those layers.
Pleasing others will increase the chance of being liked. When others like us, we don’t need to doubt our own true authentic self. It removes the responsibility of truly loving us for who we are.
What a false relief.

When I became clear on what had caused the initial physical body sensation, I began to manifest that I am the way I am. And that it is ok. My needs are ok. My boundaries are ok. And my true authentic self is ok. No matter how many people will be angry at me and no matter how many people will not like me. I just can’t help the way I truly am.

That is taking responsibility for oneself. That is self love. That is manifesting inner stability and inner confidence. Protecting us for who we are and feeling worthy enough needs to come first. It needs to be in place before we are ready to embrace other people’s anger. Before we help angry human beings satisfy their own needs and protect their own boundaries, with deep empathy, and not because they are threatening us with their anger.

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Mareike Schönig

ICF ACC accredited Professional Coach
Transformational Life Coach


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