Bring your life into balance

Empathy works. It always does.

9 Steps to deal unmindfully with your anger, and one compassionate one


Nine steps to deal unmindfully with your anger

  1. Start by being angry. Preferably with someone close, someone you deeply care about. Your partner, your best friend, your mom.
  2. Stimulate blame and thoughts of wrongness about the other person. “They don’t care about me.” “They don’t give a shit.” “They take me for granted.” Be creative!! There are so many choices! So pick any thought that ignites your anger even more.
  3. DON’T connect with the pain underneath your thoughts. DON’T feel your hurt, your shame, the old wound of thinking you’re not good enough, you’re not worthy, you don’t belong. For crying out loud, stay angry and work yourself up into more anger!
  4. DON’T talk to the person you’re struggling with. DON’T ask for help. Stop any impulse to practice going back to your breath. Forget Thich Nhat Hanh‘s suggestions to be gentle with your anger, to take good care of it, holding it like a crying baby. Run after the one you think put your house on fire, and DON’T try to quench the fire. You carry a slip of Thich-Nhat-Hanh’s-mindfulness-anger-steps? [1. I breathe in, I breathe out. Say “Darling, I suffer, I’m angry.”, 2. Breathe in, breathe out. Say “I’m trying, I’m really trying.” 3. Breathe in, breathe out. Say “I need your help and support.”??] This is THE time to tear it up and THROW it away! Remember you’re trying to do something unmindfully with your anger, not something beneficial.
  5. Disconnect from the person you blame. Make sure they know you’re angry, but DON’T engage with them.
  6. Pick up a big, sharp knife. Start cutting something hard and slippery. A butternut squash will do.
  7. Start cutting. Fast. Put all your anger in the cutting. Fire up thoughts about the wrongness of your loved one.
  8. DON’T pay attention to what you’re doing. Be absorbed by your angry thoughts. Drown in them. DON’T watch how the knife slips away and chops off your finger top.
  9. Watch the bleeding. Blame your husband. Blame yourself.
  10. Stop. Embrace yourself with compassion. See how strong and habitual your anger patterns are. You failed to hold your anger mindfully. You failed. You contributed to harm. Don’t make it worse by blaming and being angry. Use this experience as a wake-up call to interrupt these habitual, unconscious patterns. Glue the scraps of the slip of Thich-Nhat-Hanh’s-mindfulness-anger-steps together. Bring your attention to your breath. Apologize. Tell your husband you’re suffering. Tell him you’re trying, really trying. Tell him you need help and support. And if you’re lucky, REALLY lucky he will rush to your rescue and heal your bleeding finger.

Author: Elly van Laar

I am a coach. I specialize in helping mission-driven professionals bring their lives into balance. I have a Master's degree in Political Science, Leiden University, the Netherlands. I'm currently in an ICF-coaching certification program. I love meditation, walking, gardening, biking, and hanging out with family and friends.

2 thoughts on “9 Steps to deal unmindfully with your anger, and one compassionate one

  1. try all 10
    very zen 🙂


I am curious to read your response

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.