A close friend of mine is going through some tough stuff right now. We talked through it and it helped me see a few things.
“Anger shields oneself from their vulnerabilities. Sometimes one’s sadness can’t be reached before going through their anger.” —a friend’s therapist
Sadness can be of the victim-y kind. It’s a place of waiting and healing. Or, it can lead to downward spiraling. Hopefully you hit the bottom at some point and have the right friends to support you through it. It’s good to call on friends when you feel this happening to you.
Sadness can be deflected, and projected onto others. You can see that it’s not just yourself who is impacted, and you can find a path to wanting to help others instead of just yourself. It’s a way to avoid feeling like a victim, and lets you put a mirror to yourself to do the work of self-discovery. So although projections can often be negatively framed, this can be a more positive way of using a projection.
The notion of “I want to control” the situation that I cannot control is what elicits anger and/or sadness. The two are related. And they connect with our ability to express vulnerability with honesty, or instead to shield ourselves with anger as a defensive mechanism. Wanting to control is something hard to “let go” of. When you can do so, you have become vulnerable. That is an uncomfortable place to be for anyone.
Takeaway: When you feel angry, try to locate your sadness. It will get you to the productive process of grieving, faster. And when you are in your sadness, and if you are able to help others who may be in a similar situation, then there is the doorway to gratitude. Gratitude gives fortitude.
Gratitude gives fortitude.— John Maeda (@johnmaeda) October 29, 2014