It’s much easier to feel anger than sadness. It’s even more socially acceptable to feel that way. Think of the cashier that you interacted with at the store that seemed so angry you wondered why they were at their job. That person was more than likely feeling sadness however, that’s not something society likes to see, so it’s easier to act angry.
When someone is grieving, we do all we can to ensure we don’t witness sadness. We use humor or we stay away from a person who is sad.
You can even see how uncomfortable it is to feel sad by talking to a teen. They say they cannot show how sad they are at school because others will make fun of them. Yet, they can act like a bully because then, no one seems to make fun of them.
When did it become better to be angry rather than sad? Why is it so difficult to express sadness? We come packaged with all that range of emotions and yet, this is one we deny ourselves.
Sadness = Vulnerability
No one wants to be vulnerable. To be vulnerable is to be weak, defenseless, helpless, etc. Yet, don’t we need to be vulnerable to also have gains in relationships? When we show our vulnerability, we tend to grow in areas such as love and friendship.
As a therapist, I work with people who present with anger often. Then, after a few sessions they come to realize the emotions behind the anger, are sadness or grief. Those emotions have a place too and must be dealt with or the anger will take over.
Providing a safe place to feel vulnerable is key for a person to express the feelings of sadness or hurt.
If you know someone who seems angry all the time, stop to think about what pain he or she might be enduring. Try to provide a safe place for them to share. You might be surprised to find that through vulnerability comes growth in relationships and a deepness that can’t be found without it.