What's Under the Anger?

February 05, 2021

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As we eagerly said adios to 2020, and expectantly looked forward to the new year starting, vaccines rolling out and hope for a much better 2021, who could imagine January would be even more tumultuous? Yet it was. Highs and Lows and shocking disbelief as our capital was attacked. As I watched the videos of the attack, it struck me how angry the protesters were. And I thought, what is under all the anger? I knew there had to be more under the anger, since anger is a presenting emotion, or as I like to call it, brown paint (there are many colors underneath the color brown, as there are emotions under the presenting emotion of anger). Was it fear? Was it disbelief? Was is betrayal? Was it all of them?


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I don't know as it is their emotion not mine. And my concern is that many of the angry people don't know either. Because they don't have the skills to manage their emotion, or they don't want to take the responsibility to do so. When this happens, we can get stuck. And the anger comes out in different places, often harmful to others and ourselves. The identifying and clearing of emotions is a tricky thing. The good news is, effectively clearing emotions is a skill that can be learned! In fact we were working on this last week, during our first virtual Managing Corporate Change© workshop of 2021.

I have personally been working on it as well. Watching the angry protesters, I also needed to look at my own anger. I have been frustrated with the leadership in FL with respect to the pandemic, and it culminated last month as I tried and failed multiple time to get my 85 and 90 year old parents registered for their COVID-19 shots. It has been a bad registration system in southwest FL so far, and not friendly for seniors who often aren't technologically savvy. But what really set me off was hearing about the non-FL residents who flew/drove in from out of state and even out of the country to get their vaccines. Over 40,000 before the rules were changed to only allow FL residents to be vaccinated. So I had work to do. First, to get clear on the emotions under my anger and then second to start creating possibilities to get a good outcome.

I write this blog today, I am both relieved and grateful to say my parents finally got their first of two vaccines. Thanks to Publix, and in particular Abby the pharmacy manager at the Publix where my parents were able to get the vaccine. I was loyal to this store before, but now will forever be a loyal Publix customer.

And as for understanding what was the main emotion for me under all the anger?  It was sadness.

Kate Johnson
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