I was talking with Lisa Feldman Barrett, a psychologist at Northeastern University. Right at the end of the hour-long interview, she tossed out this suggestion: “You could increase your emotional granularity.”
“Go learn more emotion words and emotion concepts from your culture and other cultures,” she added.
India is a treasure trove of angers.
Indians also differentiate between political anger, which you have for the ruling class or “boss man,” and personal angers, which you have for a friend, family or neighbor. You would never mix the two and express political anger in a personal relationship, Paul says.
“There’s also a very interesting anger that is a loving anger,” Paul says. You express this emotion toward a spouse when your spouse has angered you but you can’t help them, only love them, he says. “It’s a mixed bag of love, grief, sorrow and anger.”
“There’s definitely emerging evidence that just the act of putting a label on your feelings is a really powerful tool for regulation,” Gendron says. It can keep the anger from overwhelming you. It can offer clues about what to do in response to the anger. And sometimes, it can make the anger go away.
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