Your seemingly innocuous question is actually a statement. Most such type of questions are. It is a question that reveals your hidden rage. You think you know more than you actually do, and thus feel justified.
In the seventies I used to run a group called The Encounter Group. As is usual for me, I did not really know what I was doing at the time, but afterwards I came to see a pattern in the process.
The group had a strong reputation. It was a ‘no bars group’ — anything was allowed — so the event usually started with a lot of fear and tension — which was excellent for the opening up process. The sixteen participants had been on a waiting list for months. The process usually started the day they booked up.
I came to see that I used to wait and watch — for what people were avoiding in themselves, and then help them to bring it out and experience it. Of course on one level everyone knows themselves, but most are unconscious of the fact.
Whatever is being avoided runs us. We think we make rational calculated decisions, but we rarely do, it is the unconscious part that runs our lives. Thus, “Know Thyself. ” And, “Who Am I. ”
One thing that emerged for me is that most people are sitting on a seething mass of molten anger, looking for a justified excuse to emerge — usually in a form that they feel is justified and will bring them the least unpleasant consequences. Thus most people’s anger is disguised — like asking a question instead of making a statement. The anger is usually about the other people, but also often about themselves.
The anger takes many forms — often with a smile and not easily recognised. But we usually know when it is directed at us — we can feel it. An indirect sarcastic remark is not so easy to counter as direct anger, so feels safer to use.
Through the birth process, and the lack of control of our lives we while growing up we tend to become frustrated and build up an internal tension. It can be called anger and resentment. If we live naturally, like some tribes still do, we discharge our anger as it arises. We have a tantrum. When it is over, it is gone. As we grow older we learn to recognise our frustration and we release it harmlessly.
If we do not release our frustration it festers and takes unhealthy forms. The way to release is to recognise when we are angry, and take responsibility for it by seeing that the anger is ours and rarely justified. We get angry at other people for the things that we do not want to recognise, and thus do not accept, in ourselves.
Make an experiment — start now. Watch yourself very carefully today. Look out for any sign of anger, frustration, judgement, complaint. If you catch it early enough it is a gentle way of tapping into the accumulated disturbances, and just by recognition they can discharge — for ever!
Good luck, and have fun…