The Unorthodox Roadmap To Master ANGER

Mastering Anger

15.03.24 (updated)

I’ve been thinking about how to master anger for a whole year now. It has taken me this long to analyze my own experience and see a clear pattern with my clients. The turning point was realizing that this actually has 2 main stages and the advice will be the exact opposite for each one.

So brace yourself, this is not the traditional “just accept yourself” crap, in fact, this might be precisely what is subliminally fueling self-loathing. You’ll understand that feeling angry isn’t the problem, you just have to learn how to better direct this emotion.

Perhaps, this can upset some people, but this is what I’ve found to work in the real world and with real people. This is very raw and deeply personal, all I ask is that you keep an open mind. To some, this might seem extreme, but to whom has a lot of repressed anger, I believe this can bring a lot of insight.

The Gift of Self-Loathing

“If the repressed tendencies, the shadow as I call them, were obviously evil, there would be no problem whatever. But the shadow is merely somewhat inferior, primitive, unadapted, and awkward; not wholly bad. It even contains childish or primitive qualities which would in a way vitalize and embellish human existence, but—convention forbids” (C. G. Jung – V11 – §134).

Well, I guess anything interesting starts with a good story. This happened about 10 years ago, a time when I had no perspective about life, zero goals, and no motivation whatsoever to change.

I got so used to my heart constantly pounding that I had become one with my anxiety. I had just come back from a family trip, needless to say that most days were spent eating copious amounts of food. Now, I had been overweight my entire life but this time was different, something was wrong, I just couldn’t stop eating.

It was time for me to buy new clothes and honestly, I always dreaded this experience. It always made me self-conscious, I had to look myself in the mirror and hated feeling the clothes on my body. Anyway, I chose a few pieces and got my usual size, medium shirts and 42 on pants. I went to the changing room and to my despair, the shirt just didn’t fit and if I properly closed the pants, I couldn’t breathe.

That moment I felt so ashamed that if I wasn’t in a store I’d most likely be in tears. I managed to just suck it up and chose a pair of bigger paints and returned all the shirts, I just couldn’t accept it. That was the first moment in my entire life where I could clearly see myself objectively. Until that moment I managed to run away, but this experience made me reassess absolutely everything and something inside me clicked, I tapped into this raw power that propelled me to change.

I had a bit of money saved and in that same week, I bought a few weights, a couple of bars, and a bench, nothing fancy. I began to consume every video I could on weightlifting and started to change my body and I became absolutely fascinated with the bodybuilding mentality. In about 4 months I had dropped 23kg, about 50 pounds of pure fat.

I felt so proud of myself that I just couldn’t stop smiling! As the months advanced, I learned to rely on myself. This experience shaped my character, built discipline, and taught me I could have goals and achieve them.

Before I became a therapist, I graduated in music and this was the first moment I started to take my course seriously. I started practicing hours and hours each day and would only stop when my fingers were hurting so much that I couldn’t press the strings anymore. I had this fire in my eyes and for the first time ever I started to fully live my life.

The Role of Anger

Sounds like an amazing and inspiring story, right? Well, from the outside it might appear that these changes were easy and smooth, but there was a war happening in my mind:

“Your piece of shit, just keep pushing!”.

“Quit being a pussy and practice more!”.

“That’s not enough and you’ll never be enough and will die alone!”.

There were days when I couldn’t stand to see myself in the mirror, in fact, I avoided them, so I had to train and practice harder and harder to shut these voices down. Eventually, I started to tame my inner demons, my anxiety started fading, and I wasn’t so depressed anymore, and all of that happened because I allowed myself to feel angry.

Coming from a religious background, I’d learned that any expression of anger was the work of Satan, so I’ve done everything I could to dissociate myself from it, but in doing that, I also lost my capacity to take action. I was living in this dull state and it was as if my soul had left my body. I needed anger to reconnect with my instincts, I needed anger to feel alive again.

You see, there’s a price to be paid to achieve anything great and that you’re proud of, and in many situations, pure ANGER is what will get you there. But through this anger, you can discover what self-love is truly about.

If I had just “accepted and loved myself” in that moment things would’ve remained the same. I’d probably still be living with my parents, have a crappy job, no relationships, and perhaps have had a heart attack before the age of 30. The truth is that I was slowly killing myself.

True self-love entails stop accepting your own bullshit and holding yourself to the highest standards. You shouldn’t be trying to “just feel good” when you know damn well that you’re not giving your all. Self-love means loving yourself enough to do everything you can to change.

(This is often the first step to overcoming the Peter Pan syndrome, aka, the Puer and Puella Aeternus)

Disciplining Anger

That’s why, the first step in dealing with anger is to allow yourself to deeply feel these intense emotions, they are there for a reason and you have to understand why and take decisive action. It’s always easier to adopt a victim mentality and find someone to blame for your shortcomings.

But guess what…

While you blame your parents or some outside “enemy” for your shortcomings, you allow them to control your entire life. Instead of hating them and keeping yourself small, you should rise and direct all of this energy to change.

The same level of hatred and despair you might be feeling can be turned into massive power to break free from this situation and craft a life you’re proud of. Don’t run away from this anger, instead, learn how to properly channel it.

You have to learn how to shut up these voices by taking massive action and burning this anger by moving your body and pursuing your goals. In other words, you have to learn how to discipline your anger.

Trust me, in this first moment, you don’t need a deep sense of purpose or inspiration. In fact, relying on motivation is one of the stupidest things one can do, this is a very fleeting emotion and without discipline, it amounts to nothing.

Yes, you can have big dreams… but are they making you move your ass?

Yeah… I thought so.

If inspiration visits you, feel grateful for having this sense of direction. Now, stop being a couch potato, and let’s do something about it. Discipline is what will get you there. And there’s no better way of building it than doing some form of structured physical activity, like going to the gym, learning how to fight, or running, really anything that you can commit to. If you pair that with meditation, you have a powerful combo to discipline your anger.

This might seem extreme for some, but you have to turn every bad feeling and memory into an obsession to change. The feeling of not being good enough for your parents, the times you were bullied, the times you got rejected, the times you felt small and ashamed to be yourself, this is all fuel.

In this first moment, it simply doesn’t matter if pain is what is keeping you alive and propelling you to build discipline. In the beginning, you just have to take the first step in a new direction, be it from anger or inspiration.

You shouldn’t be trying to unravel the mysteries of the universe and figuring out the reason for your existence, you just need to tackle what’s right in front of you. Just lose some weight, just focus on becoming independent from your parents, just leave your toxic relationship, and just focus on getting a better job. You just need to overcome this first obstacle and everything will become clearer. Commit to doing something, take full ownership, and watch your life change.

The Self-Loathing Identity

“Every psychological extreme secretly contains its own opposite or stands in some sort of intimate and essential relation to it. Indeed, it is from this tension that it derives its peculiar dynamism. There is no hallowed custom that cannot on occasion turn into its opposite, and the more extreme a position is, the more easily may we expect an enantiodromia, a conversion of something into its opposite” (C. G. Jung – V5 – §581).

Now, once you’ve learned how to be disciplined and stopped accepting your own excuses, you might be reaching the second stage but by now, few people can resist an identity change.

People who run on self-loathing tend to be high achievers, but this obviously comes at a high price. There’s a tendency to despise vulnerability and do everything they can to avoid their own feelings and intimacy. They usually project these internal judgments onto others, so they feel constantly judged, and inadequate, and can’t connect with other people.

They live in a Me vs Them mentality.

Even though they tend to be goal-oriented, these goals rarely have a deeper meaning and sense of purpose attached to them, it’s an empty pursuit. This happens because their sense of value is attached to their external titles and achievements, that’s also why they never allow themselves to rest and have fun.

So what usually happens is that they develop some form of addiction, usually alcohol or sex to compensate for the lack of intimacy. When it comes to hobbies, there’s always a bunch of rules, goals, and strictness. It needs to be something useful, they can’t appreciate playing music “just because”.

In reality, they never feel good enough and never truly accept any compliment. However, they resist letting the self-loathing voice go, because if this happens, they fear that they will become soft and weak. But self-loathing can only get you so far, it’s not sustainable in the long term and eventually, people start to break, this is the point that many seek therapy.

In this scenario, you have to learn how to run with a different fuel. In other words, now that you have discipline, you can be fueled by inspiration, creativity, and positive emotions. Your drive must be attached to a deeper sense of purpose, it’s time to uncover your individual sense of meaning. You have to learn how to feel proud of yourself and do things because you genuinely love yourself.

You’re not going to go “soft” or lose your drive if you start seeing yourself as someone good and that you’re proud of. You have to make room in your life to do things just because you like them. Pick up that hobby that you left behind or start something completely new that you always wanted to try. It doesn’t matter what you choose, the goal is to reconnect with creativity. Playfulness is what will bring you balance again.

Mastering Anger

Now, let’s make this really simple.

You need to produce your first results before changing your fuel, you’re not gonna feel proud of yourself until you take massive action. In the beginning, positive emotions rarely propel someone to change. That’s why you have to master the art of putting pressure on yourself first instead of relying on motivation, someone else, or something external like a deadline.

Until you feel that obsession you just don’t know what truly means to push yourself and go all in. It’s okay to take your first steps out of pure anger, It’s okay to want to prove them wrong. Don’t feel ashamed, you can use your shadow for a good purpose. You shouldn’t allow fear to rule your entire life and settle for a mediocre relationship and that crappy job.

Most people never allow themselves to deeply want something because they’re afraid of failure. But you have to bet on yourself and redefine what failure means. Because deep in your soul you know that you only fail when you know you could’ve given more but you didn’t.


At first, you might go to the gym because you’re fat and you hate seeing yourself in the mirror, but once you start, you have to give yourself permission to feel proud. Slowly, this internal fuel changes, and now you’re doing things because they are the best for you.

Once you start moving, you’ll notice these sparks of inspiration and positive feelings. A lot of people resist acknowledging them because they fear their drive will fade, but now you know better, you don’t need to run on self-loathing. Your drive must be attached to a deeper sense of purpose.

One expression of self-love means holding yourself to the highest standards and doing everything you can to achieve your potential, but it also means doing things that nurture your soul and knowing when to take a break. That’s why, depending on where you are in your journey, my advice would completely change.

The Feminine

“Receptivity is a feminine attitude, presupposing openness and emptiness, wherefore Jung has termed it the great secret of femininity. Moreover, the feminine mentality is less averse to irrationality than the rationally oriented masculine consciousness, which tends to reject everything not conforming to reason and so frequently shuts itself off from the unconscious” (Emma Jung – Animus and Anima – p. 52)

I’ve talked a lot about anger, but actually, these words came out of inspiration. I told you that this was on the back of my mind for an entire year, this time was necessary for me to reflect, observe my patients, and mature these ideas.

If I had just pressured myself to finish it, like I’ve done many times before, It’d be like trying to give birth to a baby that isn’t ready. That’s why, on a deeper level what can truly balance anger is being in harmony with the feminine principle, something that our zeitgeist tends to undermine.

I’ve learned that creativity and inspiration have a cycle and we have to be open to be guided by these sparks. We have to cultivate receptivity to the irrational aspect of life, the eros. If we put too much pressure, everything fades and the process stops. but at the same time, we need the discipline to show up and make space for it.

Once you receive these sparks, you have to diligently give them shape. It’s a fine balance between action and receptivity or as the Taoists call it, the wuwei. I know, a bit abstract, but I guess any person involved in creative endeavors can understand that.

That’s why one of the things that made the most difference to me was dedicating myself to art, especially music. It’s important to cultivate a space where you feel free to be yourself and explore your own feelings without any agenda.

Sometimes it’s very intense and extremely cathartic, while on other occasions, you just feel light and in another sphere. Also, in this pursuit to connect with the eros principle, learning how to trust my dreams and engaging with Active Imagination was crucial.

Once again, you can only safely engage with the unconscious and the feminine, once you’ve established solid roots in reality and cultivated some degree of responsibility and discipline. Otherwise, the unconscious simply engulfs you. Also, never underestimate the ability to laugh at yourself, humor is a superpower.

Lastly, anger usually has its origins in an unresolved parental complex, in other words, mommy and daddy issues. The first stage is usually linked with the mother complex while the second is usually linked with the father complex. This separation is for didactic purposes only, in reality, we can see people being overly identified with one pole or switching between them.

Regardless of where you’re in your journey, I hope this can bring some insight.

Rafael Krüger – Live an Audacios Life

Start your journey with Katabasis – The Shadow Integration Manual

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