If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of feeling like things are simply out of control, fasten your seatbelt belt. This is one of those things in life where it’s not a matter of “if” it will happen, but more of “when” it will happen. We are only human.

We can only take so much before an emotional response is invoked when life, and all its intricacies, reaches a tipping point. There are two primary ways we tend to deal with an extremely chaotic situation or circumstance – lash out in anger or cry with frustration.

A good many of us have superior control over angry outbursts and disallow this type of behavior. Instead, we might be so extremely frustrated the only way we can deal is to just break down and cry it out. Then there are those of us who allow anger to rear its ugly head and take control of our mind and body, come what may.

Anger vs. Frustration

In case you were wondering, there is a difference between the two. Frustration usually precedes anger, it is just one of many possible triggers. When something happens, or doesn’t happen for that matter, and our expectations aren’t met, it gets frustrating.

Maybe you didn’t get the raise you were expecting, or your partner is neglecting their share of the household chores lately. Those types of things can easily turn into normal, and manageable, frustration. Anger is what happens your frustration has built up and there has been no resolution.

Perhaps you tried to address the frustrating situation, but your efforts appear to be all for naught. As the problem continues to glare at you and taunt you, anger seeps in and takes over. It all depends on how you choose to respond. Yes, you read that right. It’s your choice. Your response is 100% on you.

The Art of Lashing Out

If you didn’t think lashing out was calculated, think again. We momentarily lose control, but the intent is clear. When we lash out we are trying to convey a point, albeit ineffectively, to retain control of the circumstance or situation. If you engage in hateful word-slinging, you are purposely trying to hurt someone’s feelings.

Why? Most likely because your feelings got hurt and you allowed it to fester all the way to the point of anger. If you are more the type to slam cabinets and shout obscenities into the air, huffing and puffing at no one in particular because everyone in the house scatters when you’re on a bend, this might feel good in the moment but later you most likely feel somewhat foolish.

You probably aren’t going to gain any control this way, but to you, it’s just “venting” right? Lashing out can be beneficial so long as you aren’t hurting yourself or anyone else in the process. Think of it like talking yourself off the ledge. You’re on the verge of doing something incredibly stupid, but instead, you go for a walk and talk or lash it out. To yourself.

Wave your hands. Point and yell and scream if you must but get it all out. When you calm down you will probably see things from a different perspective and are much more equipped to assemble a plan for recovery in your world that seemed out of control.

So Mad You Could Cry!

Have you ever been so upset tears sprang up? As if you aren’t frustrated enough, now you’ve got to deal with appearing weak because you’re crying! The fact is, crying isn’t a response to frustration. It’s actually the response to whatever is causing the frustration. Just like when we lash out.

We aren’t lashing out because we are angry; it’s because it’s easier to lash out, or cry, when we feel we’ve been wronged. However, when we cry we are allowing at least a semblance of vulnerability to seep in and show that we are only human and we do have a breaking point.

Believe it or not, it’s healthy to cry and actually very healing. If tears are welling up in your eyes while you’re trying to address someone you’re angry with, don’t shy away from it. It shows you care. You care enough about this situation to cry, to show true, unbridled emotion.

If you’d rather be alone and have a really good cry, go for it! Let that frustration go and when you’re done, you will likely be able to assess your situation with new eyes.

Whether you lash out in anger or you cry out of frustration, you don’t have to let it overpower you and good can come from both. Remember, you’re in control. You have the right to feel whatever way you are feeling. Validate your feelings, express them in a positive and helpful manner, and then move forward. Never stop moving forward!