How To Successfully Harness Angry Energy To Get What You Need

In a previous post I asked you if you know how to use your anger constructively. This post describes how to harness angry energy to get your needs met. If you’ve been hurt in a relationship with an angry and controlling person, this topic might feel threatening to you. Let me address your fear by saying that abusive people use this essential life skill in abusive ways, and that you’ve seen it used to harm you doesn’t change the fact that the ability to harness angry energy in order to get your needs met is a healthy skill. The difference between you and an abusive person is that you will harness angry energy responsibly – without harming anyone else.

Here’s how I did that with Bojana.

First, I didn’t show her the phone bill.

Instead, I very politely (as if nothing was wrong) asked her to show me that ticket to America her parents had purchased for her – which she described as a one-way ticket.

She hands me the ticket.

Sure enough. Round trip.

Next, right there in front of her, I call the airline to book her flight back to Serbia.

She sits there, confused and alarmed as I book her flight for the next morning.

I hang up the phone just about the time that my husband walks in the door. Together, we show her the phone bill and explain that we would be sending her back to Serbia in the morning.

This is when the war begins . . .

harness angry energy

It is literally angry mother bear vs. angry cat!
And, just like a mother bear looks calm on the outside, but can harness great power in one move, so am I calm on the outside, yet ready. Anger does that. I can feel it continuing to churn inside me. I harnessed that energy toward my goal of getting her back on a plane!

Bojana, on the other hand . . . 

 She stays awake ALL NIGHT – frantically talking on the phone and planning. Often, I can’t hear what is going on behind her door. But she is determined to foil my plan to send her back.

I am determined (and quite easily able – thanks to my anger) to stay awake all night to make sure she doesn’t get away and miss her flight.

In her efforts to stay in America, she talks her “boyfriend” who lives on the East Coast. She tries to convince me that she has known him since before she came to the U.S. She asks me to talk to him. He tries to convince me to let him come and pick her up – or to fly her to him instead of flying her to Serbia.

Here’s the thing – when you sponsor someone to come to the United States and they seek to stay under Political Asylum, you – the sponsor – are responsible for any criminal activity they commit while on U.S. soil.

 I believe that if she is willing to intentionally lie to me about using our phone to run up a bill while indicating that her friends were paying, she is certainly willing to do anything else it takes to meet her needs.

No. I explain to her friend that if he actually loves her, as he says he does, he is free to book her another flight from Serbia. After I send her back.

I tell her to pack her belongings or I will “help her.” That seems to motivate her to comply. The next morning we get her in the car for the hour-and-a-half drive to Los Angeles International Airport. In the car, I don’t rest. I just watch and wait.

Lucky for me, this rebellious teen is also a fashion diva and chooses to dress her feet like this to the airport:

harness angry energy

It makes me laugh right now as I’m telling you the story because I realize what a ridiculous choice it was for her to put those shoes on her feet . . .  

I escort her “body guard style” out of the car, into the airport, while she uses the payphone to talk to said boyfriend as she waits for her flight and while I stand guard outside her stall when she says she needs to pee.

What she doesn’t know is that I am fully prepared for this if she chooses to try to run:

Harness Angry Energy

Luckily, I don’t have to tackle her. I don’t have to hold her hand on the runway – although I literally held my breath until she was on the plane with the door closed behind her. 

It is almost 24 hours after discovering the phone bill that her plane taxies off the runway and takes to the air.

Then – mother bear cries. Tears of relief and release.

It is finally over and my anger has served me well. Now is time to release the energy and get back to what life was before Bojana arrived.

I hope this adventure in using my anger to keep my family safe helps you understand the concept of using anger constructively and responsibly to get what you need. If you are ready to take the next step, learn what it takes to create a healthy relationship and claim the healthy love you deserve?

Discover the 14 Rights of a Loving Relationship and sign up for the FREE 30-Day Relationship Rights e-Course by clicking here.

© Tamara Bess, LMFT 2016 All Rights Reserved. Any use of this article without Tamara’s express written permission is prohibited.


Do You Know How to Use Anger Constructively?

You can learn how to use anger constructively. You don’t need to be afraid of it. Anger is a common emotion. I often refer to it as secondary. It doesn’t usually pop up until you’ve been feeling something else for quite a while. When that other feeling doesn’t resolve, your emotional energy can run low and anger becomes the go-to. Anger is a useful emotion, but people (women) are often afraid of it. Today I want to share my story with you about how I actually got so angry with someone that I wanted her dead! I’ll follow this post up with how I used the anger as energy that supported assertive action, turning the situation around.
In reality, I’m quite a loving person, and since I was 7 years old I vowed to myself that I would never hurt someone else with angry words or actions. So you can imagine what it was like for me to feel this inside:
use anger constructively
I have to say that I never anticipated such strong emotions to ever take over my body, and I never imagined that I would ACT on them.

But I did . . .

Here’s what happened. It was June of 1999. NATO had been enacting air strikes on Kosovo and my (then) husband’s family reached out to us for help.

Three years earlier, his family in Serbia helped us bring our daughter home from an orphanage in Belgrade – in spite of UN sanctions, which required us to get smuggled into the country by the Hungarian mob. (There’s another story for another day!)

Now, family in Serbia were asking if we could host their daughter in our home to shield her from the horrors of the war.
Plans were quickly made and we brought 18-year-old Bojana (prounounced boy-anna) to come and live with us. Since she was of Jewish heritage, I reached out to the synagogues in our area for support. They sponsored her with a full scholarship to the local community college.

Everything seemed perfect. Bojana would have the chance to create a bright future for herself in safety, with family and community support.

I drove her to the college and helped her get registered and purchase her books. I showed her the public transportation system. The synagogue sponsored her travel to and from school, so that was covered. We were good to go.

For about a month.

I often came home early during the day because my baby was in kindergarten and I had my private practice set up so that I worked while she was in school and was finished in time to pick her up.

When I came home, I often found Bojana sunbathing in the back yard and chatting on the phone in her native language; I wondered how she was doing that. When I asked her, she said that she told her friends in Serbia (via internet chat) that she was home from school, then they called her.

Gullible and ever-so-willing to give people the benefit of the doubt, I believed her.

Until the phone bill came.

use anger constructively

That bill was bigger than our house payment!


Suddenly, all feelings of charity and concern I had for Bojana were gone.

Can you see my point here about how anger is the result of other feelings unresolved? The previous feelings were replaced by betrayal and fear that led very quickly to anger.

And THIS is the secret to item #2 on your Relationship Rights Checklist. You have the right to feel angry. You have the right to express it responsibly. It’s healthy to feel the anger, recognize what you need and take action to get your needs met. You can learn to use anger constructively.
I was able to use anger constructively to ensure safety for my family. Exactly how I did that is the subject of next week’s post.

Ready to take the next steps, learn what it takes to create a healthy relationship and claim the healthy love you deserve?

Discover the 14 Rights of a Loving Relationship and sign up for the FREE 30-Day Relationship Rights e-Course by clicking here.

© Tamara Bess, LMFT 2016 All Rights Reserved. Any use of this article without Tamara’s express written permission is prohibited.