Rage is a feeling that is socially not very well accepted in women. Women are not meant to get enraged, to become aggressive, or get loud during an argument. When releasing rage in that way, too fast women are labeled as bitchy or bossy. Hiding or suppressing your rage over a longer time period is however not very healthy either.
I confess (as a woman I have to confess :)) that I felt a lot of rage in my life, mostly in the face of injustice, discrimination and bullying. Sometimes the rage was so gigantic that I had a hard time finding an outlet for it. Due to the social norms I tried the suppression thing for a while only to notice that I was sitting on a powder keg and this can’t be the way to go. By not letting the rage out, I even tended to direct it against myself, which was a certain route to depression, so not a good option either. Suddenly (or let’s say after some long walks and therapy sessions), I noticed that rage is just a very strong form of energy that is simply channeld in the wrong direction. Rage is super power in many regards:
1.) If you get enraged, not the person or situation inducing the rage is responsible for it, only you are in charge, cause you produced the emotion. If you get enraged by a person, it simply means that the person has a lot of power over you and your emotions. Do you want to give away that power over you?
2.) Rage tells you a lot about yourself and your values. If you would not care about things, you would not become enraged. If you get enraged because you are not invited to a party, the rage tells you that “belonging” is a strong value for you. A more obvious example: If rage comes with a missing promotion, then carreer, money and climbing up in the hierarchy ladder seems to be important for you. And related to 1.): your rage also tells other people what matters to you, and if they are assholes, they might use that knowledge against you. Therefore showing your rage should be an option, but not showing rage should not mean not to feel it!
3.) If you would manage to channel the rage in another direction, it would be a super powerful engine to get things done. Let’s say I am super annoyed by my boss, and instead of fighting an argument that many times leads to nowhere I could rather use the rage energy and go run for an hour, or sit down and write a proposal or otherwise invest the energy into myself. Of course, there are many situtations when fighting an argument can be important, but most arguments are fought because someone wants to convince the counterpart that he/she is not right and has to adopt another opinion and in most cases convincing people that you are right is an effective waste of time. Next time you become enraged, give it a try to invest the energy that comes with it into something more fruitful.
From my own experience: redirecting rage is not always easy, because in the face of extreme rage your mind always wanders back to the enraging situation. But maybe the awareness about the positive and powerful aspects of rage and its energy can be a start. Being enraged does not mean being bitchy or bossy, it means you are strong, alive, energetic and you care deeply about something! To sum up: