COVID-19 has drastically changed life for many in the United States. Six months into lockdowns and social distancing, the concept of the pandemic has become more normalized, but that doesn’t mean adjusting to it is easy.
Both the public and official responses to coronavirus have been polarizing and emotionally charged. Topics like mask-wearing and school closures have led to heated debate and discussion—even damaged relationships.
If you are finding yourself angry when thinking about COVID-19 or how other individuals or institutions are responding to the crisis, you’re not alone. Chances are your anger is an indicator of something you might not be directly acknowledging.
Here are three things your anger could mean:
- You’re afraid. Anger can sometimes be a response to fear. If you’re worried about the health or safety of yourself or loved ones, you might also experience anger towards those who don’t seem to be taking the pandemic seriously.
- You’re grieving. Sadness and grief are sometimes hiding underneath anger. If we don’t feel it is safe or appropriate to express grief, we may cover it with anger so we can express our dissatisfaction without appearing vulnerable. There is much to grieve during this pandemic, such as the loss of jobs, social time, and many recreational activities.
- Your boundary has been crossed. Anger is often an indicator that a boundary has been crossed and that we would like something to change. Sometimes we get angry because we need the energetic incentive to voice our needs and advocate for ourselves. Beneath anger is sometimes a direct request we are unsure how to make.
This is a challenging time for everyone, and a range of emotion is completely normal and expected. When you’re feeling angry, try to see if it might be related to one of these underlying causes so that you can get the appropriate support.
VentSpace is a free, anonymous app where users can express their thoughts and feelings without repercussions and get support from other users going through the same thing.