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Deprivation Anger

When Your Inner Toddler Throws a Fit

You're feeling deprived and you're up against an angry inner toddler throwing a fit. Not just pouting, but a massive, I will destroy everything meltdown.

One friend of mine, when diagnosed with Hashimoto's disease, felt deprivation anger at having to give up gluten. "Okay," she said, "I'll look for things with no gluten. Hello Swedish fish!" It's completely understandable that she would feel that way for having to give up something that is a mainstay in most Western diets. But she soon learned that drowning her deprivation anger in Swedish fish didn't help her feel better, it only made her feel worse.

Another friend was diagnosed as a type 1 diabetic at the age of 13. She became angry at her body and the things she would now need to do to stay alive. She was able to grieve the loss of "normalcy" and embrace what her life would be like with diabetes. She made peace with her body and even learned to love it.

“Indulging in the feeling of deprivation anger is one step on the way to finding the peace that can only come from accepting and allowing the emotion to be there.”

What does it mean to indulge in a feeling like deprivation anger?

Indulging in Deprivation Anger

Indulging in any emotion is letting it run wild, like a toddler having a fit. You coddle it and let it take over. You add fuel to the fire by finding evidence that you are deprived. You tell people how hard it is. You complain. You pout. You feel sorry for yourself.

Those feelings and actions are all natural and normal. Once you have had your pity party, it's time to step into the world as an adult again. It's time to find a way forward.

The best way forward is to acknowledge the feeling of deprivation anger. You accept the feeling, separate it from your thoughts, and give it a name. You explore it.

  • Where do you feel it in your body?

  • Is it moving and if so is it fast or slow?

  • Is it heavy or light?

  • Does it have a shape or a color?

  • Is it hot or cold or somewhere in between?

  • Is it steady or does it pulsate?

  • Does it energize you or sap your energy?

Then you remind yourself that this is the human experience of feeling deprivation anger. It is normal and natural. Nothing is wrong with this or any uncomfortable emotion. It's just part of being alive.

If you can accept and acknowledge your deprivation anger, you can have power over it instead of it having power over you. You can see it for what it is, part of being human. Nothing has gone wrong if you're feeling deprivation anger.

This is the most powerful tool I teach, to learn to fully feel your emotions. It changes everything about how you show up in the world.

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