The Jekyll and Hyde Syndrome, as I define it is when you become the exact person that you detest. Why does this happen? Because you have unresolved underlying anger. We live in a culture where anger is misunderstood and maligned. Anger is not a bad thing. But it has to be utilized responsibly!
Anger is a secondary emotion. Meaning it is an emotion that envelopes the underlying primary emotion like fear, sadness, unworthiness, disappointment, rejection, pain etc. Think of anger as a protective shield that guards your inner, more vulnerable emotions.
Because anger is misunderstood and it is often misused most people avoid their own anger. They refuse to let it come up. Often this means that they also refuse to address the underlying primary emotion.
When you fail to deal with your emotions fully and responsibly, you become subject to the Jekyll and Hyde Syndrome. The Jekyll and Hyde Syndrome is a means by which you unconsciously try to deal with your anger and other unresolved emotions from your past.
Here are examples of the Jekyll and Hyde Syndrome in action:
Your former partner cheated on you. You cheat on your new partner.
Your parents were physically, verbally or emotionally violent with you as a child. You now engage in similar types of behavior as what was done to you.
You can’t stand people who exhibit victim-mentality yet you consistently blame others and abdicate personal responsibility for what happens in your life.
Note, there is no need to judge yourself if you are exhibiting these paradoxical behaviors. You simply have underlying anger that needs to be acknowledged and resolved in order to move forward consciously.
Here are some things you can do to resolve underlying anger so that you don’t inadvertently switch from being Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde:
1. Set aside 15 minutes to reflect on your anger. Open this sacred time with the following affirmation I am completely safe and I now choose to acknowledge and release any negative emotions that are trapped inside me. Take a deep breath and set the intention to be free from your anger.
2. Think of a recent situation where you felt angry. Replay the situation in your mind however imagine that you are observing the situation from a birds-eye view.
3. Welcome your anger. Allow it to come up. Remind yourself that you are completely safe.
4. Ask yourself the following questions:
a. What did this situation remind me of?
b. What did I need from the individuals involved?
c. What was happening to the individuals involved that prevented them from being able to give me what I was seeking from them?
d. How did I show up in the moment? Was there anything I could have done differently?
5. Based on your responses to the previous questions, notice what’s beneath your anger. What were the underlying more vulnerable emotions that your anger was trying to protect you from?
6. Send yourself what you were seeking from those involved in the situation.
7. Offer forgiveness to those involved by stating I forgive you for what you have done and I release this situation. Send them love.
8. Offer yourself forgiveness by stating I forgive myself for not being able to protect myself from the pain and hurt and I am free send yourself love.
Repeat this exercise as many times as necessary to completely work through your anger. Remember, healing happens in stages and layers. Consistently doing this exercise will help thwart the Jekyll and Hyde Syndrome. Don’t be afraid of your anger. Deal with it responsibly!