Anger – CATEGORIES (Part 2)

geen a.b. 

to turn the anger inward

PREVIOUS: Categories (Part 1)

SITEs: Self-Loathing // Anger turned inward


Anger-EXPRESSIONS (cont.)
2. MOST HARMFUL: SELF-ABUSIVE/ S-H anger (80-90% of us)
This form is anger at ourselves (self-blame) for not getting our needs met – being abandoned in one or more PMES ways in childhood. It is most harmful because it not only undermines the self-hater, but poisons everyone & everything around them. It is the most common form of anger, but the least acknowledged, since most people suppress the awareness of it in themselves.

• It is expressed in all 3 T.E.A. forms – hurting ourselves with cruel, self-torturing Thoughts, Feeling excruciating self-loathing, & Doing self-destructive things or let others harm us. In it’s simplest form, self-hate (S-H) is the child’s belief that “everything which caused me pain in childhood – was my fault.” As adults – because of low self-esteem – the person decides it’s ‘safer’ & easier to be mad at oneself than at others.

• All children automatically conclude they cause their pain (especially when it’s continual) because they assume they’re the center of everything, & therefore everything that happens to them is about them. A child’s logic says that “if I had been ‘good enough’, my parents would have provided enough of what we needed – acknowledgment, comfort, information,
love, safety, support…..head monster

FROM the CHILD: S-H can start in infancy. Babies & young children have all kinds of habits, needs & emotions that parents prohibit &/or punish: being angry, demanding, greedy, jealous, needy, sloppy, ‘thoughtless’ …. which teaches us that parts of ourselves are unacceptable & have to be cut away. This creates a rejection of our True Self. “I’m not good enough, & never will be” becomes a core belief.

FROM the PARENTS: Very damaged family members actually tell the child outright that they’re being shamedunlovable, too much trouble, worthless…. Parents who are rejecting, neglectful, shaming, over-demanding, overprotective, overly punitive, overbearing…. insure a child’s S-H.
This kind of mis-treatment can result in a child being compliant (‘good girl/boy’) or rebellious. In either case, it inevitably leads to depression & rage, which mask a deep fear, with a feeling of emptiness, drowning out other happier emotions.

BELIEF: S-H is a way to not feel powerless & vulnerable, starting at a time when that was our reality in life. The child decided, consciously or not, that “Since I caused the thing or person to hurt me (somehow my fault), then I can/have to change myself & them, so I can feel better.” And not being able to change the people or situations in our environment added to our S-H, seeing ourselves a total failures! However, we did NOT cause our early suffering, & so could not have cured it (the 3 Cs).

— Dorothy Block, in the intro to her book “So the Witch Won’t Eat Me”, explains how children turn their rage at their abandoning parents in on themselves, assuming that simply having the emotion of rage will kill them, as punishment for being potential murderers!
— Dr. Rubin, in “Compassion & Self-Hate” gives a detailed picture of the many ways this anger is used against ourselves, as well as the opposite.

Self-INJURY – One form of turning anger on ourselves is physically harming our own body (the A of TEA) – such as cutting, overeating or starving, pulling out hair, hitting ourselves or banging our head…..
— to feel something, because having shut down on all the agony of childhood abuse & neglect, we go senf-harmnumb, & that’s as unbearable as the pain we’re trying to avoid (consider how upsetting numb hands or feet are)
— to punish another person for triggering our abandoned pain, to show them how much they’ve hurt us
– to punish ourselves for something we’ve done wrong (getting angry, making a mistake, upsetting someone, not being able to control an outcome….)
BUT what we believe to actually be ‘wrong’ – is being born!

Science has proven that anger-addiction is real – because of the adrenaline surge, increased heart rate & blood pressure – which makes us feel alive, even euphoric. (see Anger & the brain– #2).
Because such people have not learned other ways to feel good, they become dependent on their anger. They will often create a crisis or look for jobs & relationships which provide the rush of excitement they ‘need’. They may look for ways to be offended & opportunities to pick fights – pouring more fuel on the fire – creating conflicts wherever they go. (MORE….)

• As with substance addicts, people who needs a daily anger “fix” can get antsy & irritable or lethargic & bored – when it’s not available. They feel mental tension & physical discomfort, so that when the craving is finally satisfied, they experience some relief. So it’s a vicious cycle – the more the brain wiring is reinforced, the more the anger-produced chemicals are strengthened.

Anger-high is used to elevate depressed mood, & release pent-up emotions. It anger addictiongives the ‘adrenalin junkie’ a sense of being in control, & covers up other emotions like fear, frustration, hurt, sadness… Anger is forceful, so it’s used to re-gain a sense of power & status, but without the internal assurance of being safe & worthy. They need intensity, so their anger takes on an all-or-nothing pattern, but the relief is short-lived, often followed by a nasty emotional hangover, & creating more problems than it solves.

(The Anger Addiction Cycle w/ chart) //  Anger-Junkie Test
Why anger feels so d— good: Anger as a Neuro-chemical Way of Self-Soothing”

NEXT: Anger categories (Part 3)

Anger – CATEGORIES (Part 1

Screen Shot 2015-06-06 at 4.22.27 PM

hurting others with my anger is not

PREVIOUS: Anger – Styles #4

POSTS: What about anger? // ACoAs & Anger anger Pendulum

SITES: Use Pendulum & chart to identify anger style

Most people tends to use some or all of these mis-management styles at some point, depending on the situation & people involved. However, each of us chooses one preferred style (unconsciously & by family training) as our dominant pattern in daily interactions. So just switching styles is not the answer – except for the HEALTHY form of expression. In addition to the standard list, now we’ve added:computer anger
COMPUTER: Anger/rage at either software or hardware that’s not working or too complex
INTERNET: Flaming emails, being flooded with SPAM, abusive texts….
TRANSPORTATION: Road-rage & drive-by shootings

NOTE: The following ancient story has to do with the harm we can inflict on others by our angry verbal & physical actions – NOT the harm in the emotion of anger itself.

ZEN STORY: There was once a young man who was as tired of his fits of rage as were those around him. He’d get mad at the most trivial things & then later apologize. The apologies stopped having any meaning because his behavior didn’t change. He was convinced that anger was ingrained in him, out of his control, & wondered why his loved ones couldn’t see that & accept him the way he was. Finally one day he pleaded with his guru for help & enlightenment.

“Take a wooden board. Every time you get angry, drive a nail in it. Come back and let me know whenchinese story the board is full.”
The man followed the advice religiously. Before long, in just a few weeks, not a bit of space was left on the board – it was full of nails. He looked at it & felt ashamed. He went back to his master to report.
“Now, make a conscious attempt to control your outburst and each time you succeed, take a nail out of the board. Bring back the board here when there are no more nails in it.”

He agreed, but this took much longer – many months in fact – to clear the board. Eventually he experienced a sense of control over his anger & felt relieved on seeing the plank cleared of nails.
When he went back to the guru with empty board, he was told:
“Ah! I see you have cleared the board, but how dearly I wish you could restore it to its original state by somehow making these gaping holes disappear. The damage done in anger may be withdrawn like first nailing and then pulling them out, however, it can never be undone. A mark will remain forever.”

This form is realistic because it’s in response to genuine offenses or injuries in the present, rather than a cover-up for old wounds & projected grievances onto other people or situations. We’re able to respond in the moment, in whichever way is appropriate to the present situation.
Being in our Adult Ego State allows us be in charge of our behavior (no matter how strong the emotion). Not afraid to admit when something bothers us, we can think of a rational, constructive, respectful approach before saying or doing anything. Also, this gives us time to listen with an open mind to another’s point of view or explanation, and we can talk with confidence in a non-threatening way,& help in deal with the situation.

• Constructive anger is not held on to but released, allowing us to act in a positive way to remove obstacle from our path. It comes from a persistent attitude to push forward to solve a given problem.
The underlying belief is: “I have a responsibility to protect myself & my rights. I respect others an fellow human beings, but not always how they behave. This belief is expressed by being honest withassertive anger others about how we feel – direct & self-respecting, making ‘I’ statements, rather than blaming or attacking. EXP: “I feel angry when you …”

BOOK: “How to BE ANGRY (for kids & teens) – and ACoAs??

• Assertive anger can actually help relationships grow & be more intimate, because it doesn’t get buried & come out in distorted, abusive ways. It allows others to know who we are, & when there’s something they can do or change, to help improve the connection. Constructive anger is also a key factor in moving people to join political & social groups, marches, crusades….. It’s the feeling of being fed up with how things are going & the need contribute to positive change.    (MORE….. Scroll down to: “Anger as a ‘Safe’ Way to Attach in Intimate -ie. Vulnerable- Relationships”)

• Being able to express anger appropriately comes with mental & emotional maturity – an aspect of self-respect, confidence & personal integrity. It includes being able to evaluate a situation without family-driven CDs, knowing our rights, thinking before we speak, being patient, not raising our voice unnecessarily, & really trying to understand what others think, need & are experiencing. It shows we care about ourselves & our relationships. Ultimately the (ideal) goal is to achieve a WIN-WIN experience for all concerned.   EXP: Being Self-PROTECTIVE

• When we are trying to disconnect from an abusive narcissist (N.), anger is absolutely necessary to successfully escape. Anger overrides fear…. so allow yourself to feel angry. Show that anger. That does not mean being abusive or resort to name-calling, but it does give us the impetus to take action. Anger, unlike depression or despair, is a proactive emotion that helps us take a stand, fight anger over fearback, and get away.

• If you’re trying to go ‘No Contact’ with your N., feel your anger. Wallow in it. It could save your sanity and maybe your life, as well as those of your children, if you have any. It will motivate you to do what you need to do.
Put your empathy on the back burner:
Eventually we can developed a level of empathy for narcissists because they have an illness, & they do suffer. But when you’re trying to disconnect, it’s better if you hate them, even seeing them as monsters or demons. Save any empathy for later on, when you’re stronger and safely away from your abuser(s). You cannot afford to have empathy for a narcissist WHILE you’re trying to get out of their clutches.   (Modified from – The Lucky Otter’s Museum of Narcissism)

NEXT: Anger categories (Part 2)

Anger – Ways to REACT (Part 4)

heart brak anger 

of rage am I at right now?!

PREVIOUS: Ways to react (Part 2)

SITE: The Logic of Emotion

LEVELS of anger – Here are some variation:
1. Adam Blatner, M.D., lists 7 levels:Sanger matrix
(0) – Feel angry subconsciously but not showing it
(0.5) – Anger shown through subtle clues
(1) – Displeasure is shown without blame
(2) – A little more displeasure to elicit a response
(3) – Anger with a scowl or harsh words
(4) – Anger with loudness of speech and expression
(5) – Losing temper and getting into a rage, aggression

2. Elvis Dumervil gives us the Anger Matrix

3. Kassinove & Tafrate gives us a Thermometer
• All emotions are signals – that we need to pay attention & maybe take anA. thermometer action, ASAP.  Just like anger tells us that something is bothering us or that something’s really wrong. Knowing the various levels of Emotion Signals is a way to be in control of ourselves, but this has to be learned. The sooner the awareness, the more the control. THIS chart can be used to gauge our level of anger, so each feeling state can be expressed clearly & directly, using whichever word most closely identifies the correct intensity of your emotions in the moment. After considering the options, answer the following Q, with the Percentage Level: “When I consider what we’ve been talking about / what’s been happening, I feel__________”.

• Stress is a feeling state, & is a fact of life. When over-stressed, our ability to handle things goes down & the tendency toward anger goes up. We over-work, yet over-expect. Blaming ourselves – & others – for not being able to cope perfectly is totally unrealistic & based on one or more cognitive distortions (CDs). Sadly our culture rarely provides the permission to ‘do less’, nor the help needed to handle all that’s expected of us. It’s up to us to find as much support as possible & eliminate all the stress we can, in order to thrive.

4. Dr. DeFoore’s “Anger Management Techniques eBook” give us Anger ESCALATION levels (1 = LEAST 10 = MOST intense)
Level 1. Being cool, calm & collected. You may or may not actually be happy, but you’re definitely not angry, anxious or irritated.
Level 2. Slightly irritated or agitated, but not enough to bother you or effect your behavior. You can see the big picture when thinking about your problems. But it is hard to relax.

Level 3. The irritation & frustration is fairly high, & just starting to effect your behavior. It is almost impossible to relax & it’s getting harder to put things in perspective or have empathy for others.
Level 4. People are really starting to bother you, so you don’t have much patience, although you usually don’t say anything. You’re still stuffing the anger & don’t feel settled at all, but you can still focus enough to make good decisions.getting angier

Level 5. Now you’re ready to yell at that other driver, or call the people you’re mad at to give them a piece of your mind. You don’t act on the feelings & thoughts yet, but you are getting short & irritable with others, while still trying to be friendly. Starting to have tunnel vision.
Level 6. At this level, it’s just not fun anymore. You’re frustrated & angry at yourself & pretty much everybody else. Others are starting to notice that something’s wrong, as you get more short-tempered & easily annoyed. Your thinking may not be as clear as it usually is.

Level 7. You’re thinking stuff like “This has to stop / I can’t take this any more / I’m going to show them they can’t do this to me /They’ll get what’s coming to them…..” Your thoughts are racing (obsession) & you’re very tense. You need help.
Level 8. Now you’re coming up with a plan. You can’t take it any more, so you’re going to take action, because it feels like you have no choice. Something has to change. You’re not thinking clearly, &even though you know it might backfire, you’re thinking about retaliating.

Level 9. Now you are taking action – starting with yelling, threats & intimidation. You’re thinking about what more you can do to show them how angry you are, and how wrong they are. Your emotions are running you, without any logic. You really need some anger management help, but you probably don’t know it.
Level 10. At this level you’re dangerous to yourself and/or others – in fight mode, with your primitive brain in charge. You can only see one course of action (tunnel vision) & are single-minded about how to make the pain stop. You feel helpless & vulnerable, which is unbearable, so you’re desperate to hide it. How else but with anger & lashing out? 
Immediate help is recommended!

5. Anger Spectrum (see explanations)anger spectrum
Anger is experienced on a wide continuum -mild to extreme- with distinct levels that have different effects on us mentally, emotionally & physically (TEA).  The graphic illustrates this broad range of intensity, the triggers that correspond to anger as it increases and ways to deal with them. When we notice & acknowledge Red Flags (same as Emotion Signals) in ourselves & our environment, it helps us recognize when our anger is building. These signals allow us time to use anger management skills that we can learn, to keep our reactions from getting out of control.

EXP of BAD PARENTING: Scolding a young child “Don’t be a baby”. This means: ‘don’t have your feelings OR don’t let your feelings control you’. But since adults are rarely in control of their emotion – how can parents expect their children to be, especially without any guidance or example? (Bio-chemically & developmentally small children can’t anyway!)

Interesting fact: Children in many non-Western cultures are not expected to control their emotions until after age 6, when they’re trusted to herd animals, tend to younger children, & do other grownup work, including sitting still in school. Naturally, for those with physical of mental difficulties, it can take longer. BTW – ‘being in control’ always means having a choice, & in this case this includes being able to think before reacting.

NEXT: Anger Categories (Part 1)

Anger – Ways to REACT (Part 3)


when I can’t face my anger

PREVIOUS: Ways to react (Part 2)

SITE: “10 ways to change your habitual anger style

DEALING with anger – ours or others’ (cont)
5 Categories
1. Confrontation – see below

2. Depression = (internal), when anger is not dealt with, & gets turned inward at one self. The anger responsescombination becomes a vicious cycle that’s hard to break
• Lashing out can cause guilt & alienation, leading to depression,  OR
• Long-term depression can make emotions overwhelming, increasing the likelihood of anger outbursts. Breaking this cycle usually requires therapy & sometimes meds. Al-Anon & Spirituality helps too.  CHART by Don Lehman Jr.

3. Flight = (internal) running away from someone who’s angry or causing our anger. This can take the form of shutting down emotionally, physical paralysis, leaving the situation as soon as possible & avoiding angry people / situations permanently (isolation)

Sometimes our Flight response can encourage aggression in the other person, if they feel disrespected or abandoned, adding to our Fear/Terror, which can be very debilitating. This reaction in adults is:
— appropriate when there is a very real present-day abuser we need to get away from, which can be emotional & psychological, or a threat of imminent physical danger
— most often an inappropriate response to a current event – which may in fact not be abusive at all but is experienced that way – as a PTSD reaction from long-term childhood trauma

4. Fight = (external) a verbally or physically violent confrontation, either to what’s ‘causing’ the anger or to the angry person. Usually a Fear cover-up reaction, the other half the Fight-Flight response hard-wired into out brain for protection.fight reaction
— appropriate when we or someone / something we love is threatened
— not appropriate in most current cases (also PTSD)
• Some people accidentally step on our emotional land-mines & get blasted
• Some are perpetrators who use anger to get ‘a rise’ out of others, which many ACoAs will fall for, since we have hidden reservoirs of anger easily tapped into
• Unhealthy people who know us well, know our buttons & can always push them to punish or get back at us
• Narcissists can easily get us riled up because of their inability to consider us at all, as if we didn’t exist…….

5. Revenge = (external, indirect) is made up of retreating, in order to attack later (P-A = Passive-Aggressive), with obsessive planning in between -when deliberate, but can be habitual & unconscious. When considered consciously, these angry people first evaluate the possibility of winning or losing. Because of their emotional intensity, they can easily overestimate their personal power – getting into unnecessary losing battles (Fight).

Revenge & Fight responses are linked: Anger victims’ desire for revenge or mastery can cause them to also develop anger problems. Abused children:
— may vow to never again let themselves be vulnerable, becoming hostile to others on the theory that “a good offense is the best defense”
— may overgeneralize & want to take revenge on an entire group (all men, all minorities….), only some of whom may have actually harmed them
— may be reinforced & rewarded for being a bully, find that it helps raise their ‘street cred’ .   CHART (from Priest’s Helpline) cycle of REVENGE

• However, if emotion doesn’t overcome reason & they figure they’ll loose by a frontal attack, (Fight response) they’ll resorts to the P-A Revenge response.  Punishment is dealt out just as in the Fight response, but later – when least expected, perhaps in small doses & anonymously, or can come in disguised form.
Revenge is a type of retaliation for injury (real or not) & if one is truly in a powerless position, it’s may feel like the only option available to express their ‘displeasure’. Fight and Revenge responses often lead to increasing external damage, because each pour gasoline on the emotional fire.

#1. Compassionate Confrontation (in first chart) = the appropriate response in most cases, but is a rarely used ‘language’ in our culture being the hardest to implement at all, & on a regular basis.
— Depression & Flight responses are too passive, only encouraging the expression of Anger from others and cultivating Fear in us
— Under normal circumstances Fight or Revenge are an over-reaction & too aggressive, adding to the negatively charged atmosphere of Anger.
— Expressing anger in a compassionate & non-violent way avoids the need for the other 4 responses – in most cases. Instead of prolonging the Anger, appropriate confrontation will diffuse intense painful emotions & hostile behavior.

EXCEPTION: If having to deal with mentally ill people & pathological narcissists for any length of time – anger is ineragervitable. Their interactions are so toxic that Flight – in the form of physically removing oneself – is the only safe & wise course, especially when they unleash abusive rage at us or our loved ones. Also, we can put up a mental shield to protect our Inner Child from absorbing the rage-poison. It’s important to explain to the WIC that the rage is coming from their WIC, and is not about us.

Compassionate Confrontation may include:
— the right state of mind (step aside, like a matador facing a raging bull
— understand what’s going on with both sides of a dispute/issue
— arrange a meeting if possible (wait for a ‘good time’)
— talk about your observations & feelings, without ranting or blame
— actively listen to the other’s point of view
— try to find a win-win solution
* This process may have to be repeated more than once to work itself out.

NEXT: Ways to react (Part 4)

Anger – Ways to REACT (Part 2)

all tied up  

in my own inner red tape!

PREVIOUS: Ways to React (Part 1)

SITE: “Anger – The Hidden Anxiety Emotion

DEALING with anger – ours or others’ (cont)
1. Hidden anger
“Just because anger is hidden doesn’t mean it is harmless. Just because it’s under wraps doesn’t mean it is under control.”
For many of us, the need to deny the strength or even the existence of our anger is so powerful that we develop the ability to deny the anger even exists – unconsciously or by choice.

• “Anger is such a powerful coping mechanism that repression and suppression are not successful. The more you try to avoid it, the more time and energy you are going to spend with it. It’s a paradox.” says Seattle’s Dr. Roland Mairuo, MD. in his book “Controlling your anger….” (+ Bible references)
Burying anger doesn’t diffuse it, it just burrow underground, where it undermines our sense of self. The force of suppressed anger will find other, secondary outlets when not allowed out directly & appropriately,usually in damaging ways.

• Freud once likened anger to the smoke in an old-fashioned wood burning stove. The normal avenue for the discharge of smoke is up the flue and out of the chimney. If the normal avenue is blocked, the smoke will leak out of the stove in unintended ways…. around the door, through the grate, etc. choking everyone in the room. If all avenues of escape are blocked, the fire goes out and the stove ceases to function.
Likewise the normal, human expression of anger is gross physical movement and/or loud vocalization – just watch an unhappy baby sometime. (Checklist….)

2. Habitual Irritation
Physically, it can sometimes be part of untreated clinical depression, a side effect of drugs & alcohol abuse, or of some medications. Genetics & family mental illness can also play a part.
Psychologically, the underpinning comes from being shamed / neglected / abused…. as a child, creating deep-seated fear & sense of powerlessness. Our WIC assumes everyone is dangerous, & defends against them by a brittle layer of anger/rage. Repeated traumatic events, environmental stress & social / religious constrictions also contribute, which can prevent the sufferer from learning appropriate coping skills.

• Chronically angry/ resentful people (including wounded “Type A”s) have years of expecting to be disappointed & frustrated, so it doesn’t take much to react angrily to even small day-to-day stressful events. Chronic resentment* is an ego defense. The more fragile a person’s ego (missing a True Self), the more resentment is needed – more important than accurate info, truth & reason, reinforced by greatly distorted thinking (see list of CDs). *Resent (keeping track of injuries), from the Latin root : to feel anger over & over again.

• Always assuming & looking for the worst, & the resulting anger – become their default position. They tend to go through their days looking for a fight, seeing the worst in everyone & every situation. Stuck in a rut, these people usually become very predictable over time. The need to devalue others to protect themselves inevitably leads to verbal/emotional abuse & eventually to contempt & disgust in most or all relationships. Their toxic attitude keeps people emotionally & physically far away, which repeats the feeling of childhood abandonment. This reinforces their shame & so validates their un-lovability. Their constant reactivity creates leads to even more anger. They report higher levels of family conflict & less social support – because of the effect their anger has on everyone they deal with.

• cranky, curmudgeonly (Jeff Dunham’s WALTER) Walter
• perpetually cynical, bitter, judgmental, controlling
• dissatisfied with of everything, overly critical & judgmental
• passively resistant, interferes with progress
• Aggressive: overly critical, fault-finding, name-calling, sarcasm, cruelty, prejudice, cynical humor & teasing, flashes of temper or explosive rages
• Assaults: physical, rage, slapping, shoving, using a weapon
• Hurtful: malicious gossip, stirring up trouble, stealing, mean pranks
• Rebellious: indirectly challenging or open defiance
(Questions to ask oneself re. symptoms)

3. Explosive rage/ anger
A behavioral disorder characterized by unplanned explosive outbursts,
expressed in a hostile manner, verbally &/or physically, such as impulsive screaming. The reactions are triggered by relatively inconsequential
events, & are out of proportion to the actual situation.
However, some people do notice internal ‘warning signs’ before an outburst, such as tension, mood changes, energy changes…. but can’t stop themselves from reacting. (Wikipedia)
— Some people become anger junkies, who get off on the adrenaline rush of an emotional explosion, which gets reinforced if the barrage allows them to get their way, at least in the short-term

• Exploders are like a volcano, dormant for a long time, bottling up most or all their emotions, but when they finally erupt, hot lava spews emotional & sometimes physical destruction at anyone around. It will take a lot to push them over the edge, but when that line is crossed, the earth shakes & people run for cover. Their hurt & anger are suppressed, then eventually released or projected onto innocent victims (children animals, the iPhone….), erupting at objects or people who didn’t cause the original pain. EXP: “If you leave your jacket on the floor one more time, I’m leaving you!”

• The build-up usually comes from:
— long-term frustration about not getting one’s needs met in current situations (a marriage, a job….)
— long-term abuse /abandonment in intimate relationships (from parents, a spouse, s teacher….)
Never taught how to deal with a wide range of hurt – from irritation to assaults – they habitually swallow it until ‘stuffed’ & then let it out – inappropriately. Because people can’t feel empathy & rage at the same time, the exploder is more likely to say & do overly harsh things they later regret.

NEXT: Ways to react (Part 3)

Anger – Ways to REACT (Part 1)

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for expressing my anger!

PREVIOUS: Anger – Negative uses  (#2)

SITE: List of phrases about anger or conflict (date rape, hot-blooded, road rage, tit-for-tat….)

REMINDER: Click on ‘ACRONYM’ page for abbrev.

NOTE: The following posts give several versions of the BASIC ways to categorize how people react to their own or other people’s anger/rage (Unsafe ‘In or Out’ & Safe).

DEALING with Anger – ours & others’
A & C – OUTWARD : directed at other people, places or things
A. Indirect, sneaky or passive ways of taking out ones anger on others without admitting or dealing with it
C. Direct, being:
• Assaultive – physical, verbal & sexual cruelty
• Aggressive – attack on the other person’s identity rather than on their actions/non-actions
CHART:  ‘Captain Cranky
B. INWARD: anger is suppressed & used against oneself, for FEAR of:
— hurting / offending othersMY dynamics of anger
— being disliked / rejected
— losing control
— disobeying “Never get angry”
— the emotional intensity
— losing close relationships

It can be EXPRESSED as:
— anxiety, guilt, illness, tiredness
— any form of self harm
— lack of sexual desire
— all types of Self-Hate
— all addictive behavior
— whining, complaining
— little communication / quiet remoteness, depression

Anger RESOLUTION, finding direct ways to managing, changing or leaving problem situations, using the Healthy Adult ego state

ANIMAL Symbolism
This diagram contrasts the Ostrich (Passive), Rhinoceros (Aggressive) & Elephant (Healthy) ways of dealing with anger :
• Ostrich = ignore, deny emotion / • Rhino = attack, deny responsibility
• Elephant (best) = be calm, understand, negotiate, expressed by:
1. Knowing ‘anger-signals, from self or others, & then staying awake for their appearance
2. Using a variety of productive & safe ways to respond (Chart – scroll down)

One of these 3 anger ANIMALSprotocols:
• Face & deal with the problem
• Ask questions to have enough information to solve the problem
• Re-frame the situation – “What else could this mean?”
Don’t take criticism personally, but learn from it – if it fits
• Disconnect from ‘ego’ to be part of the solution
• Use the S.M.A.R.T. action plan to solve problems
• Ask yourself what you can learn from this situation
• Then let it go of the whole thing. Forgive yourself, if appropriate
ELEPHANT JOURNAL Article : “How anger serves us & How to let go”

MOOD MAPS can be used to become aware of our own anger & place to in relation to other emotions. (Chart)


CHART: A healthy expression of anger is one way to be assertive (not aggressive).
— Unhealthy expression is to dump anger – either at others or at oneself.
— Doing nothing with one’s anger is a form of suppression/denial & leads toanger reactions depression.

NOTE: Sounding FIRM is not automatically an expression of anger. It can simply mean being sure of something, determination or wanting to make a point.  This also applies to teaching, correcting & providing discipline, which is meant to guide & support.
— However, if you hear firmness, corrections or giving direction as an attack or put-down, when it’s not meant as such, the WIC will experience the same fear & weakness as if it were, based on childhood trauma.

NEXT: Ways to React (Part 2)

Anger – Negative USES (Part 2)

anger at selfNOTE to READERS: Here is Part 2
which I forgot to add in Feb!

REVIEW: Negative Uses, Part 1

SITEs: “Angry/negative people can be bad for your brain” (Mirror Neurons &  Emotional contagion).
ALSO: PFC & Mirror Neurons: The Arena of Shen & Hun?” (scroll way down) From Chinese medicine

BOOK: “IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING re. manipulative people

NEGATIVE uses of Anger (cont)
ISOLATION – being so angry at the way people are – disappointing, hurtful, thoughtless, unavailable…. (“The whole world sucks, so I’m not participating”)
FALSE POWER, to let us feel like we’re in charge of Self, others & life in general, when we’re actually NOT
ATTENTION – a negative way to be seen, heard, respected, feared….

ATTACKING – display of anger used as a weapon, but not necessarily from actually feeling angry: to intimidate, punish, destroy someone’s self-image, shock into submission

COERCION – use one’s position of power to dominate, force someone to back down, be quiet, do only what we want – against their will…. Bullies only win if they appear powerful AND the other side’s options are limited
— to mange or change how some else feelscontrolling
— to get our own way about something, at another’s expense
— to make someone feel guilty so we don’t have to
— keep trying to get someone to change for us (be what we want / think we need)

DEFENSE against:
— being abandoned (“if I keep finding fault & being angry at you, I can leave first”)
— others’ emotions, which can trigger Es in us we don’t want to feel / also against someone’s FEAR, which makes us feel afraid too
DEMEANING another to feel one-up or less vulnerable : make fun of, dismiss, degrade, insult, roll one’s eyes, shame, mimic….

DISTANCE: prevent others from getting too close, as false boundaries put up walls to protect our vulnerable inner self
— avoid physical &/or emotional intimacy
— blocks communication
DIVERSION / deflection – deflect someone’s attention away from:stop others
— a sensitive / painful topic
— info the person wants to hide
— a situations the person can’t handle or wants to escape /
— a personal weakness or limitation

Getting away with inappropriate anger creates & then reinforces a false sense of entitlement, an illusory feeling of moral superiority that can be used to justify immoral actions, with the belief that”the end justifies the means” (used to justify bullying, collateral damage, purges, terrorism…)

MANIPULATION – keep people off-balance, even if we’re not really angry, manipupation
— so we don’t have to do what they want, (but won’t admit it)
— are not able to give them what they want (afraid to say so)
— stop them from something demanding of us
— deflect their anger at us

— of our abusive/neglectful parents onto others OR
— projecting only negative outcomes into the future , about something we want or is imp to us & assume we won’t get it
PUNISHMENT / revenge, as payback for real or imagined injury

SEPARATION – inappropriate way to separate (cover FoA) – always starting a fight before leaving
— destroy other people’s boundaries (need for symbiosis)
— the needs of another – so we don’t have to deal with or provide them
— the emotions of others – so they don’t trigger our own vulnerability, & feel like we have to fix them (but don’t know how & don’t really want to!)

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