PREVIOUS: ACoAs – What about anger? – Part 2
SITE: Anger Management Source – MANY articles
QUOTE: Anger is the feeling that makes your mouth work faster than your mind. ~ Evan Esar
BIG PICTURE – It has been suggested that the 2 most basic human emotions are love & fear (Es), which underlie our thinking (Ts) & so our actions (As). All other emotions are considered variations.
FEAR generates : anger, anxiety, confusion, control, depression, guilt, hurt, inadequacy, loneliness, sadness, shame….
LOVE generates: caring, compassion, contentment, happiness, honesty, joy, satisfaction, trust…. (Diagrams in Part 4)
● Unconditional LOVE is the only source of self-esteem!
Healthy Love is what make a child feel safe. Love is the all-powerful healer of wounds. BUT – ACoAs did not experience a genuine sense of being loved, even if our parents said or thought they did.
How do we know this? Because of the intense fear under everything we think, feel & do – seen in our S-H, FoA…. (counter-phobia / addiction to excitement are defenses, not lack of fear). There was too much abuse, chaos, controlling, denial, judgement, lies, narcissism & neglect – to ever make us feel safe. Our main emotion was & still is FEAR. And sooner or later – fear always generates ANGER. Being constantly fearful – with no comfort, no relief, no explanations…. piles up & turns into RAGE.
Normally, all emotions are short-term, in-&-out reactions to some immediate event, & in this form anger is not a problem. In fact, modern psychologists view anger as a mature emotion experienced by everyone at times, having survival value. When understood & accepted, it can often be used to correct life’s imbalances, although not in every situation.
• But when painful ones (anger, fear, guilt, hopelessness, sadness, self-disgust, shame…) persist for days, months or years, our emotions have been stockpiled from many harmful situation, without having:
— permission to be experienced as true emotional responses toward abuse & loss we’ve lived thru
— anyone to listen to us, explain it (give it words) & comfort us thru it
— an opportunity to process the events, so we wouldn’t have to suppress or deny them
NOW, painful emotions are being held in place by toxic T.E.As:
(T) The WIC / PP’s thinking in the form of CDs, mental obsessions about something unpleasant/ unacceptable, without understanding our interaction or participation in the problem
(E) a pileup of unprocessed pain accumulated from old hurts & unmet needs; suppressing awareness of all that hurt, in order to keep going (denial)
(A) staying in bad or inappropriate situations we know are not good for us; continuing to live in deprivation (not enough company, education, finances, fun, love, rest, self-reflection sex, support….)
COMPONENTS of anger
— A Physical reaction, usually starting with an adrenaline rush, accompanied by increased heart rate, raised blood pressure & tightened muscles, ready to fight or flee.
— Cognitive, the way we experience & think about what’s making us angry, based on family, religious & societal rules AND all our own past / present experiences
— Behavioral, made up of a wide range of possible actions/reactions
HOWEVER – it’s important to remember that: anger itself is NOT an action! So many people write & speak if it that way – which leads to the inevitable assumption that since ‘angry actions’ are bad, one should not be angry. NOT so.
● There are positive expressions of anger, such as a way to set healthy boundaries:
— Verbal : “Don’t talk to me that way, That’s not helpful, Please move over”….
— Physical : putting a hand gently on someone’s arm, moving, walking away…..
SO – it is the action we choose which is either helpful or harmful, to us & others. Anger-actions can be measured on a continuum of extremes, <—-OK—->, from too little to too much. Ideally we want to stay in the mid-range, only going very hi when appropriate, or very low when necessary.
CLASSIFYING anger REACTIONS
in bi-valance <–> form (opposite extremes):
• Behavioral: from withdrawal TO antagonism
• Direction: inward to oneself TO outward to others
• Duration: brief TO decades long
• Frequency: rarely TO very often
• Impulsivity: out of control TO being in control of it
• Intensity: from weakest TO strongest
• Locus: from inside oneself TO always effected by outside events
• Modality: verbal TO actions (behavioral, cognitive, imagery, interpersonal, sensation…)
• Objective: from doing most harm TO the most beneficial
• Reaction: from appropriate TO outrageously inappropriate
(based on work by Ephrem Fernandez )
EXP: In a work setting, the bi-valence (+ TO -) of how anger is ‘allowed’ to be expressed is often determined by each company in the form of directives. These rules will identify & measure degrees of what can be expressed in the work setting (what & how much to say) & what is not (physical actions).
FROM: “A dual threshold model of anger in organizations” (PDF) by Geddes and Callister
NEXT: ACoAs – What about anger? – Part 4