PREVIOUS: Anger – Negative uses (#2)
SITE: List of phrases about anger or conflict (date rape, hot-blooded, road rage, tit-for-tat….)
See ‘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 & Safe).
DEALING with Anger
A & C – OUTWARD : anger at other people, places or things
A. Indirect: sneaky or passive – taking out anger on others without admitting or dealing with it
• Assaultive – physical, verbal & sexual cruelty
• Aggressive – attack on the other person’s identity rather than their actions/non-actions (CHART: ‘Captain Cranky”)
B. – INWARD: suppressed & used against oneself, for FEAR of:
– hurting / offending others
– being disliked / rejected
– loosing control
– disobeying RULE “Never get angry”
– the emotional intensity
– loosing close relationship
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
D. Anger RESOLUTION, finding direct ways to manage, change or leave problem situations, using the Healthy Adult ego state
CHART contrasts 3 symbolic animal ways of dealing with anger :
• Ostrich( Passive) = ignore, deny emotion /
• Rhino (Aggressive) = attack, deny responsibility
• Elephant (Healthy) = be calm, understand, negotiate, expressed by:
a. Knowing ‘anger-signals’, from self or others, & then staying awake for their appearance
b. Using a variety of productive & safe ways to respond (MORE….)
• Use the S.M.A.R.T. action plan to deal with issues:
• Face the problem
• Ask questions to gather relevant info
• Re-frame – “What else could this situation mean?”
• Don’t take criticism personally, just learn from it – if possible. Side-step the WIC’s reactions
• Then let it go of the whole thing. Forgive yourself, if necessary. ELEPHANT JOURNAL
CHART: Appropriate expressions of anger are a way to be assertive (not aggressive).
– Unhealthy: dumping it on others or at oneself.
– Ignoring: Suppressing it (denial) eventually leads to depression
NOTE: Speaking in a FIRM tone is not automatically an expression of anger. It can simply mean determination, being sure of something, or making a point. This also applies to teaching, correcting & providing discipline, which is meant to guide & support.
🌀 However, if your WIC hears firmness, corrections or being giving direction as an attack or put-down, when it’s not meant as such, you’ll experience the same fear & weakness as if it were, based on childhood trauma.
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.
• BUT – “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.” Dr. Roland Mairuo, Seattle MD. (+ Bible references)
Burying anger doesn’t diffuse it, it just burrow underground, where it undermines our sense of Self. The force of it 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 & out of the chimney. If this is blocked, the smoke will leak out in unintended ways…. around the door, through the grate…. choking everyone in the room. If all avenues of escape are blocked, the fire goes out & the stove is useless.
Humans are the same – if anger is suppressed, it leaks out anyway. If suppressed for too long, we become cold inside & hard outside.
Normal, human expression of anger is big physical movements &/or loud vocalization, as in unhappy babies.
NEXT: Ways to React (Part 2)