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See ACRONYM page for abbrev.
SITE: Depression & Anger
3. OTHER Anger-EXPRESSIONS (cont)
We are born with our own set of personality traits, such as: level of activity, distractibility & persistence, mood consistency, flexibility to change, intensity of reaction to + & – stimuli & nervousness level. The last 3 – in their negative form – tie in to how reactive we are to our experiences. If we’ve inherited traits of rigidity, nervousness and/or over-sensitivity PLUS a difficult childhood, we end up more emotionally reactive. Then to protect ourselves, we develop the need to be controlling of others – not seeing the problem as coming from ourselves.
Reactors are more likely to feel insulted or treated unfairly. When something happens that triggers our anger, we’d rather push back right away rather than soothe away our hurt or deal with the issue in a reasonable way. The automatically assumption is always that other people’s behavior causes our anger, & we want to get control back as soon as possible, to get relief. So there can be a lot of yelling, throwing things, slamming of doors, insults….which gets reinforces because in the short-term it usually lets us get our way. But what’s gained in immediate gratification is lost in long-term respect – being seen as volatile & harsh.
Some reactors may also feel guilty – later & privately – ashamed that we didn’t control ourselves or knowing we hurt others. As an habitual way of handling things it’s also hard on the cardiovascular system, linked to elevated risk of heart disease. AND – this pattern can become so ingrained & automatic, that it will even show up in neutral situations!
Paranoia can be identified on a continuum, FROM mild & occasional (“I bet she’s talking talking abut me”) TO severe & continual (“I know they’re watching me thru the tv”).
In the present, it’s the Paranoid’s irrational assumption that they’re somehow in danger, but can’t quite put their finger on it, or prove it.
They see it everywhere – others are out to get them, take what’s theirs, want to humiliate them socially, or attack them in some other way. As a result
The fear/terror comes from a deep sense of insecurity & powerlessness, which generates a lot of anger. Instead of admitting the rage, they project it out onto the world, believing everyone else is angry, so they can be too – without guilt. Their fury is disguised as self-protection.
The origin of paranoia comes from the experience of being in very real & continual danger growing up. As children they were double-binded, manipulated & controlled to the point of never being able to trust their own thoughts & emotions, much less anyone else’s. As a result, their ability to process & evaluate correctly is flawed or no-existent, confusing their own motives & emotions with those of others. They see their own anger reflected in the eyes & words of their friends, mates & co-workers, without realizing it’s a mirror. This leaves everyone confused.
A person internalizes the expression of anger when he or she avoids dealing with the situation that contributed to feelings of anger. The underlying belief is that “I must never make anyone else uncomfortable, disappointed or displeased…. but it’s perfectly acceptable if I am”.
— This include feeling anxious, being emotionally dishonest, helpless, invisible, manipulated, secretly angry at self & others
— Some hints: Let others choose for them, are inhibited, self-denying, always on the losing end of win-lose, only accidentally or indirectly get what they want
Sad IRONY – Other people will eventually become frustrated with the Passive’s wishy-washy-ness, costing them respect & credibility. They are never fully trusted because no one can tell where they stand. Also, others may feel guilt or superiority – for taking advantage of that weakness.
— Obvious outcome: The Passive’s rights are continually violated, & everyone else achieves their goals – at the Passive’s expense
No actual result is what the Passive assumes their self-denial expects – which is for people to approve of & want to be with them.
Their disappointment generates a lot of anger – which have to stay hidden. However it can still show up – indirectly – as being resentful, holding a grudge, spreading nasty rumors, turning a cold-shoulder……
The “P-A ACoAs” posts give a full description. This category is also called:
Leaking – stockpiling resentments toward someone, & then talking about them behind their back with others who agree with us, doing things we know upsets the one we’re mad at, gossiping, muttering under our breath
Sneaky – never let others know we’re angry, much less to what degree, but it shows up anyway, usually by withholding – actions, communication, emotions…..and then acting innocent & hurt, asking with a puzzled look, “Why are you getting mad at me?”
Underhanded – trying to get revenge for injustices to our ego by sabotaging the specific ‘enemy’ we’re angry at, rather than randomly abusing whoever is near by. In this case we use little acts of ‘mild’ aggression, in what we think are socially acceptable ways – being late, making belittling side-comments, complaining to others about them….
NEXT: Anger Categories (Part 9)