I’LL GET YOU
if it’s the last thing I do!
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3. OTHER Anger-EXPRESSIONS (cont)
RETALIATORY / revenge anger
This is another very dangerous type of anger – a primitive, destructive, violent response to anger, injury or humiliation from others. It can happen as a direct response to someone else lashing out at us, but our intuitive ‘logic’ about wanting revenge is often twisted, conflicted & small-minded. Sometimes the trigger is a real-world situation, other times it’s only a perceived wrong. Either way the intensity of our reaction will dependent on how much a current event reminds us of childhood hurts & disappointments. Actions include being over-harsh, refusing to forgive & forget, bringing up hurtful memories from the past….
Anger + Violence = REVENGE. Our reaction might be caused by a personal insult, by a company refusing to refund faulty goods, by a deceitful lover, a shattered illusion …. (SITE: “R- will it make you feel better?“).
Using ‘Violent Communication’ toward Intimidators / bullies can easily make them switch to the Revenge cycle, so the punishment doled out to the ‘Enemy’ (you) continues to grow. Anger or Revenge only encourages the problem, perpetuating the cycle of violence. No matter how much we want justice or pay-back, the cycle always ends in one person being a Victim. It never leads to a resolution.
When we sacrifice our time, money, dignity, needs, dreams…. for another, AND there is no acknowledgment or appreciation, & maybe no end in sight – anger is inevitable. Whether the sacrifice:
• is by choice, as in being a parent or elder care-taker, OR
• from co-dependence, as in trying to always please others & only getting ‘crumbs’, OR
• because of social /political /religious reasons, out of our control – anger is inevitable.
How we ‘understand’ & process that anger is what will make the difference in how we proceed with our lives. “STOP the Self-Sacrifice” // “Anger & maternal sacrifice“
This is typical of people who need a lot of attention & never get enough:
— compulsively try to cover-up their imperfections with perfectionism, & inevitably fail to live up to their impossible standard
— afraid to admit & express ‘weak’ emotions (loneliness, sorrow, fear….)
— are very sensitive to criticism, even in the form of helpful suggestions
— project their S-H on to everyone else (‘No one likes me’….)
— feel unable to live up to their responsibilities (family man out of work)
The anger comes from the WIC thinking that if others hurt us we must hurt them back, lashing out by ridicule, blame, criticism…. Naturally this will always backfire, our outbursts & loss of control pushing even loved ones away, & making us feel even more inadequate.
(“What is SHAME” post // The Shame-Rage connection)
SOMATIZED anger (Psycho-somatic)
Indirect outlets of suppressed anger/rage – also of depression, anxiety, great loss, PTSD…. – expressed physically (soma = body), with such symptoms as migraine headaches, ulcers, colitis, TMJ (tight jaw), big weight gain, immune diseases. Back pain is one of the more common, expressing a ‘lack of support’ in one’s life…… Denying our deep upset (hurt, anger, sadness…) about life’s circumstances can be played out in the Martyr role, suffering in silence, but always suffering.
INFO: Somatization is one of the oldest of all known psychological
diagnoses. The first reference we know of appears about 1900 B.C. in Egyptian documents, & was also commented upon by the Greeks. In its modern form, it was first defined by Briquet in France in 1859.
— The term Psycho-Somatic has been bastardized into meaning that the ailment is all in our head. Even when the suffering is connected to suppressed emotions, the pain in very real. But somatizers are more likely to try medical solutions instead of the psychological treatment they really need. This route is frustratingly unsuccessful, wastes money & time, leading to anger & depression.
VOLCANIC / exploding anger
One of the more dangerous types, it’s dramatic & unpredictable, a reactive way triggered even by minor stressors that are specific to that person. “Sudden anger” people zoom in from nowhere, blast everything in sight, & then vanish. This loss of control is a knee-jerk reaction, without the time to think or consider consequences, & so out of their conscious control (choice) at that moment. It can be set off by frustration, a perceived wrong or personal annoyance (a button).
They say & do things they may later regret, may even apologize, but by then it’s too late to take it back. AND – they swear they’ll never go off the deep end again, but they always do. These outburst of anger give them a surge of power & their escape route. It release all their pent-up unacceptable emotions – so they feel better – while others are left with the Spewer’s pain. Whether it’s mostly all bluster, or more abusive, constant use of this unpredictable style can lead to emotional damage, that can take a long time to repair – if ever.
EXP: Attacking PPT indiscriminately, dishing out unfair punishment, irrational arguments, lashing out or inflicting harm for the sake of it, over-indulging in alcohol, drugs or other addictions….
Note: Anger management tools have proven to be particularly effective with volatile anger.
NEXT: Anger myths #1