I NEVER KNEW ABOUT
all the ways to use anger
PREVIOUS: What about anger? #3
SITE: “Why we shout in anger” – a ‘teaching’
WOMEN’s anger has to do with close relationships – being hurt by being let down by family members & friends, or that these people expect too much without giving much in return
MEN’s anger tends to be more abstract – about strangers, objects that aren’t working correctly, & larger societal issues that prompt concerns about right / wrong. Also being one-down, disrespected, unappreciated
CHILDREN’s anger (young) tends to be about goal blockages & objects, like a toy taken away or having to stop playing at bedtime….. (MORE….)
Most ACoAs never learned to identify emotions – at all – much less when we’re angry. This also applies to those of us who are ‘big feelers / sensitive ‘emotionals’….because to survive we had to cut off large parts of ourselves.
This chart shows the way anger can be expressed, depending on the grammatical form being used. Not all the terms are ‘negative’ but are all related, for-or-against, falling into, or rising above.
DEGREES of anger
from most mild to most intense:
annoyed, irritated, cranky, frustrated, aggravated, agitated, miffed, peeved,
sulking, offended, bitter, indignant, exasperated, incensed, pissed, outraged, hostile, spiteful, vengeful, resenting, wrathful, raging, furious, ferocious & livid.
• Bitterness combines long-held unresolved (E) anger + (T) obsessions + CDs, therefore is both emotional & mental
• Hate – the emotional hardening of intense hurt + unremitting anger, because of constant stress without an outlet or practical options
• Self-Hate : Childhood Rage at parent(s) turned on oneself
Dr. Robert Sternberg (2005) suggests 3 things which contribute to forming & maintaining Hatred:
a. Avoidance: by distancing from a person or group, we don’t get rounded / balanced info about them, which – if we had – might well change our perspective and emotions
b. Intense Anger, contempt, disgust: this is the quick-conditioned limbic responses (E), which the cortex (T) doesn’t have time to check for accuracy
c. Intense Beliefs (negative, judgmental), hardened & rigid, which ramp up emotional intensity – used to justify denouncing, degrading or destroying the hated person or thing
• Temper is the broad term for expressing anger AND a state of mind.
It can mean “temperament”, as in: having a calm disposition OR to be out of temper. But it’s usually meant as an outward manifestation of anger. In ACoA language, it’s our PP or WIC reacting to a present situation, based on old experiences.
Dictionary def: Habit of mind & Heat of passion, especially in the form of irritability, impatience, outbursts….
Anger is a natural response to aggravating / stressful PPT, but does not need to be outwardly expressed AT someone or something – only acknowledged, felt & vented in safe ways.
However, when our judgment (T – the mental component) becomes clouded or distorted, the feeling takes over & dictates our actions (As), called ‘loosing one’s temper’ – seen in various forms of acting out, such as :
— breaking things, punching walls, verbal attacks, yelling…. OR
— neglect, ‘forgetting’, the silent treatment, withdrawal….
Plutchik’s ‘Wheel of Emotions‘ indicates that ANGER & FEAR are opposites. SO:
🥶 When someone is constantly fearful, full of anxiety, only seeing thru victim lenses, they are suppressing a great deal of anger
😡 Conversely, people who are mainly bitter, react too easily with anger & are generally ready to fight (even indirectly) – are suppressing mountains of fear, sadness & disappointment.
• Being stuck at either extreme is very harmful – to the individual, to their family & to the world at large. A tremendous amount of energy gets used to suppress mountains of “unacceptable” emotion, while some deep part of us knows we’re not completely honest with ourselves.
Having to deny ANY part of ourselves – to ourselves – comes from a gut belief that we don’t deserve to be treated well (loved, respected, comforted, successful….) & never will be – BUT we can’t help wanting it, to the point of obsession. It’s the Serenity Prayer backwards!
FLOW CHARTS from “Emotional Competency”.
NEXT: Anger & the Brain (Part 1)