ACoAs – What about ANGER? (Part 4)

angry b. womanI 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 (usually) has to do with close relationships – hurt from being let down by family members & friends, or that these people expect too much without giving much in return

anger (usually) 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 goals or objects being blocked, like a toy taken away or having to stop playing at bedtime…..
BUT also about being abused & treated unfairly (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 many ways 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.

Anger words & their opposites are used in language as : ➡️

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 it’s 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:raging bull
a. Avoidance: by distancing from a person or group, we don’t get rounded / balanced info about them, which – if we had – might likely change our perspective and emotions

b. Intense Anger, contempt, disgust, the quick-conditioned limbic responses (E), which the cortex (T) doesn’t have time to check for accuracy
cIntense 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. Dictionary def: Habit of mind & Heat of passion, especially in the form of irritability, impatience, outbursts….

It can mean “temperament”, as in: having a calm disposition OR to be out of temper.
But it’s usually meant as an outward expression (action) of anger. In ACoA language, it’s our PP or WIC reacting to a present situation, based on old painful experiences.

❗️Anger is a natural response to aggravating / stressful PPT, but does not need to be acted on TOWARD someone or something – temper/angeronly acknowledged, felt & vented in safe ways.

However, when our judgment (T – the mental component) becomes clouded or distorted, the feeling (E) 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‘ shows ANGER & FEAR as 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 those mountains of “unacceptable” emotion, while some deep part of us knows we’re not completely honest.

Having to deny ANY part of ourself – to ourself – comes from a distorted, untrue 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.
See the: “Serenity Prayer backwards!”

FLOW CHARTS from Emotional Competency.


NEXT: Anger & the Brain (Part 1)

2 thoughts on “ACoAs – What about ANGER? (Part 4)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.