PREVIOUS: Anger – positive uses
SITEs: “The Downside of Anger”
• “Angry/negative people can be bad for your brain” (Mirror Neurons & Emotional contagion).
BOOK: “IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING” re. manipulative people
► ANGER :
1. Doesn’t happen enough
• Repressing our anger teaches others that it’s totally OK to be unkind & insensitive. AND, it also allows them continue being less socially & emotionally skillful, less socially aware & less valuable in society.
• Leaking it out indirectly teaches others that we’re not safe to be around, not emotionally skilled & not empathically aware
3. Lasts a long time – more than a day, for around 30% of people. It tends to go along with obsessions, Toxic Beliefs, CDs, S-H & difficulty with personal boundaries. For ACoAs, anger & rage often lasts for months, even years – with no resolution, because
• deny the depth & breadth of the anger, & the other emotions underneath
• are not allowed to feel angry at all, especially at our parents, or any abuse
• have never been taught how to express it correctly & productively
4. Expressed badly (unsuccessful/harmful): swearing, insults, shouting, using food or chemicals to calm down/numb out, giving the cold shoulder, retaliating, spreading rumors, malicious gossip…..
5. Over-reactive – the intensity of emotion & physical/verbal expression are out of proportion to the trigger – because the current incident stepped on a ‘sore toe’ from past abuse. And if others also get angry in reaction to us, things can easily escalate, often obscuring the original upset
6. Causes big problems. When situations which cause anger are not solved or walked away from, anger will build until there’s some kind of explosion, leading to trouble (being expelled or fired, arrested, injuring others, illness, bad relationships…)T.E.A. circles
BITTERNESS has been described as “the crusty disease that grow on unprocessed anger…. which has boiled, simmered, & then found so unpalatable that it’s been thrown into the deep freeze of our unconscious psyches.
Refrigeration doesn’t work well, as cooled anger turns to resentment & bitterness. It has an annoying tendency to leak out at inappropriate times, upsetting good relationships, disturbing our dreams & filling us with a vague discontent.” ~ Elizabeth Spring MA
RESENTMENTS are the mental version of anger – not the actual emotion. They’re obsessions recounting real or imagined hurts we’ve experienced, with no way to move past them
• According to Philosophy Prof Dr. R.C Solomon, U of TX:
– Resentment/ bitterness is directed at someone of higher status than oneself
– Anger is at those of equal status, &
– Contempt is at those of lower-status.
These are painful emotions which mainly harm us IF held for too long, but inevitably spill over onto others (targets).
√ The underlying cause of Bitterness (tree) is having suffered long-term abuse when one truly was or felt powerless to stop it
√ Resentment, which is focused on someone else, can be triggered by remembering a very upsetting experience at their hands.
√ When turned on oneself, resentment becomes remorse, & then S-H
• Unacknowledged hurts can take the form of: Animosity, Antagonism, Implacability (not appease-able), Hatred, Infantile Narcissism, Pathological Pride, Vindictiveness, Verbal, Physical & Emotional cruelty. (Explanations….).
Al-Anon reminds us: “(unrealistic) expectations are planned disappointments, leading to resentment.” There are many things in the present we can attach our resentments to, but all are smoke screens for the underlying pain of unresolved trauma.
NEXT: Negative Uses (Part 2)