I HAVE LOTS OF OPTION
for expressing my anger!
PREVIOUS: Anger – Negative uses (#2)
SITEs : The Logic of Emotion
✦ Emotion Wheel app
✦ List of phrases about anger or conflict (date rape, hot-blooded, road rage, tit-for-tat….) ✦ See ACRONYM page for abbrev.
NOTE: The following 5 posts give several versions of the basic ways to categorize how people react to their own or other people’s anger/rage (Unsafe <—-> Safe)
1. DYNAMICS of Anger Chart
A & C – OUTWARD anger at other people, places or things
A Indirect: sneaky or passive – without admitting or dealing with it
• Assaultive – physical, verbal & sexual cruelty
• Aggressive – attack on someone’s identity rather than their actions/ non-actions
B INWARD: suppressed & used against oneself, for FEAR of:
• losing control
• being disliked / rejected
• hurting / offending others
• the emotional intensity
• losing close relationship
• disobeying RULE “Never get angry”
• too little communication / silent remoteness, depression
D Anger RESOLUTION, finding direct ways to manage, change or leave problem situations, using the Healthy Adult ego state
2. ANIMAL Symbolism
⬇️ CHART contrasts 3 ways of dealing with anger :
• Ostrich (Passive) = ignore, deny emotion
• Rhino (Aggressive) = attack, deny responsibility
• Elephant (Healthy) = be calm, understand, negotiate – expressed by:
a. Knowing ‘anger-signals’, from self or others, & then staying awake for them
b. Using a variety of productive & safe ways to respond (MORE….)
Use the S.M.A.R.T. action plan to deal with issues:
• Face the problem
• Ask questions to gather relevant info
• Re-frame – “What else could this situation mean?”
• Don’t take criticism personally, just learn from it – if possible. Side-step the WIC’s reactions
• Then let go of the whole thing. Forgive yourself, if necessary. (from the ELEPHANT JOURNAL)
3. MOOD MAPS – used to notice anger & in relation to other emotions
Appropriate expressions of anger are a way to be assertive (not aggressive)
• Unhealthy : dumping it on others or at oneself
• Ignoring : Suppressing it (denial) eventually leads to depression4
NOTE: Speaking in a FIRM tone is not automatically an expression of anger. It can simply mean determination, being sure of something, or making a point. This also applies to teaching, or correcting & providing discipline, which is meant to guide & support
🌀 However, if your WIC hears firmness, corrections or being giving direction as an attack or put-down, when it’s not meant as such, you’ll experience the same fear & weakness as if it were, based on childhood trauma.
4. Three TYPES of Anger
“Just because anger is hidden doesn’t mean it’s harmless. Just because it’s under wraps doesn’t mean it’s under control.”
For many of us, the need to deny the strength or even the existence of our anger is so powerful that we develop the ability to deny our anger even exists – unconsciously or by choice
• BUT – “Anger is such a powerful coping mechanism that repression & suppression are not actually successful. The more you try to avoid it, the more time & energy you ahave to spend with it. It’s a paradox.” Dr. Roland Mairuo, Seattle MD. (+ Bible references)
Burying anger doesn’t diffuse it, it just burrow underground, where it undermines our sense of Self. The force of it will find other, secondary outlets when not allowed out directly & appropriately, usually in damaging ways
• Freud once likened anger to the smoke in an old-fashioned wood burning stove. The normal avenue for the discharge of smoke is up the flue & out the chimney.
If this is blocked, the smoke will leak out in unintended ways…. around the door, through the grate…. choking everyone in the room. If all avenues of escape are blocked, the fire will go out & the stove is useless.
Humans are the same – if anger is suppressed, it leaks out anyway. If suppressed for too long, we become cold inside & hard outside.
Normal human expression of anger is seen in big physical movements &/or loud vocalization, as in unhappy babies.
NEXT: Ways to React (Part 2)