PREVIOUS: Ways to react #3
SITEs: Managing anger-frustration
LEVELS of anger – Variations (cont)
5. Anger EXPRESSIONS (CHART by Don Lehman Jr ▶️)
PART 3 covers the first 4 responses (a-d) Fight, Depression, Flight & Revenge. Here is the last, & the only healthy one:
e. Compassionate Confrontation (in first chart) = the appropriate response in most cases, but a rarely used ‘language’ in our culture, because it’s the hardest to implement at all, much less on a regular basis.
√ Flight & Depression responses are too passive, only encouraging the expression of Anger from others & cultivating Fear in us
√ Fight or Revenge – under normal circumstances – are an over-reaction & too aggressive, adding to the negatively charged atmosphere of Anger
√ Compassionate & non-violent expressions of anger avoid the need for the other 4 responses – in most cases. Instead of prolonging the Anger, appropriate confrontation will diffuse intense painful emotions & hostile behavior.
EXCEPTION: If having to deal with mentally ill people & pathological narcissists for any length of time – frustrated anger is inevitable. Their interactions are so toxic that Flight – in the form of physically removing oneself – is the only safe & wise course, especially when they unleash abusive rage at us or our loved ones.
Also, we can put up a mental shield to protect our Inner Child from absorbing the rage-poison. It’s important to explain to the WIC that the rage is coming from their WIC, and is not about us.
Compassionate Confrontation may include:
• having the right state of mind (step aside, like a matador facing a raging bull)
• understanding what’s going on with both sides of a dispute/issue
• arranging a meeting, if possible (wait for a ‘good time’)
• talking about your observations & feelings, without ranting or blame
• actively listening to the other’s point of view
• trying to find a win-win solution
📌This process may have to be repeated more than once to work itself out.
6. Emotional INTENSITY (Adam Blatner, M.D. 7 levels)
(0) – Feel angry subconsciously but not showing it
(0.5) – Anger shown through subtle clues
(1) – Displeasure is shown without blame
(2) – Takes more irritation to cause a response
(3) – Anger with a scowl or harsh words
(4) – Anger with loud speech & expression
(5) – Losing temper, in a rage, aggression
7. Anger Matrix (CHART ➡️ re. Elvis Dumervil)
is the same 10 levels of intensity, but using fun statements to represent each
8. Anger SPECTRUM (MORE… scroll down)
Anger is experienced on a broad continuum -mild to extreme- with distinct levels that have different effects on us mentally, emotionally & physically (TEA).
The chart illustrates this broad range, triggers that correspond to anger as it increases, & ways to deal with them. These are some signs of escalation – when someone:
• starts pacing or fidgeting
• clenches their fists, or tightens / untightens their jaw
• suddenly changes body language or tone used during a conversation
• changes type of eye contact (psychological intimidation)
• forms the “Rooster Stance” – chest protruding, arms more away from body….
When we notice & acknowledge Red Flags (Emotion Signals) in ourselves & our environment, we can recognize anger building. These signals allow us time to use anger management skills that we can learn, to keep our reactions from getting out of control & deal with others
EXP of Bad Parenting: Scolding a young child “Don’t be a baby”. This means: ‘don’t have your feelings OR don’t let your feelings control you’. Since adults are rarely in control of their emotion – how can parents expect children to be, especially without any guidance or example? (Bio-chemically & developmentally small children can’t anyway!)
Interesting fact: Children in many non-Western cultures are not expected to control their emotions until after age 6, when they’re trusted to herd animals, tend to younger children, & do other grownup work, including sitting still in school.
Naturally, for those with physical of mental difficulties, it can take longer.
BTW – ‘being in control’ actually means having a choice, which in this case includes being able to think before reacting. (Posts : “Anger & the Brain” )
NEXT: Ways to react #5