PREVIOUS: Anger – Styles #4
BOOK: “How to BE ANGRY“ (for kids & teens) – and ACoAs??
1. HEALTHIEST : ASSERTIVE anger
Being able to express anger appropriately comes with mental & emotional maturity – an aspect of self-respect, confidence & personal integrity – without family-driven CDs. This form is realistic because it’s in response to genuine offenses or injuries in the present, rather than a cover-up for old wounds & grievances which are projected onto other people or situations. We’re able to respond in the moment, whichever way is appropriate to the present situation.
It includes being able to evaluate any upset from the perspective of:
— knowing our rights, thinking before we speak, being patient, not raising our voice unnecessarily
— really trying to understand what others think, need & are experiencing, which shows we care about ourselves & our relationships. Ultimately the (ideal) goal is to achieve a WIN-WIN experience for all concerned. EXP: Being Self-PROTECTIVE
Being in our Adult Ego State allows us be in charge of our behavior (no matter how strong the emotion). Not afraid to admit when something bothers us, we can think of a rational, constructive, respectful approach before saying or doing anything.
Also, this gives us time to listen with an open mind to another’s point of view or explanation, and we can talk with confidence in a non-threatening way to help deal with a problem
• Constructive anger is assertive – it’s not held on to but released safely, allowing us to act in a positive way to remove obstacle from our path. It comes from a persistent attitude to push forward to solve a given problem rather than run from it. The underlying belief is:
“I have a responsibility to protect myself & my rights. And,
I respect others as fellow human beings, but not always how they behave”
• Constructive anger can actually help relationships grow & be more intimate, because it doesn’t get buried & come out in distorted, abusive ways. We can be honest with others about how we feel – direct & self-respecting, making ‘I’ statements, rather than blaming or attacking.
This allows others to know who we are, & when there’s something they can do or change, to help improve the connection.
EXP: “I feel angry when you …”
• Constructive anger is also a key factor in moving people to join political & social groups, marches, crusades….. It’s about being fed up with how badly things are going & the need contribute to positive change. (MORE…..)
Anger is PROACTIVE
🔸 When we’re trying to disconnect from an abusive narcissist (N.), anger is absolutely necessary to successfully escape. Anger overrides fear…. so allow yourself to feel angry. Show that anger.
If you’re trying to go ‘No Contact’ with your N, feel your anger. Sit in it. It could save your sanity & maybe your life, as well as those of your children, if you have any. It will motivate you to do what you need to do.
• That does not mean being abusive or resort to name-calling, but it does give us the impetus to take action. Anger, unlike depression or despair, is a dynamic, take-charge emotion that helps us make a stand, fight back, & get away.
IMP: Put your empathy on the back burner:
Eventually we can developed a level of empathy for narcissists because they have an illness, & they do suffer.
But when you’re trying to disconnect, it’s better to hate them, even seeing them as monsters or demons. Save any empathy for later, when you’re stronger & safely away from the abuser(s).
❖ You cannot afford to have empathy for a narcissist WHILE you’re trying to get out of their clutches.
(Modified from – The Lucky Otter’s Museum of Narcissism)
NEXT: Anger categories (Part 2)