PREVIOUS : Anger – Categories (#9)
BOOK: “Recovery from Anger Addiction” ~~ Verryl V Fosnight
OTHER Anger-EXPRESSIONS (cont)
▪️NARCISSISTIC (N) anger
The main N. trait is assuming everything is about them. They’ve created a complex protective facade needed to hide inner woundedness, even from themselves. The most severe Ns desperately need to protect this False Self, & can’t tolerate anyone who does or says anything to weaken or expose their facade. Everyone must contribute to bolstering the balloon they’re wrapped in – & woe unto anyone who doesn’t.
While Ns act like they’re confident & always know what they want, the defensive False Persona is in fact very vulnerable – covering deep anxiety from an unsafe childhood. Any threat to their image will bring up their rage, but they also resent being dependent on others for the ‘food & fuel’ to maintain it
They’re caught between the frustration of an all-consuming dependence on others for adulation, AND any perceived lack of subservience from their ‘subjects’, making them prone to outbursts. When they don’t get what they want they’ll either attack or cut others out of their life – with no explanation. (MORE….)
This kind of rage can be seen in many ways:
As Cruelty – putting others down to protect themselves, achieving a goal at other people’s expense, taking credit for other people’s ideas or work, demanding their own rights while violating those of others
As Grandiosity – showing off, being mistrustful, not delegating, being a sore loser, always wanting center stage, talking over people’s heads….
As Selfishness – only considering their own wants & needs, not responding to requests for help, not listening, **when ‘giving’ it’s only what they want or like to give, never considering what the other person actually needs (See all posts re. Narcissism -2021)
It surfaces when life’s demands are too much for us, so all emotional responses are more easily triggered. We can’t take any more – our plate is overflowing & we have no more reserves of patience or coping energy. This anger is an unhealthy response to the alternative to giving up, as in ‘learned helplessness’
It’s used to relieve stress, often by shouting & fighting. It can be caused either by:
▫️ a finite situation, like having a tight deadline, while having lots2 of other time-sensitive, important things to do as well, OR
▫️ life in general, like trying to find a job while many bills are due + caring for a sick loved one + struggling to raise children alone….
We are born with our own specific set of personality traits, such as: level of activity, distractibility, persistence, mood consistency, flexibility to change, intensity of reaction to + & – stimuli & nervousness level.
The last 3 – in their negative form – relate to how reactive we are to our experiences.
If we’ve inherited traits of rigidity, nervousness &/or over-sensitivity PLUS a difficult childhood, we end up more easily triggered by stress-events. Then to protect ourselves, we develop the need to control our environment – not seeing that the reaction comes from inside ourselves
• Reactors are more likely to feel insulted or treated unfairly. When something happens that brings up our anger, we’d rather push back right away rather than soothe away our hurt or deal with the issue in a reasonable way.
The automatic assumption is always that other people’s behavior causes our anger, & we want to get control back as soon as possible, to get relief.
AND – this pattern can become so ingrained & automatic, that it will even show up in neutral situations!
So there can be a lot of yelling, throwing things, slamming of doors, insults….which gets reinforced because in the short-term it usually lets us get our way. But what’s gained in immediate gratification is lost in long-term respect – being seen as volatile, harsh, & undesirable.
NEXT: Anger Categories #10