Anger – CATEGORIES : Righteous, Self-sacr, Shame (#13)


PREVIOUS: Anger Categories (#12)

SITE: Anger Disorder

• “Our Righteous Anger Addiction



RIGHTEOUS”/ Moral anger
a. ARROGANT – Those of us who believe we’re always correct – both for ourselves & for everyone else. This leads us to think we have the absolute ‘right’ to insist that others follow a set of rules – that are in our head. When people / groups / institutions break those rules, we get very angry. Such offenders are considered bad, evil, wicked, sinful – who need to be scolded, punished, & then taught the correct way to think & superioract. We rant at them or about them – mostly in speech, but also in writing & even sometimes with physical violence

• It gives us a sense of superiority because we’re convinced our anger is for a good cause – like unhealthy Enneagram #1s – we’re trying to ‘clean up the world’. We don’t see that our world-view is rigid & narrow, assuming everyone is or should be just like us (narcissism), & that others have their own values & moral codes, not like ours

When our behavior is questioned or objected to – we don’t feel guilty, but arrogantly justify it. Even if the objector apologizes & backs down right away, (although they are correct) we Righteous types may continue attacking the ‘wrong & wrong-doers’, & enjoy humiliating them for their ‘moral ignorance or laxity’

b. LEGITIMATE – In religious terms, Righteous anger means responding in accord with divine or moral law, & a justifiable decision or action from an outraged sense of justice or morality / acting free from guilt or sin.
√ More generally, ‘Righteous Indignation’ focuses on the ‘Higher or Greater good’ rather than based in self-centered motives. It comes from a sincerely desire to make the world a better place for everyone – not just ourselves.

fight evilWe see the injustice & evil around us & are inspired to fight for something greater than ourselves. Whether it’s a loved one or strangers in dire circumstance being unfairly treated or abused, it’s natural to feel angry, & healthy anger fuels effective action

√ It’s a reaction to actual abuse of power (something unjust, mean or unworthy), not to something that’s inconvenient, a hobby-horse (favorite annoyance we keep going on about), violations of social tradition, or paranoia
√ It is part of a group of healthy qualities – such as self-control, unwillingness to do harm, good boundaries, genuine care for the welfare of others, altruism….. (minus arrogance, self-pity, hopelessness….)

When we sacrifice our time, money, dignity, needs, dreams…. for another, AND there is no acknowledgment or appreciation, & maybe no end in sight – anger is inevitable. Whether the sacrifice:
• is by choice, as in being a parent or elder care-taker, OR self sactifice
• from co-dependence, as in trying to always please others & only getting ‘crumbs’, OR
• because of social /political /religious reasons, out of our control – anger is inevitable
How we ‘understand’ & process that anger is what will make the difference in how we proceed with our lives. “STOP the Self-Sacrifice” // “Anger & maternal sacrifice

This is typical of people who need a lot of attention but never get enough. THEY:
• compulsively try to cover-up their imperfections with perfectionism, & inevitably fail to live up to their impossible standardshame anger
• are afraid to admit & express ‘weak’ emotions (loneliness, sorrow, fear….)
• are very sensitive to criticism, even in the form of helpful suggestions
• project their S-H on to everyone else (‘No one likes me’….)
• are unable to live up to their responsibilities (family man out of work, sickly mother….)

Shame-anger comes from the WIC thinking that if others hurt us we’ll feel better if we lash back, by ridicule, blame, criticism…. Naturally this will always backfire, our outbursts & loss of control pushing even loved ones away, making us feel even more inadequate & ashamed.
(“What is SHAME” post // The Shame-Rage connection)

NEXT: Categories #14

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