You are a really good person. You are that person in the grocery store who allows others to go before you in the check-out line. You smile and greet others as you pass them on the street. You even wake up on some mornings with an optimistic thought that today is going to be a really good day. However, it is not two hours into the day before someone else interrupts this pleasant mood. And before you know it, your anger has taken over; an anger that lashes out and hurts those you don’t intend to hurt. Whether it’s emotional or physical, you are angry and there is nothing you or anyone else can do about it.
Well, there are ways to self-regulate your anger or undesired mood. The question is not “How do I control my anger?” But a more effective question is “Where does my anger come from?”
In therapy, the expression of emotion, whether positive or negative, is a welcomed component towards healing and peace. So as it pertains to anger, it can ironically be considered as a “gift” in the exploration of self. Yes…I said it. Anger is a gift.
Anger is a
G = Guilt
I = Inferior
F = Fear
T = Trauma/pain
The source of your anger greatly depends on your thoughts and reactions to a perceived injustice. And that injustice can trigger emotions from one of the four sources above. Anger can be a very surface emotion, so ask yourself, “Where is my anger really coming from?”
- Do I blow up with my spouse because I feel guilty about the undiscovered extramarital affair?
- Do I lose my cool with my children because I really wish I could provide more for them?
- Do I lash out at others who make me feel small and insignificant?
- Do I overreact when others dismiss me and I feel disrespected?
- Do I choose to be angry with others out of fear that they may reject me?
- Is anger my emotion of choice with my loved ones, because I feel overwhelmed and afraid of failing in my responsibilities?
- Do I become angry whenever a situation triggers past and unresolved painful events?
- Does my anger hide my true feelings of vulnerability from past hurts?
Blowing up, losing your cool, and setting the record straight may make you feel empowered in the moment. However, lingering feelings of ineffective emptiness are what you are left with. So the next time you are angry, STOP and THINK. Where is my anger coming from? What am I really feeling? Once you discover the true face of your emotions that are hiding behind the mask of anger, you are well on your way to functioning in a more healthier manner and living a new thought.
If your spouse, boss, or a judge has insisted you take anger management classes, call today to register for our class.
4 responses to “What’s behind my anger?”
Thank you for sharing the idea that anger is a GIFT. I will start sharing the concept when I work with clients on uncovering the roots to their maladaptive behaviors.
I think this is a really effective way of thinking of my anger. Right now, I am feeling inferior and taken for granted by some close friends. This reminds me to look at the triggers and identify if it is something real or perceived and address it the problem as appropriate based on that determination. Thanks for the refocus.
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Thank you for this particular article, it blessed me just this morning, and I had used it before I even read it and found after I had read it I had done the correct thing. so it was very refreshing to me and needed.