Anger is a normal reaction to threats.
You may also express other people’s anger.
Anger motivates action! Anger is a problem if it motivates you to act impulsively,
or if it causes you to sabotage your relationships or occupation. Anger can
also empower you to challenge injustice and punish offenders. Yet anger
is also associated with heart attacks, ulcers and digestive problems.
I feel irritated most of the time at work … I tell my employees what I want, and
I tell them if they don’t do it well enough and that if they don’t work hard enough
I will fire them … I won’t let them take advantage of me!
When you are angry …
Is your anger temporary, triggered by some trigger or a crisis?
Or do you feel angry most of the time – seeking ways to express it?
Can you manage and control your anger? How do you react if you perceive:
- unfairness to yourself or injustice to others
- hostile intent: “(S)he only did that to annoy me“.
- disrespect of your thoughts, beliefs, feelings or needs
- criticism of something you identify with, e.g. your family, culture or religion
I was abandoned as a child. My mother was in hospital and my father worked
away from home. My grandmothers raised me. I am 47 now but my anger at
my parents fills my chest … it caused two heart attacks. Washington
Anger is a feeling, hostility is an attitude and aggression is a behavior. Although anger is often described as a negative emotion, evoked when a person cannot attain a goal or fulfill a need, most anger seems to follow a perception of injustice, either towards oneself or towards other people.
People expressing chronic anger often behave childishly and destructively.
If you can feel anger and remain adult, you can better decide how to respond.
Expressing your love includes expressing your anger.
If you cannot express your anger – you are incomplete.
Suppressed or Hidden Anger
If your anger and its consequences are problematic, you may hide your anger, but your subsequent stress may trigger depression, obsessions or compulsive behavior.
Angry people often damage important relationships, which may increase their anger … and their isolation. Withheld anger can also contribute to bedroom problems such asimpotence (erectile dysfunction in men and frigidity in women).
People who are afraid of their own anger may be called passive-aggressive. They may not allow themselves to feel anger … they hide or deny their angry feelings, perhaps even from themselves. They may be afraid that if they allow themselves to feel their anger, they will damage or destroy something, including important relationships.
- Grinding teeth – even when asleep
- Sleep problems and possibly nightmares
- Chronic pains in neck, heart, solar plexus or abdomen
- Sexual impotence – erectile dysfunction in men or frigidity in women
Sociopaths – Antisocial Personality Disorder
Sociopaths are people who do not appear to feel love, guilt, empathy or conscience, although they may express endless anger. Many appear to perceive people as things and they can manipulate or hurt people without guilt or remorse. (Unhappily, some politicians and salespeople fit this profile only too well.)
Many con-artists who market scams and perpetrate frauds are sociopaths. They can be charming – they may pretend emotions to better victimize people. They focus on their own needs with little or no regard to the consequences of their actions on their victims. Some are compulsive liars who disregard societal rules. Many are in prison.
Chronic Anger & Aggression
Angry people may justify avoiding responsibilities. While they may be physically ill, mentally disturbed or immature, if they do not express their anger themselves – another family or team member may feel and express that anger.
If a child decides that one family member is a victim, and another is a victimizer, that child may attempt to rectify the perceived injustice by expressing anger to theperceived victimizer.
(This often leads to a child identifying with a perceived victim, but does not mean that a child’s assessment of family dynamics is accurate. We notice that many people who act like victims express relief if a child seems to sense and express their hidden anger.
I have a short fuse. If I see anybody being victimized – I must do something.
My whole life is about protecting the innocent and punishing the guilty.
That is my life purpose … I’m a policeman. New Zealand
While many angry outbursts are triggered by injustice, other common triggers include:
Habitually angry people are often suspicious, while habitual victims are often passive-aggressive. People who feel compelled to rescue others may be experiencing leftover childhood emotions about needy family members who they could not rescue.
My husband thought he was a good manager, but he was angry with his staff
if they didn’t do things exactly as he wanted, and he was angry with them
if they wasted his time asking for details … he was the same at home
although he does seem much calmer since his sessions with you.
Are you often angry? Do you obsess about helping victims or punishing victimizers? Are you perceived as irritable, impatient and suspicious?
Understanding your anger is useful, but insight alone is rarely enough to change.
We help people dissolve their anger by dissolving the injustices that created it.