Much “ado” about Anger?

Anger is a good thing. What we sometimes do with it can be not so good.

So why do I feel angry enough to hurt people instead of angry enough to state what I need that I am not getting?

There’s many answers to this self reflection:

Maybe you had one anger response modeled to you by those people you wanted to love and trust growing up.

Maybe the primary way you saw people deal with anger was to hurt others. That’s certainly what you would learn from media sources.

Maybe you have no way of talking about when you are scared or hurt or offended. Or you do know about that but you don’t do it because when you did a long time ago someone hurt you for speaking up or seeking help.

Maybe anger is the only time you feel powerful enough to matter to anyone. It certainly gets people’s attention. (Not in a good way typically.)

Maybe you expected a different outcome than the one you are experiencing now.

Maybe anger is something you are experiencing when an inner part of you realizes you are wrong about something that you are not willing to admit to yourself or another you are wrong about.

Whatever the reason you got to where you are with anger, some solutions might be:

1. Practice recognizing and then stating your own limitations to others (saying no; and I would if I could but I can’t; helping someone find help from someone who doesn’t have my limitations)

2. Tell people they are hurting you and they need to stop and do something differently.

3. Walk away.

4. Talk with trusted people about when you’re scared.

5. Talk about expectations for the current situation [and situations in the past like this] and what your options are when expectations go unmet.

6. Violently bite an apple [repeat with chewing and ingesting until satisfied].

7. Chat with me sometime and maybe we can get to the bottom of your anger and what might work better for you and those you love.

Whatever solution ends up helping you out, realize that anger is a momentary emotional state [MES] not an eternal hopeless fate [EHF]. — With anger you may be in a MES, but you’re not EHF’d. —

As many therapists will tell you, anger is a “secondary emotion”. So identifying and amending a primary relationship boundary violation or identifying and re-framing other triggers in the environment tends to work more effectively in the long run. I mean you could always ignore the reasons and put the angry person where they won’t affect you. Like jail or something. That keeps them from hurting those outside of jail I suppose. However, when [or if] they are released, they may not have learned what to do with anger. Maybe you are okay with them being consigned to that fate. But if the form of discipline does not teach them what they need to know about engaging in a healthier [and preferably non-violent] form of anger, the same misuse and misunderstanding of anger perpetuates [and often escalates]. Anger, like pain, needs to be learned from and managed, not banished.

I wonder how this applies to other emotional states that may be difficult to manage?

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