What appears to be anger on the surface can really be a confused jumble of aggression, depression, frustration, disappointment, resentment, and more. Primarily, underneath stress there are two to three other emotions which are being lost in translation: fear, sadness, and shame.Typically, fear and sadness are identified the most but with some confusion for someone who is experiencing anger. Why would being sad or being afraid cause someone to be angry? Shame is a word with which many can more readily and easily identify when it comes to those other unclear emotions. For example, someone might have been taught that they are not allowed to feel sad. Children see emphasis on this sentiment through forms of abuse like “I’ll give you something to cry about” or simply being told not to cry when they are sad. Developing shame around emotions like fear and sadness complicates the relationship to them, as well as the ability to express them. Out of what is usually a frustration of suppressed emotions which are rooted in shame, comes anger.
Making Peace With Anger
Practicing techniques of mindfulness and non-judgment is helpful in recognizing that anger is neither good nor bad and that it is impermanent. All emotions are passing experiences within which is an immense amount of knowledge. Rather than feed into anger and relate to it as its own entity, thereby making it stronger, it is important to simply observe the anger and try to understand it. Anger isn’t spontaneous, it isn’t a personality trait, and it isn’t uncontrollable. Unfortunately, most are unaware of the fact that anger is a natural response, even when it is extreme.
If you or a loved one are struggling with an anger management problem, there are some simple guidelines for approaching the subject and suggesting help. Use feeling statements and “I” statements as opposed to accusations, which might set off more anger. Attempt to express love and concern rather than any personal anger or blame. Point out that the anger is not the problem and treatment or therapy can help uncover any underlying issues. Anger management can be done through specific programs, general treatment programs, or with a therapist.
You will not be angry for ever. Anger doesn’t have to keep putting stress on your relationships and ability to feel at peace with yourself. If you or a loved one are struggling with anger and are in need of treatment, call LEAD Recovery Centers today for information on our partial care programs: (800) 380-0012.