Where does anger come from:
Anger is an emotion. It stems from issues in your past that are both unresolved and unforgiven! These feelings are buried deep down inside you and cause you emotional and physical harm.
Anger comes from a past environment of confusion, chaos and lack of communication between family members. If you have seen your parents become angry, on a regular basis, you will perceive this behaviour as normal and are more likely to adopt the same method of inter-action yourself.
Anger is a habit that is rooted in our sub-conscious mind. It is a formed pattern of behaviour that is firmly established. A pattern of behaviour/ habit can be changed. Anger is based in your own fear and insecurities and a belief that you are, or have been wronged.
It is important to understand that there is a positive side to anger. Healthy anger is part of the basic belief system that stems from a ‘high frustration tolerance level’. Anger used in its positive sense provides us with the drive to attempt and accomplish difficult tasks we perceive as threatening or unattainable/out of our reach. It motivates us to push ourselves that extra mile in order to achieve the unachievable! Positive anger is an essential element in our lives. Without it we are lethargic, hopeless, unmotivated and negative. Positive anger gives us the energy to tackle situations/obstacles/opportunities that are challenging. It allows us to expand our boundaries and take risks.
Healthy anger stems from a set of healthy beliefs:
Is part of the belief system that stems from a ‘low frustration tolerance level’. Therefore, when faced with any situation that you are unable to understand or deal with, you resort to anger. When you resort to anger you are actively engaging in threatening and/or frightening people in order to push them away, and not engage in the conversation or set of circumstances that presents itself. You do this because you are unable to participate in healthy discussions that you cannot control.
Unhealthy anger stems from a set of unhealthy beliefs:
A need to control Rejection Lethargy
A dislike of criticism Failure Hopelessness
Resentment Intimacy Unmotivated
Jealousy Incompetence Unintuitive
Envy Inadequacy Unperceptive
Fear Lack of education
10 Steps on how we use unhealthy anger
• To get our own way
• To sabotage ourselves and others
• To frighten someone into submission
• To control people, situations and outcomes
• To shift blame from ourselves
• To show disrespect
• To criticise
• To intimidate
• To victimise
• To bully
Step 1: To get our own way:
This is wanting to and having total control. Putting yourself first at any price! Being selfish! This individual is frightened of what would happen if he/she didn’t have total control. They are scared that, if they are not in control of all situations and people nearest to them, their circumstances/life could change dramatically and they would be left ‘high and dry.’ They have no basic self-respect or like themselves and believe they are not liked or respected by others and, therefore, they have a desperate need to stay in control in order to keep and preserve what they have. They feel they are failures!
They manipulate those people closest to them by any method that works for them by, i.e.,
• Menacing behaviour
• Coaxing and cajoling
• Luring you into a false sense of security
• Walking out (as if never to return – you wish!) – he/she will be back!
• Violence (as in slamming doors, stamping around the house)
• Body language (large and looming over you)
• Physical Violence (when this occurs, or if there is a strong probability of this happening in your relationship – GET OUT!)
In my opinion, this type of person is only respected by people who know them on a superficial level. This controlling type can be friendly, talkative and interesting in professional and social situations. It is only when someone oversteps the self-imposed boundaries of the controller, that outsiders will spot that the person is intolerant, aggressive, rude and threatening.
Example: Some years ago I saw a patient who told me that his wife had forbidden him to visit his longstanding friend (he had been friends with this person for 20 years). The reason his wife had, initially, given was that she did not, personally, know his friend and had never been invited to visit him. She was angry and felt excluded from the relationship and, worse, accused him of having a homosexual relationship with his friend. She was very angry and aggressive whilst discussing this issue, which caused a major disruption in the household. Whilst my patient could accept the point his wife made regarding feeling excluded from the long-standing friendship, he could not, and would not, accept the accusation that he was conducting a homosexual affair with his friend. However, he discussed this issue with his friend and, despite the inexcusable remarks, an invitation was extended to her to ‘call in any time’ for a chat. This offer was unacceptable to my patient’s wife who felt that she was being fobbed off as no definite invitation date had been extended. My patient continued to see his friend (once/twice a week) popping in for a coffee and a chat. It was a ridiculous situation and he felt guilty doing something without his wife’s knowledge. However, he felt he needed to make a stand on this issue. On one occasion when he was visiting his friend, there was a knock at the door and his wife appeared on the doorstep. My patient’s friend invited her in to his home for a coffee but she refused and was very hostile, angry and rude. She had called in to the friend’s house on the pretence to tell her partner that she was going somewhere and would not return for a couple of hours. What she was actually doing was making her presence felt in the most threatening and intimidating manner. She left her husband in no doubt of the confrontation that was to follow later. She was, in other words, menacing him!
My patient was totally embarrassed and fearful of the outcome! He had experienced this behaviour many times, by his wife, and had always made excuses for her and accommodated her outbursts. He loved his wife and wanted a successful marriage but he also wanted to ‘hang out’ with his friend and be able to ‘shoot the breeze,’ occasionally, as they had done prior to his marriage. It wasn’t as if he went out for a drink with his friend and met other people he had previously known! This situation totally disabled him, describing his reaction to the event as feeling ‘weak in the knees,’ having a dry mouth and unable to have a clear, logical thought in his head. He couldn’t stay at the friend’s house after this incident had occurred and left immediately following his wife in an attempt to offset the inevitable major argument that was to follow. This act of scurrying after his partner only added fuel to his partner’s fire as the wife then knew that her behaviour had achieved its required result. To get her own way!
Negative Options on how to deal with someone always ‘getting their own way.’
• Do anything you want behind your partner’s back!
• Try and coax, cajole and beg your partner to agreeing with you.
• Tell the truth at all times (in the full knowledge that the outcome will be anger), and put up with the consequences
• Enter into lengthy discussions about the innocence of your intentions (usually to no avail)
• Give him/her support at any price
• Love him/her more, and dance to their tune, to show and prove you could never, or would not want to be, without them
• Give in and submit all the time
• Give up on having a life of your own
• Fight ‘fire with fire’ and retaliate with anger
Positive options on how to deal with someone always ‘getting their own way.
• Be still – do not react – let them ‘run out of steam.’
• Do not be provoked, whatever they say
• Stay in control of YOU
• Devise a plan of action (the outcome you want to achieve)
• Stay focused on what you want
• Say nothing, other than giving answers such as, “I am not responding to you because I don’t know the answer yet, and can’t give you the answer you want at this time.”
• Continue (quietly and unobtrusively) to follow your own plan and do your own thing (this will give you confidence and raise your self-esteem)
• Encourage open and honest discussions during quiet, peaceful, relaxing times
• When there is an easy flow of conversation, taking place between you, assess whether it might be an appropriate time to air an issue causing you concern, i.e. “when we argue I feel unable to respond to you because you shout and frighten me with your presence.” This admission, gently said and repeated over many months, might eventually sink in and he/she might decide to start listening and stop shouting.
• Decide to change yourself (taking small steps and making small changes at first). This will provoke him to responding to you in a different way. If this is done slowly there will be a positive result as shown in my book, a 10 step-guide called, ‘My Way’ (how to live within a difficult relationship). This guide is an empowering strategy for change in relationships.
• Decide to leave him/her
Excerpt from: 'MY WAY TO HELP YOU DEAL WITH SOMEONE ELSE'S ANGER
'Lynda Bevan lives in a picturesque village in South Wales, United Kingdom. She is 60 years
of age, married for the third time, with three (adult) children. During her teens and early twenties she pursued and enjoyed acting and taught at local Youth Centres.
Her 20 year career has involved working, in the area of mental health, with the two major care agencies in the UK, Social Services and the National Health Service.
After the birth of her third child, and with her second marriage ending, she became employed by Social Services and climbed through the ranks to senior management level with some speed.
During her career with Social Services she developed a passion for counselling and psychotherapy and worked extensively with mental health patients, within the organisation, setting up counselling projects in the Primary |Health-care Setting to tackle the issue of doctors who referred patients, inappropriately, to Psychiatric Hospitals for therapy for events that arise in normal everyday life, i.e. divorce, anxiety, depression, bereavement, stress, loss of role. It was during this time that she became involved in marital/relationship counselling and, coincidentally, was experiencing difficulties within her own relationship. The experience of working in this environment, and her own relationship issues, enabled Lynda to be innovative; creating methods of coping and developing strategies that enabled her and, consequently, patients to live within their difficult relationships. These strategies were devised and offered to patients who had clearly identified that they did not want to separate or proceed with the divorce process.
After taking early retirement from Social Services, she became employed by the National Health Service, as a Counsellor in the Primary Health-Care Setting. During this 10 year period in her career she began using the strategies, she had developed, with patients who were referred for relationship counselling and who did not want to end their partnership/marriage. This strategy (10 step guide) has been used extensively over a 10 year period with impressive results.
Lynda has lectured on the PGCE Course at Swansea Business Institute teaching counselling skills to post-graduate students. She has also run workshops on self-development and psychodrama at Swansea University.
Lynda is presently employed as a Manager of a charity that provides services and supports people who are HIV positive or who have AIDS. She is also the Resident Relationship Counsellor on Swansea Sound Radio.