Some angry people refuse to get help with their
anger because their anger works for them. They use
it as intimidation to control family members and
get what they want. These people are "Anger Outers"
which blast their anger outward in all directions.
They have learned that intimidation works so they
see no reason to do anything to change their behavior.
They feel better after their anger release and forget
what happened quickly. In their mind, the problem
is over for them, and they cannot understand that
others remain traumatized or hurt by their actions.
They do not believe that they have a problem and
that it is okay to get their anger out so that they
can feel better. They tell family members that it
is over, and they should just get over it. They
do not understand the hurt and resentment that being
yelled at causes their family.
Some people, who are stuck in their destructive
anger pattern, do not realize that there are other
options. They decide that is just how they are and
they can't change. Their closed mind makes any new
information coming in a threat. They usually do
not believe in getting professional help, as they
do not feel comfortable discussing their emotions
or admitting that they might be at fault. Rigidity
of thinking is discussed in The
Right Man or Right Women Theory on my web
People who express anger outwardly usually hook
up with "Anger Inners." People who turn their anger
inward suppress their anger, which results in anxiety,
poor self-esteem, bitterness and depression. Anger
Inners can become martyr victims who hold their
pent up anger down until it builds up in resentment
until it explodes out. After years of holding it
in, the stress of living with repressed anger can
add to physical illness.
Anger can be an energizing emotion. For some people
it is satisfying because anger may pull them out
of a blue funk temporarily and get them moving.
The adrenalin that is produced by anger can become
addictive. The hormonal high feeds their self-righteousness,
which can feel very satisfying. Some people seem
to enjoy the rush and arousal that their anger brings
up. They enjoy the chaos and a soap opera life to
People who use anger for adrenalin as an addiction
might resent attempts to get them to change. When
things become calm, they ratchet things up a notch
or two. When things get too dull, they orchestrate
some drama so they can feed that hormonal need.
They manipulate dramas and power plays to bring
excitement into the daily boredom of their lives.
They need to up the chaos in the relationship can
be created by the angry person or the partner. Prison
riots serve this purpose of breaking out of boredom
and producing adrenalin high for all involved. If
you have the kind of life that is characterized
by the guests on the Jerry Springer show, ask yourself,
"What am I getting out of this?"
E. Mavis Hetherington's research, which followed
up 1.400 divorced families, found that this volatile
lifestyle is one of the five major types of couples
who split up.
on my clinical experience, I would add one more category
of couples. I see couples where the man has taken
himself out of family involvement and lives his own
life pursuing whatever he pleases. He has not learned
skills of staying emotionally involved with the wife
and sometimes the children. He is basically selfish
and puts his needs first. He may seek his addictive
highs in work holism or in alcohol or drugs or even
in sports, but he is not there emotionally for those
he lives with. The wife then becomes silently angry
or starts to nag to get some of her needs met. For
more information on how men withdraw leaving the angry
wife feeling left out in the cold read Terrence Real's
book How Can I Get Through to You? Reconnecting
Men and Women.
marriages where the man is the head of the household,
and the woman's role is to take care of the home
and children. This type of relationship works
as long as the woman accepts the role of homemaker.
marriages where one partner wants to confront
and problem solve and the other denies the problems
and withdraws. These are two different ways of
dealing with the inner anxiety that discussing
problems brings. One chases to insist that they
must talk, the other says "Leave me alone." Of
course this leaves the pursuer frustrated and
angry. The Solo Partner: Repairing Your Relationship
on your Own by Philip DeLuca describes this
type of problem.
marriages where the couple have separate friends,
activities and interests. These are low energy
marriages where conflict is low but so is interaction
marriages where couples fight constantly and operate
at a level of extreme emotional arousal. These
soap opera lives go for the high, highs and the
low, lows. There is great chemical attraction,
volatile anger and passionate lovemaking.
marriages where partners work together to achieve
equality, respect and mutual support with both
partners being autonomous individuals who choose
to come together.
the Hair Trigger
on the Powder Keg of Anger
Anger plus poor coping skills to deal with it is
a powder keg of violence waiting to be set off.
So if you and your partner use contempt, nasty name
calling, belligerence, denial of problems, and withdraw
with stonewalling, your relationship will erode.
Healthier skills to express anger can be learned.
Anger does not break up relationships. It is HOW
you do your anger that creates problems between
people. Here are some of the sub skills of anger
that are missing in those people who use their anger
in hurtful ways:
of anger is intergenerational and has been passed
down from parents to children. You can learn to break
it in your generation. You and those you love can
learn conflict negotiation and fair fighting to deal
with the difference in opinion that come up in relationships.
You can learn to break into those hair trigger anger
responses and long-held grudges. You can learn to
let go of old hurts and practice loving kindness.
initial muscle tensions, temperature changes and
the adrenalin rush that signify anger and fear.
self-calming and stress management techniques
during an argument.
and identify body reactions, emotions and thoughts
during the beginning states of anger.
down the anger response by acknowledging the physical
cues of anger and breathing them though.
anger symbolically when it's not safe to express
into self-angering thoughts and use relaxation
techniques to cool self down.
deal directly with the problem and stop blaming
and express sadness, confusion and hurt lying
the threatening event and identify and break into
current angers and relate them back to old unresolved
present during threat or stress rather than lash
out or stuff anger.
the self-angering or self-depreciating meanings
given to threatening events.
self empowering statements to deal with life's
stressors (I can handle this. I don't have to
self esteem by changing inappropriate anger responses
to behaviors that help problem solve.
The bottom line is that people should be treated
with respect. You can learn and grow to find ways
to make your home a happier place. You and your
family can learn better ways of treating each other.
You will have to work at it. Creating a space where
people feel safe is the most positive things you
can do for those you love. As you create more respect
for of those all you touch daily, you change your
present and your future to a positive one.