To Angry People Who
Recognize That They
Have A Problem
are a lot of mads out there! Some of them may be lurking
in you jumping out at the slightest provocation causing
pain and havoc in your life.
I'm getting the same letter from angry adults with
slightly different life stories. These letters center
around young women or mothers who are very angry.
And they fear hurting those they love and themselves.
Some are so sad that they are being angry with their
So I put this letter together to give you all advice.
This way you don't have to email me your specifics.
As I am doing more and more to reach out and help
people with my writings, I no longer have time to
answer individual letters for an hour and a half at
night after seeing clients all day and commuting to
So, after much thought and writing to many young people,
here is what I have to say to you.
Good for you for looking some way to deal with your
strong emotions. With hard work, you can find better
ways to express your anger. You are not alone. There
are thousands of women like you. Maybe you need to
start a self-help movement!
Dear E. and all angry young women and mothers!
It is surprising to me how many angry young women
like you are writing to me. Many of them come from
abusive homes where anger was expressed by the dominant
member often. I get two or three letters a day from
young women like you (some of whom are mothers who
are experiencing anger with their children) with this
You say you need help. Education is the way out of
anger--that and learning some good anger management
You may have had an angry parent in their childhood,
a dysfunctional family and/or an alcoholic parent.
Children in these families grow up feeling cheated
and angry. The children repeat some aspect of the
family pain such as misuse of anger. Reacting to stress
with anger is a learned behavior. Some even believe
that it is healthy to vent their anger. There is such
a cost to those who are "anger outers"-- blowing their
mads out on others. Venting just adds to the pain
of others and creates more tension in the household.
What you may be describing is generational anger.
A family's tradition of anger and abuse is passed
down from the parents to the next generation--the
children who grow up and pass it on to their children.
It is a bad family trait that does not go away until
someone decides to break the family tradition. You
may very well be that person!
The Drama Triangle is a well accepted concept in family
systems theory. The three sides of the triangle represent
the dysfunctional family with the aggressor on one
side, the victim on another and the rescuer on the
third. The rescuer can be divided into two different
aspect--the negative part which encourages the aggressor
either silently by not acting or by enabling them
and the positive part which tries to get help for
the members of the family.
Children in the dysfunctional family, school or neighborhood
setting take on or internalize the behavior of all
three sides of the Drama Triangle. Indeed, all of
us have these three components in us to some degree:
the angry aggressor or perpetrator, the one who has
been hurt by others and the part of us that looks
the other way when we witness negative behavior because
we do not know what to do. Stressors in a life cause
us to jump back and forth between the three roles
of aggressor, victim or rescuer.
Gerald Patterson's Coercion Model of Aggression says
that parents who lack parenting skills unwittingly
train their children to be angry. His research shows
that poor parental discipline skills and coercive
management practices cause escalation of child-parent
conflict and increase children's aggression towards
others. The child and parents elicit negative behavior
from each other. There is lack of choice in the coercive
family--there is one message "Do what the most powerful
member of the family dictates." Children feel helpless
and sense the lack of justice. Children are traumatized
living in a war zone under conditions of threat in
these families. They learn coping styles of coercion,
submission and enabling in an attempt to keep themself
So think of it this way. You caught your MADS (like
the flu) from your parents who caught it from their
parents, etc. You, however, want something different
for your life and your children.
The way out of the dysfunction is through education
and understanding. Understanding ourselves and breaking
into our learned ways of blaming others, trying to
control them through anger, withdrawal, and intimidation
are necessary steps to becoming a fully functional
human being. We can shift into more of the healthy
part of us that tries to gain resources to help the
system by learning about our anger.
You have the opportunity to stop it in your generation!
The only way I know of is to rise above the trauma
that came with living in your family. To do this,
you need education so you can know what is normal.
The classic, The Dance of Anger by Harriet Lernher
If one or more of your parents were alcoholics, read
Adult Children of Alcoholics and go to some Al Anon
or CODA meetings. Do a web search for this issue.
If one of your parents was selfish, read The Drama
of the Gifted Child by Alice Miller.
If you were spoiled in childhood and now get angry
when things do not go your way, read Children of Entitlement
on my web pages. Anger often goes along with entitlement.
If you are a giver who meets other people's needs
without getting your own met, read my book, The
If you yell and explode at others as a habit, read
The Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans.
My book How To Let Go of
Your Mad Baggage is a spiritual explanation of
how the energies of anger work. Anger is an energy,
an emotion and translates to behavior. This book helps
you understand that anger is a normal human emotion
and necessary for survival value of our species. It
discusses the different types of anger and how to
deal with the different kinds. Some angers need expression
in taking constructive action (MAD=Make A Difference!)
or by taking some form of social action to right the
wrong as in revolutions.
Go back to my web site and copy all the articles on
anger. Read A Primer on Anger and Whoosh! to learn
about other ways to do anger. Keep reading my web
DON'T GO IT ALONE, GET SOME
It's your time now to really learn about yourself
and how you substitute anger for the deeper level
emotions you must have lurking inside: hurt, disappointment,
shame, fear, etc. Depression is often common in young
people who come from a dysfunctional background. Depression
can be anger turned inward on yourself with constant
self blame thoughts. You do not have to go through
life with a depressed mood. You can learn techniques
to work your frustration and anger out and release
the hurt and pain and resulting depression that lie
underneath the anger.
Anger is like a reoccurring multiplication problem:
it keeps needing to be worked out. Learning how to
do your anger is safe, acceptable ways is a lifelong
challenge. I always say, "What better thing do you
have to do with your life than become a better person?"
Carl Jung said that what we do not bring conscious
in our life comes around to us as fate. In other words,
if you do not address your anger and work it through,
it presents itself to you whenever you are stressed.
You need help with getting better responses to stress.
If you are an "anger outer," there are other ways
to act rather than explode. I'd like you to connect
with someone who can help you and not see you as bad.
You will need someone to guide you as you do this
deep level work. A guide, a counselor or therapist.
Think of the person as your "anger management coach."
Talking about your deep feelings is necessary so get
someone to help you sort them out.
An anger management class might be helpful also. Co-dependents
of America (CODA) holds meetings to help people understand
the pain of their childhood. Al Anon gives good support
if you have family members caught in addictions.
And if you are having problems with disciplining your
children, take a parenting class. I recommend taking
a parenting class when your child is two and then
another one when your child hits adolescence. Some
parents take several classes to keep up their parenting
So if you consider yourself an angry person, you probably
are. Think about giving yourself a wonderful gift.
Get some professional help. You can't do it by yourself.
Talk it out with someone who cares about you as a
person. Education and talking about your feelings
is the way out of the old family stuff.
SO HOW DO YOU FIND A THERAPIST?
There are many new and exciting techniques to break
into anger, fears and negative thinking. The mental
health field is changing rapidly with the event of
the new Energy Therapies. Learn and use the different
release techniques that focus on positive intention
while working with your subconscious mind to create
relaxation and balance the energy in your body.
The Energy Therapies are highly effective in treating
and correcting negative emotions and self limiting
beliefs, reduce old hurts and create a healthy life.
They work with the body's energy system and relieve
emotional pain. They provide release, insight, changes
of negative beliefs and shifts in biochemistry. Many
of them are based on meridian theory of Chinese Acupuncture
and use acupressure. You can learn to apply these
techniques at home on yourself! They are effective
for stress, confusion, anxiety, phobias, depression,
addictions, trauma, Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome,
guilt, anger, physical pain and enhancing performance
These are new controversial therapies because the
research on them is just coming in. These techniques
are extremely effective. There are thousands of innovative
clinicians the world over using these techniques who
are dancing with excitement at the efficiency and
rapidity of relief from symptoms that the Energy Therapies
Go to these web sites to check our these innovative
approaches that are so easy to use. You can get referrals
for your area from most of them. These innovative
approaches are so effective that you could do them
via phone long distance with a trained therapist.
provides a quick, easy way to release anger, negative
emotions and thoughts. Gary Craig's website provides
in-depth information on incorporating EFT into one's
life. Gary is my hero! He features the "Palace of
Possibilities," an extended set of essays on living
well and using energy psychotherapy methods as a part
of eliminating unconscious obstacles to success. You
can learn to do the Emotional Freedom Technique on
yourself at home via videotapes. I use EfT more than
any other technique to help people resolve their stuff
Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)
Gary H. Craig
P.O. Box 398, The Sea Ranch, CA 95497
Go to the site Just Poke It
and do that exercise over and over again. Keep doing
it until you can't come up with any more reasons for
being angry. If other emotions come up, tap on your
collarbone, around your wrists and ankles. This tapping
technique is a short version of EFT which helps you
relax. Go back the next day and do it again. And again.
If you research this technique at Gary's web site
and like it, you can send me a self addressed envelope
and ask for a free handout on The Emotional Freedom
Callahan Techniques , Ltd.
78-816 Via Carmel
La Quinta, CA 92253
Roger Callahan is the originator of the energy techniques
with Thought Field Therapy which uses tapping on acupressure
spots to release energy blockages. It is very useful
with anger and other out of control emotions.
Tapas Acupressure Technique
P.O. Box 7000-379
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
TAT (Tapas Acupressure Technique) is the sweetest
technique. I use it daily and see people change. It
focuses on the holding of points on your head while
you breathe deeply into the upset place in your body.
It is an accelerated information processing technique,
useful in the treatment of traumatic stress, allergic
reactions, and fixed negative emotional states. It
is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine but there
are no needles, only feelings of relaxation!
P.O. Box 51010
Pacific Grove, CA 93950-6010
I teach this technique to every client for them to
use as a stress reduction method. Eye Movement Desensitization
and Reprocessing, uses movement of your eyes while
concentrating on your problem and your body's tension.
The problems starts to shift as your eye movement
causes new pathways in your brain to open up.
If you do not have insurance, call Information and
Referral at 1-800-642-3021. They can give you their
local number that will provide you with agencies that
provide counseling at a low cost or for free. What
you do in life is up to you. Challenge yourself to
be the very best you can be. Be ever vigilant about
catching your anger and breaking into it. You can
learn to stop negative beliefs and self depreciating
YOU CAN LIVE A LIFE WITHOUT LIMITATIONS IF YOU ARE
WILLING TO CLEAR ALL NEGATIVITY.
LIVING WITHOUT SELF-IMPOSED LIMITS CAN GIVE YOU AN
EXCITING LIFE. GO FOR IT!
You are worth it! Your family is worth it!
Keep reading my pages until it really sinks in.
You deserve some peace in your life. And only you
can make it happen.
And here is a typical response from a young woman.
Thank you so much for writing me back. I am starting
to see, I guess that it isn't shameful to feel this.
I really appreciate you taking the time to write and
help open up that bleak end of the tunnel a little
wider. I've never heard of generational anger before.
That is very interesting.
And I never even thought of Dependents of Alcoholics
Anonymous. Thanks for the insight on that! I really
appreciated the section A Primer On Anger. That was
really insightful. Also the exercise Just Poke it
. . . I wonder if it will work for me?
I will definitely continue to read your site. I'd
have to say yours is the most informative, broad based
site I have seen that talks to the inner child, the
one that is hurt. Other sites seem to speak sort of
from a professional psychological soapbox point of
view DOWN to the sick person. I feel more comfortable
reading your site. And everything fits me.