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Anger  

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(@tariq-juneja)
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Joined: 1 year ago
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06/11/2018 3:54 pm  

My first topic that I have been thinking about for a long time is anger.  I want to explore what this emotion means, how it manifests and ways to deal with it, learn from it and even remove it.  However I also do not want to shy away from times when it is appropriate and what the different responses in those situations are and how they maybe be different to an inappropriate emotional state of anger.  

What is the root of the word - Anger

Middle English: from Old Norse angr ‘grief’, angra ‘vex’. The original use was in the Old Norse senses; current senses date from late Middle English. 

There seem to be many ways of dealing with it - as a signal to change or respond to something that is happening in ones environment that has made one behave this way.  Shadow integration in NLP seems to deal with this to a degree by working on identifying the symptoms, reframing and naming the outburst in an attempt to change it.  Buddhism talks about the need to smother it and its impact for the betterment; at least that is my understanding.  Another approach I have used is the setting up of a chain of NLP anchors to move from an angry state to a more reflective and then resourceful productive state.  I look forward to any ideas on good approaches to dealing with anger.

 

 

 

 

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/anger

https://healthypsych.com/psychology-tools-what-is-anger-a-secondary-emotion/

This topic was modified 1 year ago by tariq.juneja

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(@dshields)
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26/12/2018 6:04 pm  

I've just read some work by Hans TenDam and he says the following on anger and expressing emotions:

"Therapy is not just processing after-the-fact, but also healing and strengthening courage and realism in general. We suppress emotions and delay processing them because we are reluctant or we are hardly aware of them. Or because we carry repressed experiences and emotions of an even earlier time with us." 

In regression therapy you want the client to express the emotion, such as anger so that it releases its emotional charge. First find out the reason for the anger existing, and work through the catalyst or origin of it and then you can experience the anger. This goes for many emotions too, such as grief, sadness or guilt. 

"Particular forms of anger we can hardly express if we want to remain civilised. But the more we repress our anger, the harder it is to express it eventually without becoming childish or brutish. Civilised anger begins by expressing it explicitly and clearly and by quiet, unyielding presence."

In his book he has a small example of this dialog:

Client: "I feel a terrible fear."
Therapist: "Very good. Feel the fear. As deeply and as fully as you can. Go as calmly as possible into the fear, an ever deepening fear. Feel the fear in your entire body. Immerse yourself in this fear. Stay with your fear. Stay with it."

By following this process, you might remove the emotional charge of the fear, or find the real emotion or trigger that causes it. This is similar to when a client feels a pain or uncomfortable sensation in the body, and you ask them to expand the somatic feeling and focus on it, so it fills their entire body, and then asking them to remember the previous time they felt that sensation, or the first time they felt that sensation. We go back and try find the meaning and heal it.


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(@tariq-juneja)
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17/01/2019 10:16 am  

Thanks - I think this is a wonderful example of a way to release that anger - even when we examine our own anger - the triggers and reactions we can learn so much about our own personal motivations/feelings/issues that cause these feelings of anger to rise to the surface.


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(@tariq-juneja)
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17/01/2019 10:36 am  

Angry emotions include many different reactions ranging from mildly irritated, angry, resentful, vexed or even enraged.  Another way to view this is what is the message that the emotion of anger is trying to impart that is useful for a human being? Perhaps it is that an important rule or standard that you hold for your life has been violated by someone or something else, or maybe even yourself?

So what is the solution???? 

1) Perhaps greater patience and calm, humour even as you re-assess the situation and deal with the anger and frustration

2) It may be that you come upon the realization that you have misinterpreted the situation completely, that the anger about the person breaking your rules may be due to them not realising just how important this rule is to you (despite you believing they should.)

3) Realise that even if they did break one of your standards, your rules are not necessarily the "right" rules as strongly as you feel them to be

4) Perhaps ask yourself the question "In the long run, is it true that this person really cares about me? Interrupt the anger by asking yourself "What can I learn from this? How can I communicate the importance of these standards I hold for myself to this person in a way that causes them to want to help me, and not violate my standards again in the future?"

You can change your perception - maybe I didn't effectively communicate my needs

You can change your procedure - maybe I need to communicate more effectively what my needs are, for example "please keep this private"

 


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(@lisa-kent)
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17/01/2019 4:10 pm  

Interesting thoughts Tariq, and I agree with your post above. Anger can take a physical toll as well as an emotional toll on a person, and if this anger keep occurring it can impact family life, relationships, physical and mental health.

It's often about our perception of what has happened, or how someone else has behaved. And to take that step back and ask ourselves - did this person really mean to make us angry, or are we projecting something from our psychology onto their behaviour? Is their behaviour a reflection of them or of us? Of reality, or of a story that only we know about, playing inside our heads? Are we reacting to what is in front of us, or releasing a pent up anger that has built up over many years - leaving the person we blow up at completely baffled?

Myself, I used to be much angrier - fuelled (I think) by a fear of not being taken seriously at work, a lack of confidence. A phrase that someone once said to me has stayed with me ever since, and I use it often when I feel myself getting angry, or starting an argument. It's "Is this the hill I want to die on?" and very rarely is my internal answer to this "yes"! Generally whatever is going on is not the hill I want to die on, and so I just let it go and try and focus in a more positive way.

As I said, interesting debate!

 

Lisa


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(@julesdevitto)
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19/01/2019 10:47 am  

A few things occur to me - one being - "what we resist, persists" 🙂 With anger.. I do find that shadow integration, or welcoming the emotion into us is crucial. Working with it through a meditation practice such as a loving-kindness practice, in which we observe the emotion and thank it for being there is also important. Asking the emotion why it is present can bring insight. 

Another thing that came to me, after reading your post Lisa- is the steps of Nonviolent Communication 1) Observe what is going on without judgement (discern what are observations and what are facts 2) Recognise the feeling, label it. 3) Ask- are my needs being met? (anger may arise from one's needs not being met in the current situation. Be aware of what the needs are 4) Make a request. I also wrote about this recently if anyone is interested in reading it:  https://www.julesdevitto.com/blog/nonviolent-communication

Jules 


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(@vladimir-vujovic)
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23/01/2019 11:02 am  

In his book ""Heaven and Hell - The psychology of Emotions", Dr Burton describes positive and negative aspect of anger.

According to him, if judiciously exercised, anger can enable a person to signal high social status, compete for rank and position, straighten bargaining positions, ensure that contracts and promises are fulfilled, and even inspire desirable feelings such as respect and sympathy. A person who is able to express or exercise right anger is likely to feel better about himself, more in control, more optimistic, and more prone to the sort of risk-taking that maximizes the outcome.

In contrast, uncontrolled anger can lead to loss of perspective and judgement, impulsive and irrational behaviour, and loss of face, sympathy, and social status.   

In summary, justified, controlled, strategic and potentially adaptive anger ought to be distinguished and contrasted from another anger that is inappropriate, unjustified, unprocessed, irrational, undifferentiated and uncontrolled. The function of anger is to protect the ego.  


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(@tariq-juneja)
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23/01/2019 10:58 pm  

Thanks Vladimir, this distinction on the kinds of anger that exists makes sense to me.


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(@tariq-juneja)
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Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 9
23/01/2019 10:58 pm  

Thanks Vladimir, this distinction on the kinds of anger that exists makes sense to me.


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(@beljeet)
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26/01/2019 9:58 am  

So true Vladimir that anger is always viewed negatively. Right from childhood most of us are programmed to lock anger up and often grow up feeling terrible or upset with ourselves when we do lose our cool. It is only when we give ourselves permission to accept our emotion in a positive or empowering way and fully acknowledge it's presence that we can really truly move on. As a coach I would work in healing this emotion by practicing kindness with self and others and working on love, compassion and forgiveness.

I have a couple I am working with at the moment and finding this approach positive. 


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(@hennie)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 16
26/01/2019 1:13 pm  

I'm not so sure that distinguishing between "good anger" and "bad anger" is useful. 

Maybe it's semantics, but to me the word or label "anger" carries a negative tone. It also refers to a secondary emotion after the point when our minds have already done some processing, whether conciousnessly or otherwise, of a preceding primary raw feeling. That processing is influenced by any number of conditioned responses. The primary feeling is more intuitive, reflexive, and neutral. It is what it is before our conditioning gets hold of it,before it gets a label. And we know how vital and powerful primary emotion is. 

When anger is expressed, it is always unresourceful and damaging to some degree or another.  Yes, it may afford us social power, as Vladimir points out, but is social dominance or status necessarily a resourceful,  ethical or humanistic outcome to strive for?

Where we do agree is that often, perhaps always if we know how to, that primary feeling, charged with raw energy, can energize productive change or set a powerful intent or drive transformation. But then we need to trace it back to before it became the thing we call anger, re-channel the sourceful energy.

As transpersonal and ASE coaches, we have the skill set to do that. 

 


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(@teresa)
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11/02/2019 9:10 pm  
 
 
 

Hi there, 

I agree with Vladimir's point that anger can have a very positive side. 

Anger is a strong energy that, controlled in the right way can be very powerful to provoke a necessary change. 

It's like an explosion, if used under controlled conditions can be very useful and beneficial but if you let anger control you it can be very destructive. There is a point here on either control and use the anger for you own benefit or be controlled by it. 

Anger, like other emotions is giving you a message, usually the message is that either you (if you are angry at yourself) or the other(s) have violated one of your rules. We all have our own internal rules which are different from other's, if something/somebody has triggered your anger your rule has probably been violated. 

Imagine this situation:

- Somebody tells you a white lie about something which is not really important 

- You get angry as you know that person is telling you a lie 

You can explore your own internal rule: honesty, nobody should tell any lie even small under any circumstance

Now that you now that, you can either:

- Modify your rule to avoid becoming angry at any small lie that anyone may tell

- Use that anger energy in a controlled way and turn it into assertiveness by expressing your needs for honesty to the other person in a firm way.

Assertiveness is a level of anger used to set boundaries and demand respect that is very necessary to contribute to healthy personal relationships.

  

 

 

 

 


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(@renee)
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07/04/2019 3:18 pm  

After having read through all the posts on anger, all the suggestions on how to deal with the issue, just before or just after the emotion of anger sets in, is helpful ONLY IF THE ANGERED PERSON IS NOT IN VICTIM MODE.  A person will tend to get angry at something or someone when they feel something was done to them. Or they have a goal and the only way to get it is by controlling the situation or people. Someone perceived to be be overstepping their book of rules for achievement,  the person has a tendency to use the “away from pain strategy” to reach a goal or outcome and only see what is not being done to get to what they want and they feel the person is stopping them or standing in their way. The person who is doing it, becomes the enemy in the story, and fear sets in.  This person is stopping me to achieve my goal! 

 When the person is of opinion that anger is what got them the achievement in business to get them where they are (it could be a part of the away from pain strategy) this angered person probably subconsciously think an believe that this is the only way to make things happen – I mean, they have proof of success using this strategy! 

Getting angry as frequent as 5 out of 7 days of the week – and then letting this anger linger for 1 to 3 weeks,  this strategy becomes such a strong wiring that it is almost impossible to filter if something is big or small enough to get angry about, if something or someone is perceived getting in their way, anger is the only resource.  I think the person believes that instilling fear (which is what anger does)  is the way to get people what they want -  it resembles authority and gives a sense of control or being in control.  This ensures the end result aiming for.

My conclusion is that the root of an angry person could probably come from a time when they did the right thing out of fear (probably not out of free will but being forced), or they felt helpless and promised that nobody will ever control them again. 

They were told something or felt not good enough to deserve a parent or significant person’s natural love, acceptance and attention that it made them so angry that the energy in the form of adrenaline in the body became the fuel that created movement to prove the person wrong and at the same time hopefully get the recognition.

This neurological network has become a default setting for all future endeavours to create achievement in other areas of their lives as well… or even keeping up the achievement they got in the first place that gave them the acceptance, stature (importance) or results

This also means that it now becomes their normal way of living – a learnt response that became their personality, even worse a lifestyle and they are not able to not get angry at even very trivial or innocent things others may say or do.  It’s a hardwired response proven to have worked in the past.  There are no filters to separate trivial or unintentional things from really important issues.


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(@renee)
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07/04/2019 4:53 pm  

In conclusion, I did further research.  Anger is not happy place.  Why would a person keep on doing anger if it doesn't bring the desired outcome or results? Having a lot of experience with clients and different addictions (where I ask the same question)  I was wondering if this could fall in the category of addiction.  I share with you a summary of what I found after researching the connection between anger and addiction.

Anger is the natural emotion created in a fight, fight or flee situation by the physiology of your mind and body. When you sense a threat your mind generates fear and anger.

The underlying emotion of anger is fear. Fear is a vital response to physical and emotional danger; it has strong roots in human evolution. If people didn’t feel fear, they couldn’t protect themselves from legitimate threats, which in the ancestral world frequently resulted in life-or-death consequences.

The fear you generate is part of a flight response from your physiology. ... Emotions like anger are natural and real.

In the modern world, individuals often fear situations where the dangers are much lower, or not even existing, but their body and brain treat the threat as harmful. This can trigger an extreme, and often unnecessary, fight-flight-or-freeze response

"Anger causes an outpouring of stress hormones like adrenaline, which makes your heart beat faster and your blood pressure rise.

Like other emotions, anger is accompanied by physiological and biological changes. Anger causes an outpouring of the stress hormones like adrenaline.  When you get angry, your heart rate and blood pressure go up, as well as the levels of your energy hormones, adrenaline and noradrenaline, your rate of breathing increases and your body's muscles tense up.

.

 When we hear the word "addiction," we normally think about drugs, alcohol or cigarettes. Less discussed but also common is adrenaline addiction: creating stress, drama and instigates a fight to get an adrenaline rush.

Ironically, school is often the adrenaline junkie's first "drug dealer."  At some point, most students procrastinate an assignment until the last minute, at which point, the fear of not getting it done triggers an adrenaline surge, which fuels getting it done, and it can feel good to be pumped up. When, thanks to grade inflation, they get a good grade, school thus has taught them that using adrenaline to get stuff done is okay.

Similarly, a student gets an adrenaline hit when making a snarky comment in class but  teachers rarely impose serious consequences, so again the school contributes to a student becoming an adrenaline junkie.

Of course, school is far from the only cause of adrenaline addiction.

After a teen gets comfortable behind the wheel, s/he may push the speed and safety limit, not so much to get somewhere a bit faster, but for the adrenaline hit. In dating, a person can get a rush from too quickly having sex, unsafe sex, or edgy sex. Then there are dangerous sports such as motorcycle racing, rock climbing, and parachute jumping.

Lying, stealing, gambling, and substance abuse also yield an adrenaline rush; so can picking a fight: a physical one or an argument about a really trivial subject, a perception of something that may cause or seen as a danger of meeting goals or a controversial subject such as politics or values or race.

Childhood drama or a person who grew up with fear, drama and anger in themselves or angry parents is used to living with a certain amount of adrenaline to create stimulation, movement and excitement in life. 

Usually, that yields more adrenaline than benefit.  Perhaps more subtle, adrenaline can be triggered by catastrophizing.  Of course, those behaviours impose strong negatives. Apart from problems with the behaviours themselves, excessive stress is unhealthy, triggering both adrenaline and cortisol secretion.

The more a person does such behaviours,  the more s/he feels life is boring without the adrenaline hit, and thus is made the adrenaline junkie, seeking ever more and ever higher highs.

In fairness, adrenaline addiction has upsides. It can fuel people to accomplish more than they otherwise would. For example, many adrenaline-addicted people get a constant hit of adrenaline by always hurrying, cramming in as much activity as possible. True, they may be more error-prone but, in my experience with such "Type A" clients---and to be honest, me--most of this group, net, does get more done---although not if it causes a heart attack.

Einstein once said that the definition of stupidity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Sometimes, however, it isn't stupidity that causes this behaviour, but something far more insidious and painful: addiction. 

Many leaders, parents or partners struggle with a deceptive addiction that hurts their organisations, their families, and their job or relationship satisfaction. It is not about the need for drugs or alcohol, but rather another chemical, of sorts: adrenaline


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(@renee)
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07/04/2019 5:32 pm  

Lastly I want to comment on the value of transpersonal coaching and in particular OA in respect of unserving Anger Emotions.  When a person is following an "away from pain strategy", s/he is focussed on eveything that is perceived or interpreted as a threat.  Here we find tunnelvision.  Using OA opens the possibility of other interpretations and other resources to deal with an unserving anger emotion.  If the anger is used to get adrenaline due to an adrenaline addiction, I believe transpersonal coaching will be beneficial as it will deal with all the needs levels that play a role from childhood through to where the person is now.  For the person/client to feel understood vs blamed for the results their anger is creating, rapport will be instant and holding the space to create new resources and seeing the "threat" in perspective will open a whole new world for change to happen and needs to be addressed in resourceful behaviours.


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