Is Anger always Negative?
Anger is in fact an emotion that can be used for good and more often than not, for bad. But it is worth keeping in mind that it is not always a negative emotion.
Like all emotions, anger can be controlled. Just like you can withhold laughter, or stop the flow of tears, you can stop being angry. Of course saying you can stop your anger rages and outbursts is one thing, actually stopping them is quite another.
The problem is of course is that with anger there is another emotion that lies underneath. For many of you who get angry on a regular basis you might find it difficult to identify this other emotion. For a lot of angry men, this is one emotion that they do not want people to see that they have.
But of course all emotions are universal, unless you’re a psychopath, but that’s another topic. So trying to hide an emotion successfully is like trying to hold your breath indefinitely. Sooner or later that emotion surfaces or you die from no oxygen. And for a lot of angry males this other emotion is hidden under the surface and masquerading as anger.
What is that other emotion? Of course it is fear.
Why is Fear related to Anger?
‘Fear is a chain reaction in the brain that starts with a stressful stimulus and ends with the release of chemicals that cause a racing heart, fast breathing and energized muscles, among other things, also known as the fight-or-flight response.’
You could almost replace the word ‘fear’ with ‘anger’ and still get the same answer. So they are often intertwined. So now you might be thinking why am I raising fear with anger.
…Lets suppose for moment that every angry man is hiding something. Something that he himself doesn’t even understand. A better way is to suggest that he has buried something deep within himself and can’t bear to have a look at it. In fact he will do almost anything to avoid being reminded of this. He will go to such lengths as, dare we say, hit someone, bash a stranger, or kill his partner. He will get to extreme levels of violence to avoid this ‘PAIN’.
Now most men don’t get to the level of harming those they love but I would imagine many have come very close. Before I go any further please understand that I do not condone violence on any level ever! There is no justification for it unless you need to protect someone’s life from someone else trying to kill them.
If there are people or organisations out there who have suggested to you that doing ‘anger’ exercises will solve anger issues for you then they only telling you half the story. They are well meaning and I support them in their attempts to help angry people but the biggest part of the recovery is not being told.
The role of Fixed-Beliefs and Anger
There is another aspect of anger that very few people in counselling mention, let alone understand. Without this understanding anger cannot be managed properly and any interventions are short-lived.
So what is the third string in this bow? A fixed-belief. For many of us, regardless of our emotions hold many fixed-beliefs, about ourselves, our environment and the world at large.
But what is particularly important about the fixed-belief of an angry man is that it is almost always untrue. Because as you can see, in the word ‘belief’ there is a ‘lie’.
So what is this fixed-belief that drives a lot of men, and women, to anger and sometimes rage?
Well that is a difficult question to ask without having the opportunity to talk with someone face-to-face but ultimately, for men in particular, it is the fear of being inadequate and that fear leads to shame.
Shame is the silent killer of all men. Please keep in mind that avoiding shame is the goal of most men and we will go to extraordinary lengths to achieve it.
So if you, or someone you know is experiencing a high level of anger on a regular basis then you or they need to seek help. Remember that your anger is hiding a fear and that fear is feeding a fixed-belief. And the good news is that fixed-belief is not true.
Ultimately that fixed-belief is built on a feeling of inadequacy or not measuring up. There are a number of other important core hurts that contribute to an angry state but being inadequate is top of the pecking order. And so in order to understand and appreciate this fact, those with anger issues need to talk to someone and uncover the driving force that controls your life.
You will be glad you made the effort, and so will your partner, family and friends.
Until next time. God Bless.