Anger is an emotion that is useful and necessary as well as harmful. We teach anger management skills as well as interventions for resolving the underlying reasons for an individual’s anger
BELIEFS THAT BLOCK HEALTHY EXPRESSION OF ANGER
1. Debt of gratitude: Unable to express anger because other person has done so much for you. “How could I possibly, since…”
2. Control: Variation on debt of gratitude. Being imposed on by the helplessness, fragility, illness, etc. of other person. May feel anger is toxic. Need to learn to express anger in a healthy, assertive manner.
3. Belief or myth that anger is destructive or negative: Action is confused with feeling or person has misconception of what anger is.
4. Fear of being out of control: For many, this means being psychotic. May come from stored up anger, which is released in situations that remind you of past situations.
5. Early Learning: Usually comes back to what was learned about anger as a child. e.g. “If I get angry, I’m bad.” Owning your feelings of anger may be helpful.
6. Need to look good. Idealized self-image: You need people to see you as easy going, appropriate, in charge of the situation. You need positive feedback, and think you get it by looking good. You don’t want to damage your presentation to others.
7. Traumatic experience of anger: May vow as child never to get angry because you saw violence in your family. This sabotaged your ability to be assertive.
8. Fear of retaliation: “It happened once, it can happen again.” You may have gotten beaten down, humiliated, physically injured. “I can’t protect myself; I’m helpless.” Other person may respond with withdrawal.
9. Secondary agenda: You have an investment in a certain outcome, and, if you risk anger, you might not get what you want. You use manipulation instead to get what you want.
10. Ignorance: Naive about feelings in general, especially anger. Anger is a feeling.
11. Scary energy release: Belief in myth that anger leads to violence, which leads to rejection, which leads to aloneness. You may worry that life will change or that the other person can’t take the change in you.
12. Fear of your own anger: Some little piece of you doesn’t trust yourself. You fear that you may get violent, or sadistic, so you shut down.
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