Exploring my anger

Underneath Anger

Anger is a normal emotional response. When a boundary is crossed, personal safety is violated, etc. Often, though, anger is a mask to cover fear, sadness, guilt, and uncertainty. Underneath it all is a feeling of loneliness and feeling misunderstood. When you were a child, if you were punished or ridiculed for displaying any negative emotions, you often grow up mastering the art of poker face, or you tend to overreact to every situation because you don’t understand your emotions properly and you don’t know how to deal with your emotions adequately.

Questions to explore

I’ve been feeling pretty angry lately and I don’t know why. It’s mostly hormones and stress and not getting out often but my tolerance levels towards humans is below zero. I thought it would be good to try to find out why am I feeling this way. I already know I feel some uncertainty from the future, and I desperately need alone time, but I also desperately need to go out and have fun. I’ve also been feeling discontent on and off. I’m usually well aware of my emotions, but since my anger is affecting me and my loved ones negatively, I thought it was appropriate to look into it and try to work on it. Here are some questions to consider:

1. What is your anger often triggered by?

I usually feel angry when people cross my boundaries or disrespect me or belittle me by namecalling, generalization, gaslighting, and so much more. My boundaries are often violated because the other person doesn’t acknoledge them and I usually react with anger because I had explained my boundaries so many times before and I just want to be taken seriously.

2. How do you currently deal with anger?

It depends on who I’m angry with. Circumstances don’t anger me. People do. Sometimes I keep it in then let it go like right now I tried to take a peaceful walk but the lack of traffic signs and haphazard driving of people kept me on edge and seeing everyone without masks but giving me stinkeye because I have a mask on made me a little irritated. However, when a loved one makes me angry (I know that I shouldn’t use that term because nobody can make you feel something without your consent) I usually complain to someone else about them or I yell at the person. On rare occasions I take deep breaths, think about it, then send a voice message calmly adressing what angered me because I’m afraid I’ll lose my cool in person.

3. Has your anger ever affected other people? How?

Yes, every once in a while, I tend to overreact due to pent up frustration and anger, and it usually causes a scene and makes my loved ones uncomfortable. However, my family deal with my emotions by validating them, whereas my in laws look at me like I’m some alien 👾 But lately my anger has been exploding over my husband and son and I want to deal with it because it has become a problem.

4. What emotions were acceptable for you to display growing up

Compliance. Happiness. Sadness but never crying or frowning or anger.

5. How do you show difficult emotions – such as sadness, hurt or guilt?

I usually sulk when I’m sad, but when I’m overwhelmed with sadness I cry. When I’m hurt, I usually retaliate, which I know is wrong but I’m working on it. Guilt normally eats me up inside and I end up confessing or avoiding the person altogether or acting super nice to compensate for what I did.

6. Can you think of a time you expressed anger in order to conceal another emotion you were feeling?

Yes, I often express anger when I’m feeling overwhelmed, helpless, useless, self loathing, etc.

7. How do you feel about the concept of anger being a “surface” emotion?

I completely agree. Sometimes anger is justified, but often it is a mask.

8. When is anger healthy? When does it become unhealthy?

Anger is healthy when a right is violated or when the person in front of you is a jerk and doesn’t respond to calm reason. However, once you start disrespecting the other person, calling them names, raising your voice, going off topic, bringing up past issues, getting physically aggressive, or the complete opposite of bottling your anger up so it turns to resentment, then it becomes unhealthy.

9. Do you know anyone who manages their anger well? What do they do?

Sadly, I’m surrounded by people who don’t manage their anger well. The people I know who manage their anger well are probably people I don’t know well enough to see behind their mask.

10. How could exploring emotions beneath the surface help you deal with anger?

I feel like it would help me address the cause of the problem. Basically I feel I’m being disrespected, and so I’m reciprocating disrespect with my anger 10 fold. However, beneath it all, I think there is sadness and fear. I don’t feel like I’m fit to be a mother and I regret getting married. I look at my single friends and siblings sometimes and say oh how lucky they are, even though I know they’re not happier than I am. Sometimes I feel happy as a wife and mother. But the moment a problem arises, I go from 0 to 100 really quickly. (quick note: there are many times I manage situations well but it’s because I don’t let myself get angry, but once I reach anger… I become toxic)

I was never taught how to regulate my emotions as a child and I’m 29 years old and I still don’t know how (I know theoretically not practically). I feel lonely and I struggle to be content with what I have. I feel like my efforts to heal from my childhood trauma keep getting reversed. My anger has become so destructive that now I fear I’m traumatizing my son. I wish someone more equipped would take my son and raise him gently but I know that any alternative to me raising him is far worse than the current reality. I need to build confidence in myself and believe that I can be a good wife and mother.

The questions are from here. Found this on Pinterest

I can’t give you advice about how to cope with anger, but for me, talking about it hells. Meditation helps. Having alone time helps. A shower or bath helps. A walk helps. Listening to music and exercise help calm my anxiety but don’t do anything to my anger. I can’t read when I’m angry though, nor can I watch a movie. I can read and watch a movie when I’m sad. I was going to share some anger management ideas I found on Pinterest but this post has gotten too long.

I hope you enjoyed me pouring my heart out. And I hope I learn to manage my anger soon.

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