Mar 23, 2010

Angry much?


Unfortunately, often when another person's behavior causes us a problem we get angry and put the blame on them.

Anger is like the tip of an iceberg. It's the part you show to others, but you have other feelings that are more important.

People often "act" mad to cover up those deeper feelings that are hurting them. Anger is sometimes a feeling people have after they have had an earlier feelings.

They don't want to seem soft, vulnerable, or weak so they often act phony. They don't show their true feelings.

They say things like:

"You're not being fair."
"You're a big (swear word.)"
"This is all your fault."
"If you hadn't acted like such a jerk, this wouldn't have happened."

An angry message usually makes the other person feel put down, blamed, guilty, etc. When people hear angry statements like these, they get defensive and want to strike back. Such angry messages can really damage relationships.

Such angry statements are often "You-Messages" because they focus on the other person and usually contain "You." They blame the other person.

Below the surface of the water and under the anger, are feelings like hurt, fear, rejection, jealousy, loneliness, worry, etc.

Here's an example:

You're crossing the street and have the right of way; a car runs a red light and narrowly misses hitting you head-on. What would you actually be feeling first? (fear?)

A minute later, the driver pulls into a gas station and you spot the car. What might you be feeling then? (anger?)

Think about the last time you were angry at someone. Were there any other feelings--just before or just after feeling angry?*

*Excerpt from Dr. Thomas Gordon's Family Effectiveness Training (F.E.T.) Young Adult Resource book

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