Anger is an emotion that normally occurs when we feel wronged by someone or something. However it does not necessarily show itself in overt ways. Indeed, it is thought there are three ways which anger can manifest: passive aggression, open aggression, or assertively.
Passive aggression is a quiet type of anger, and examples of it include sulking or giving the ‘silent treatment’. It is normally seen in those who don’t like confrontation because it is subtle and often provokes a reaction in the person it’s directed at. Open aggression is a very overt form of anger and includes lashing out physically, or verbally. It is often seen in people who find it difficult to regulate and control their anger.
Assertive anger is the useful and healthy form of anger, and demonstrates that anger is not inherently bad. This form of anger facilitates expression and action that can help us to find solutions in situations that should cause anger. For example, when we are being mistreated at work, we can use healthy anger to motivate us to speak up, or find a job somewhere we feel valued.
People act out in destructive ways because of anger. For example, they may ignore people, sulk, become verbally aggressive and shout at others, or become physically abusive, damage property, or self-harming.
Anger can impact your mind in many ways. People can feel tension in the head, nervousness, irritability, guilt, humiliation, resentment, or a ‘red mist’ coming down on them, and therefore the inability to relax.
Anger can impact people physiologically. People may experience a churning in the stomach, chest tightness, increased heartrate, tense muscles, weakness in the legs, feeling hot, sweaty palms (or other body parts), or a need to go to the bathroom.
There are various ways we work with anger. This will depend on the origins of your anger, and the way you experience and respond to it.
We can help you recognise the signs before the anger consumes you, this gives you the ability to think before you react and learn ways to manage anger and channel it usefully.
No matter how anger manifests in you, if it isn’t useful, it’s unpleasant and problematic. We can help you to explore feelings that underpin your anger, these may relate to self-esteem for example. This deeper understanding of yourself will offer a sense of choice and control.
More than this, we can work with the underlying cause of anger and help you to experience real change and growth, benefitting you on a deeper, more holistic level.
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