The Relationship Maze
How to starve the anger gremlin
June 13, 2021
We all feel angry at times, frequently because we feel an injustice has been done or another person is being hurtful to us. Anger itself is a completely normal human emotion. As a fleeting feeling it is relatively harmless and unproblematic. However, if anger starts to control your life and affect relationships with others it might be good to examine what the underlying causes are and how to manage your anger better. Anger has been a necessary feeling that helped our survival. In its biological function anger is a response to a perceived threat. The instinctive way to express anger is through aggression. This would allow us to fight and to defend ourselves when under attack. Physically the body responds by showing an increased heart rate and blood pressure. In this episode we discus what to do if your anger remains unrestrained, very intense and frequent. We talk about anger as serving useful function in terms of propelling you to take action and stand up for values that are important to you. Anger can be expressed outwardly through shouting for example or it can go inward. When anger does not find expression and goes inward it can create a range of problems - it can turn into depression or self harm. Often anger is simply the tip of the iceberg and there are many underlying emotions beneath it, for example sadness, loneliness or shame. Many people struggle to express their feelings - the result Anger that cannot be safely expressed is often coming out in a passive aggressive comments where the frustration is not quite openly voiced but the person is under attack. How was anger managed in your family when you were growing up? In relationships there are often difficulties if one partner is used to expressing anger while the other learned to suppress it. In addition to the underlying causes of anger, we talk about strategies to manage it better, specifically in your relationships with others. We also discuss how to respond to your partner's anger in a helpful way.
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