Anger

It's a very basic emotion, anger, because, like fear, it is something we learned about during infancy, when we felt powerless and unable to do things for ourselves.

Anger is often shown by an explosive outburst.

Some see it as a negative emotion, but I think it is the scale of feeling that is an indicator here to determine what is "negative" or not. Perhaps though, a more relevant way of evaluating this is in terms of what is healthy or not.

It is healthy to get angry about something we care about, and then let it go before it eats at our soul. However, if there is something that we have not dealt with properly way back in our past, then we carry that turbulence around everywhere we go and it keeps on appearing.

A disproportionate reaction

If something that is even a minor irritation occurs, then out comes all that anger, that is directed at someone or something else, causing hurt and damaging relationships. We are not really quite so angry with the person we express it to, but they tend to get it in the neck, don't they?

It is this kind of anger that I can help dispel as a counsellor.

Reasons to get angry

We often find ourselves feeling angry if we see something happening to ourselves or others that we see as being unfair.

Sometimes, people get angry if something they expected didn't happen. For example, if we do something with the expectation another person will do something in return, something we desire, then getting angry because they didn't do what we would have done is "reasonable". However, if you think about it, there is a feeling of powerlessness involved, coming from the point of view of not being able to manipulate the situation for the outcome we wanted.

I often hear people talk about feeling frustrated or annoyed with someone because of how they behaved.

Taking a different view

Sometimes it is the way we see things that makes the all the difference.

Counselling can help you find a more objective view.

When I am working with someone who says they have anger issues, I cannot help but notice that some value or other seems to have a strong meaning for them. For example, "fairness", which brings up feelings of anger at it's apparent ignorance by the "offender".

However, looking at this from an objective viewpoint, it seems clear that the person who gets angry has decided for everyone what is fair. The trouble is, others do not share the same perception. What I would hope is that you begin to see that as each person is unique, every one of us is on life's learning curve, including you, and it is just the difference between everyone rather than that one person is right and everyone else is wrong.

Setting yourself up for failure

A common result I find in therapy is that the client eventually conquers his anger completely when he gets to the point of giving up trying to impose his own values of what is fair on the world, realising that it was just his idea and it isn't working anyway. Nobody is taking enough notice and it is not worth carrying on with the game.

At the end of the day, we cannot change others, only ourselves.

It's like "well exactly how much does that matter to you?" The answer has to be something like "actually, not as much as I imagined back then."

You see, we make meaning of things as part of trying to make sense of the world, but actually we are setting ourselves up for failure.

Is it really a sense of personal failure that makes you feel angry?

A place to quench anger

When working with someone who has ongoing and underlying anger, the kind that is disproportionate and always bubbling up under the surface, I look out for events from the past where we have unfinished business, and I provide the perfect place to take a look at those feelings with you so that you can see them for what they are.

After all, such overpowering emotions seem to cloud our thinking, and restoring clarity is what a focussed exploration of what troubles you will achieve. In short, the removal of the reason to get angry!

Do something positive

It should only take a few sessions with me before you notice a difference in the way you feel and this brings about a more positive way of life.

Get in touch via the contact page and let's get you on the right path.