Through Anger to the Heart

Last month I wrote about finding your Heart words for the first installment of the communication/relationship series.  This month I wanted to focus on one of the greatest barriers I’ve seen to finding our Heart words.  Anger.  More specifically, how we choose to feel and express our anger.  Now I don’t mean to imply that the emotion of anger is somehow “bad” because I don’t believe it is.  Just like every other emotion, it is there to communicate a need.  Our anger becomes a problem when we choose forms of expression that cause harm to ourselves or others.

In today’s post, I want to highlight some specific forms of anger that can block access to our Heart words.  I want to challenge you see if you can identify which type of expression (or expressions) you most often use.  Increasing our awareness is the first step towards any meaningful change and growth.

Chronic Anger
The first type of anger is chronic anger.  This type of anger is experienced when an individual finds themselves consistently feeling angry.  The individual may find themselves reacting defensively most of the time and feel that others wish them harm.  This type of anger can have a negative impact on your physical well-being and lead to serious health problems.

Explosive Anger
Explosive anger is the type that often has the highest chance causing harm to others.  The individual experiencing explosive anger may lash out at others in a verbally or physically abuse manner.  With this type of anger, the individual may experience rage and respond with throwing or hitting things.  This anger is not always present, but usually results from a build-up of unexpressed emotions that results in an explosive outburst.

Passive-Aggressive Anger

Passive-aggressive anger is seen when an individual expresses their anger in an indirect way.  The individual with this type of anger, may use a lot or sarcasm or speaking under their breath but when questioned about what they said reply with “nothing.”  This individual may tend towards using the “silent treatment” if they feel they have been wronged.  This individual may also engage in avoidant behaviors instead of addressing the issue or concern directly.

Internalized Anger
Lastly, there is internalized anger.  This type of anger causes the most harm to the individual experiencing it.  Where as explosive anger lashes outwards, internalized anger goes inward.  The individual experiencing this type of anger may engage in substance abuse or other self-harming behaviors.  This individual may experience low self-esteem and depression, engage in negative self-talk, and be highly self-critical.  This individual may believe that they are deserving of any mistreatment they experience.

No matter which type of anger you tend to experience there is hope.  Assertiveness training, anger management, or counseling services can help you learn how to manage your anger in an effective way.

If you have identified ways that have helped you learn how to effectively manage and express your anger, please share in the comments section below.

References
http://louisville.edu/counseling/topics/anger.html/when.html
http://www.angeresources.com/types.html
http://www.angerdefense.com/blog/types-of-anger-12-most-common-types-of-anger/

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