09 Sep The Emotion of Anger
- Anger is a natural emotion just like any other basic emotions such as
happiness, sadness, fear, disgust and surprise.
Oftentimes clients come to me and say they do not want to feel angry anymore
as though anger is an unacceptable emotion, but it is not. Anger is a natural
emotion, it tells us important messages about ourselves, our relationships and
2. Anger can be reacted in hot as well as cold manners. Both can be equally
hurtful and damaging.
It is important for us to know our own responses towards our anger. Do we
turn hot by yelling, attacking, blaming when we are angry? Or do we turn cold
by distancing, ignoring, withdrawing ourselves from the people that we are
angry at? It is always easier for us to express the hurt caused by hot angry.
However, the hurt caused by cold anger can be equally painful and damaging.
3. You are allowed to feel angry. You can feel angry without acting out on
There is a big difference between feeling angry and acting out of anger.
Oftentimes, clients feel bad about the consequences that come along with their
responses when they are angry. Hence, they become fearful or even shameful of
their own anger. In turn, they want to suppress their anger. This is NOT adaptive
4. Sometimes your anger is protecting you from other painful and hurtful
Clients who come in being stuck in their anger often realize that it is a
mask of other painful and hurtful emotions. Our unconscious mind automatically
directs us to anger so that we do not access the other painful emotions.
5. Sometimes, depression and anxiety can be a mask of repressed anger,
especially when you are being treated wrongly.
Clients who come in being stuck in their depression and anxiety often
realize that they have been treated wrongly growing up as a child with their
significant others such as parents, siblings, partner, employers etc. When
anger has no way to be addressed, it turns inwards against themselves.
6. Maladaptive anger can be transformed into adaptive emotions through psychotherapy.
Anger can be felt, attended to and expressed in an adaptive manner. It is
not the anger itself that is scary. What are scary and hurtful are the
unhealthy and maladaptive responses that come along with our anger. Transformational
changes through therapy are more powerful than symptomatic changes through
7. Repetitive maladaptive anger is a sign of unfinished business in the
Clients often come to me describing the anger that they have with the person
that they face in their current life and feeling confused about why they are
feeling so triggered with this particular person. As therapy goes by, they
later then realize it is their deep rooted anger projected from the lingering resentment
or unresolved issues in the past with their significant other.
Emotional health is the fundamental and integral part of our well-being. It
is very important for us to work on processing and transforming our maladaptive
anger to adaptive emotions!