…and don’t say you never get angry. Everyone feels angry sometimes but we don’t always show it in the same way. We may not deliberately set out to hurt the people closest to us when we get angry but the result is that we often do.
- The Sarcastic Face – Do you go out of your way to make other people look small by being sarcastic? Sarcasm is an expression of anger that can be very hurtful to other people. Have you ever put someone on the spot by making cutting remarks or revealed personal information about someone in a deliberate attempt to embarrass them? And what about your tone of voice or manner? Do you convey contempt through the way you speak or act?
- The Cold Angry Face – Do you withdraw when you’re angry? Pretend that nothing is wrong? Avoid showing affection? Avoid discussions that may lead to talking about feelings? This can feel like a form of mental torture to the person you are angry with, as they may be desperate to connect with you and talk about how they feel.
- The Passive Aggressive Face – Do you engage in actions that you know are going to upset someone? Do you show up late or fail to follow through with your promises, often forgetting things that are important to the other person? When you get upset do you withhold affection or ignore the other person? This type of behaviour can be extremely frustrating to others, who may struggle to understand what is happening.
- The Hostile Face – Do you raise your voice or shout when you get angry? Do you berate others for not being quick enough, competent enough or performing well enough? Do you lose your patience and ‘blow up’ at people who don’t do things the way you want them to? People who behave this way are often described as having a short fuse. This type of behaviour keeps people on edge and makes relationships difficult.
- The Aggressive Face – Do you lash out and become verbally or physically abusive? When you become angry do you have a mental picture of hurting someone? This expression of anger is the most dangerous and creates an atmosphere of fear around those who are close to you.
Most people can identify with one of these faces. Understanding which face belongs to you can help you manage your anger in a more appropriate way. But of course this only works if you really want to change. Counselling can help you discover how to make these changes so you may want to consider this as an option for getting started.
The good news is that anger can be channeled into something really positive, like making life changes for the better. Set yourself a challenge. Think of all the ways you can put your anger to good use. It takes a lot of energy to be angry. Don’t waste it. Use it wisely. Control your anger. Don’t let it control you.
Jane Hipkiss Counselling – Darlington