Anger is a serious problem for one in every five Americans. Road rage, workplace violence, domestic abuse and even addiction are just a few of its many expressions. The reason such a large number of our nation’s citizens are on antidepressants, overweight, and involved in all kinds of difficult relationships can be directly traced to the effects of anger, particularly the hidden kind.
Anger has many faces. It appears in various forms and creates different consequences. Anger that is overt is the simplest to deal with and understand. When we or someone we know is openly angry, we know what we are up against and can address it directly. Unfortunately, however, most danger lurks beneath the surface. It often does not come to our awareness and manifests in endless, hidden ways – as depression, anxiety, apathy, hopelessness, and in myriad other forms.
Today we fear all kinds of external enemies. It is not so easy to realize, however, that the worse enemy we face is the anger that resides within us, the terror it causes and the ways this poison affects so much of our lives.
It is one thing to be told to forgive one another. It is another to know how to do this. Even though we may want to forgive, anger can be ruthless in the course it takes, attacking and disrupting our body, mind and spirits. However, there are many specific steps we can take to root this toxin out of our lives.
As we do the results will be reflected not only in our mental and emotional well-being, but also in our environment and physical health? When anger is rooted out, love and forgiveness arise naturally and our lives and relationships become all they are meant to be.
Some of The 24 Forms of Anger
The first step in rooting anger out of our lives is becoming aware of it. It is crucial that we recognize anger for what it is, be aware that it is appearing and notice the devastation it creates. When anger is allowed to remain camouflaged it holds us in its grip and easily erodes the quality of our entire lives. By recognizing the 24 forms of anger, we will be able to shine a flashlight on the poison within. Then we can choose to eliminate each one of these forms of anger, one a day. There are many wonderful antidotes that we can take. Instead of allowing anger to take hold, we simply replace it with a life giving, constructive, healing response.
To begin we will look at a few of the 24 forms of anger, and how it affects your life. More will be explored in further articles and are also detailed in The Anger Diet.
In this article we will also explore some ways these forms of anger can be eliminated.
- Straight forward Anger – Attack. This is anger that is clear-cut and easy to Recognize. The anger comes right out. Many regret it afterwards, feeling they couldn’t control themselves. This kind of anger has a life of its own; it rises like a flash storm and can easily turn into verbal, emotional or physical abuse.
- Hypocrisy – You are angry, but hide it beneath a smile and present a falsePersona, pretending to be someone you’re not. This behaviour evolves into bad faith of all kinds. Although you think you are fooling others, in truth you are losing yourself and your own self-respect.
- Depression – Depression is so pervasive these days, and it ranges the gamut from mild to severe. Depression is anger and rage turned against oneself it comes from not being able to identify or appropriately express the anger one is feeling. It then simply turns into depressions, attack against the person who is experiencing it.
- Passive Aggression – This is a form of anger expressed not by what we do but by what we do not do. We refuse to give the other person what they ask for, want or need. In this manner we anger the other while making it seem as though they are the one that is overly demanding. This is a way of expressing anger without taking responsibility for it, and blaming the other for what we have set in motion.
Steps To Dissolving Anger
Needless to say there are many specific steps to take to undo different forms of anger. We will offer some samples. The important point to realize is that anger can be dissolved in a moment. We can choose to see things differently. We can choose to make a different response.
It takes only a moment to escalate a situation and in that same moment, the trouble can be de-escalated. We must stop in the middle of automatic anger that arises, and take charge of what is going on. We can and must decide that we will not let anger take over and rule. We have the right and responsibility to choose how we will respond.
Sample Ways To De-Escalate Anger:
- Straightforward Attack: Stop in the middle of a situation in which you either feel angry or are being attacked. Expand your vistas. Rather than respond in a knee-jerk manner, say to yourself, “Like me, this person has suffered. Like me, this person wants to be happy, like me this person experiences loneliness and loss.” As you do this, you are recognizing the similarities and common humanity you share, rather than focus on the differences. For a moment, allow the person to be right. You have plenty of time to be right later. Ask yourself, what is more important to you, to be “right” or to be free of anger? Choose compassion and see how you feel. See how the other feels as well. Watch new vistas open in your life.
- Hypocrisy: This is a common form of anger that appears in many different ways. When you notice yourself pretending, lying, exaggerating or deceiving, stop. Tell the truth at that moment. Be the truth. If you do not know what the truth is, be silent and become aware of what the deepest truth is for you. (This does not mean pouring out negativity or blaming the other. It means taking responsibility for what is real and true for you. (This will not only restore good will, it will connect you with what is most meaningful in your life.)
- Depression: Make friends with yourself today. When we are depressed, we are rejecting, hating and blaming ourselves. Undo this false state of mind. Find five things you admire and respect about who you are. Focus on sharing your good qualities with another. In depression we are only absorbed with ourselves. A wonderful antidote is to become absorbed with how you can reach out to and help another.
As we root anger out of our lives, and find meaningful substitutions not only our lives but the lives of our loved ones, friends and acquaintances will be lifted and enhanced.