What hides anger?
If you notice a lot of unspent anger behind you, this is a good reason to think about your plans and intentions in general.
This time I propose to talk about the passion of anger. There is a certain contradiction between the ascetic and psychotherapeutic view of this phenomenon. In particular, it is believed that the Orthodox ascetic tradition supposedly looks at anger as something undesirable – you need to be kind, loving. And psychology, on the contrary, says how important it is to express feelings, including anger. And to restrain these feelings is very unprofitable for health. Let’s take a closer look at these contradictions.
In the psychological world, it is customary to think that anger signals us that something is being taken from us (something that can be valuable to us), or that we are missing something that we really want. And in this sense, its direct purpose is to mobilize energy. As, for example, a person tries to unscrew a nut, it breaks off all the time, and he says in his hearts: “There’s an infection!” And the feeling of anger that he experiences at this moment allows him to mobilize forces, including intellectual ones, and find some other ways to unscrew this nut.
Despite the usefulness of such “anger” in the event of a collision with an obstacle, psychologists also observe situations where anger does not lead to something good. And I will name two types of such situations.
The first type of situation is when a person in anger is obviously redundant. For example, when the father is angry with the child, and instead of some clear rules and sanctions, shouts at the child, humiliates or even raises his hand. It is clear that initially there may be a reason for children's disobedience, but at the same time it is clear that the anger in this situation is excessive.
The second type of situation is when a person gets stuck in an “angry grumbling”. And such cases you probably also know either by friends or by yourself. When there seems to be no obvious incentive, and a person gets stuck in constant criticism of some enemy who is not even necessarily present nearby. This may be the government, classes of people (for example, women), that is, a person chooses an object and, despite the fact that the situation does not require action, hangs in a long and inconclusive grumbling. That is, there is anger, but what it is aimed at is unclear.
What do psychologists say here?
Quite often, anger hides some other emotion. Anger can be blamed when one person blames another, and he, being unable to withstand so many claims, begins to scream. Behind anger may be an attempt to control shame. Or with despair.
If, for example, an operation is unsuccessful, a relative of the patient may take revenge on the doctor in anger. People in despair are very angry.
A fairly common emotion that lurks behind anger is the emotion of fear. A person is afraid and, in order not to feel fear, begins to be angry. Also, anger, if it is protracted, according to the observation of psychologists, can be directed at another person who is not present here, because in that particular situation he was not allowed to turn around. To simplify, the guy was humiliated for a long time in the classroom or his mother treated him badly, but in that particular situation the anger could not be developed due to social reasons, and a lot of unexpressed anger accumulated in the human psyche. A person shares it with dosing with those who are not directly related to that situation, but can indirectly remind of it. And it’s better to deal with such encapsulated anger and see to whom it is actually addressed.
What could one think of in connection with the passion of anger at Lent for people who believe or are completely non-religious? As I said, anger, as a rule, signals a need. Accordingly, if you notice a lot of unspent anger behind you, it seems to me that this is a good reason to think about your plans and intentions.
After all, anger can mean that some important plans and needs can go by the wayside. And having discovered your needs, it would be nice to invest the energy of anger in order to realize them, as well as overcome obstacles and hold onto the goal. And then this energy is likely to find much better application.
The second thing you might think about if you discovered excessive anger is what pain remains unrecognized, unnoticed inside you and thus breaks through you. Maybe you can remember where the situation is, the person who caused you pain that you prefer not to remember. And maybe these attacks indicate that you should return to this situation either on your own, or in the psychologist’s office, or with a person you trust to give this pain recognition.
It seems to me that these two topics are useful for reflection in this Great Lent.
The project "Seven passionate thoughts: a view of a psychologist"
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