Understanding an Angry Person

What is it that is making someone angry or display angry behaviours?  Why do they shout, become aggressive and sometimes violent?

The answer is bound to be very complex considering the complexity of us humans.  We have so many different experiences throughout our lives, as children, teenagers and adults that affect us. Some negative experiences can hurt us so much that when we perceive, rightly or wrongly, that a similar event is happening again, this can set off alarm bells to warn us of the ‘danger’.  Examples of this could be a child being bullied in school, who then, as an adult forms a romantic relationship.  They might find their partner’s behaviour occasionally makes them feel the same sense of rejection, hurt and feelings of lack that they experienced as a child.  Their partners are not bullying them (hopefully) but the feelings they experienced as a child have not been fully resolved and so resurface as a perceived similar threat.  They might get extremely angry with their partner for ‘making’ them feel this way and so start shouting and displaying anger.

This is normal enough behaviour if it happens from time to time, but if happening on a regular basis, the angry person should be encouraged to try to deal with the issues from their past.

Another common reason for people losing their temper regularly and being unable to control their outbursts is how they are currently living their lives and whether it measures up positively with their aspirations or not.  We all have wants and needs but sometimes we don’t know how to get them met.  We can feel stuck and with others making demands on us, can generally feel unhappy and unfulfilled.  Any and all sorts of experiences can make us feel this way.  Examples are, having no job and having to rely on welfare and family members; wanting to be in a happy relationship with someone but being unable to meet anyone suitable; having enormous bills that we are unable to pay or being stuck in unhappy marriages or jobs.  We can feel embarrassed by our circumstances or just desperately want something to change. This can leave us feeling unfulfilled and full of negative thoughts and emotions.

These situations can leave our resources for handling day to day stresses in short supply.  We can become so overburdened that our ‘resource centre’ becomes unable to handle our interactions with people, and sometimes objects, effectively.

I like to think of our resource centre as a big bucket!! One that we fill with either positive or negative emotions.  Negative emotions take up much more space than positive ones and when we are stressed, unhappy and worried our buckets are filled nearly to the brim.  What happens then is that a small, seemingly insignificant little thing happens such as someone asking you to do something you don’t want; a family member taking your belongings or a game we are playing not working out as we want, etc., etc., means that we are filling out emotional bucket up with more negative emotions.  Because we have no space left in our bucket, it overflows with emotions that we are unable to handle.  The result is anger that we have to try to control.  We are often not able to control it because we have used up all our resources with worry and stress and so we lose our temper and often unleashing it on the people closest to us.  Once we have done this, we eventually calm down and again have more space in our emotional buckets.  This is when we are finally able to look at what happened with a rational mind and see that we behaved badly.  Shame and blame can set in at this stage and the thoughts that “I must find a way to control my anger”.

Maybe you are trying to figure out how to help somebody you love to control their anger.  Maybe you are trying to learn to understand yourself and what makes you so angry.
If you are, or you know someone who is, angry too regularly, then it is probably time to start looking at why.  Why are you/they angry?  Are you/they unhappy… is there something that needs to be changed?  Don’t just presume that someone is just angry for no reason, that is very rarely the case.

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Comments

  1. Shanavia w says:

    This anger thing really have me understanding this I have a anger problom and really want to change it and just trying to look into thinh to help me really dont have the money for counsleing inwhich I really think I need

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