Angry didn’t start out that way. Angry started out as feeling hurt. There was some disappointment or distress that Angry suffered. Those vulnerable feelings felt too uncomfortable so instead, Angry got MAD! Angry’s anger is like a suit of armor and a helmet, a shield, a spear offering protection from more emotional pain. When Angry lashes out, it gives Angry a sense of power and control that was lacking when those other intolerable and more vulnerable feelings were felt. When Angry yells, threatens, slams doors or gives you the cold stare, Angry is really trying to protect an emotional wound. The problem is that Angry doesn’t know how to listen or compromise. All Angry knows how to do is fight to win… which will never provide the emotional repair that Angry needs.
At Child & Teen Counseling, we strive to help Angry tap into deeper emotions beyond rage and resentment. When Angry can feel safe to process feelings of sadness, fear and confusion, Angry can find healthier coping skills and emotional relief. Angry will be more open to finding compromises and creating opportunities for healing hurt feelings between Angry and others. Everyone gets mad sometimes and it can even be a driving force towards positivity. When channeled in a healthy way, anger can motivate people and propel them to achieve their goals. In time, Angry may be able to transition those feelings of anger toward a healthy assertiveness that helps Angry feel more confident and adaptable in the world.