When Anger is Not Anger

Repeatedly, I tell people anger is an emotion just as all of the other emotions God has blessed us with and we seem to manage most of them just fine. For instance, when we are happy, we smile without hesitation.  When we are bothered, we frown and no one gets injured.  Even when we are anxious, we may wring our hands or pace the floor.  And yet, everyone around us, pretty much allows us to settle into the mood.  However, when anger rises, people get significantly uncomfortable.  And the energy of anger is often more contagious than most other emotions.  The air around an angry person becomes so static and energized that it pulsates to others in the same vicinity.


But if I ask you to intentionally place the anger to the side, for a second.  In that second, in the space of time, focus on the other emotions which tend to run and hide because they know anger will take care of everything.  Those other emotions are harder to endure and are far more uncomfortable than anger. Anger says to people, “I am in control.” The other emotions, however, scream weakness to most people.


“You were late picking me up from work.” I was worried. I was frustrated.  I was tired.   But I am going to fuss at you when arrive because it is much too risky for me to tell you that I was weak in that moment of time.


“You dropped the cake I made for the Thanksgiving dinner.” I was confused.  I was frustrated. I was shocked.  I was disappointed.  But I am going to yell at you even though I see the look of fear and confusion on your face because I am uncomfortable working through the other emotions.


“You got drunk at the office Christmas party.” I was hurt. I was frustrated. I was embarrassed. I was worried.  But I am going to give you the silent treatment so you can be just as confused as I was while watching you stumble over your words.  It is easier for me to be quiet than to share with you how I truly feel about your drinking.

line-png-32Anger is the veil people use to cover up the other emotions which allows for far more intimacy than anger allows.  When people begin to remove the veil, they now have to trust others.  And if there is not enough fabric in the relationship on which that trust can rely, the relationship is in trouble.  And that becomes a topic for another article….


One of the goals is to embrace the other emotions and share those with a lot less negative energy than anger.  And through the revealing of the true source behind the anger, people begin to understand one another comprehensively rather than on a shallow level.  We would have stronger relationships, stronger families, and stronger communities.