Are You Addicted to Anger?

Michael was raised in a home where anger was used to control. His parents used their anger to attempt to control each other as well as their children. Sometimes the anger erupted into violence and Michael and his siblings would get physically hurt. Michael never knew when one of his parents would suddenly become enraged, so the threat was always there.

Michael was the oldest of four children and was often put in charge of taking care of his siblings. He often took out on his siblings his fear and rage at being abused by his parents. While some part of Michael didn't want to be like his parents, this was all he knew.

As an adult, Michael struggles with his frequent anger at his wife and children. His wife threatened to leave him if he didn't get some help, which is what led him to consult with me.

"Michael, anger is often used to cover up another, more painful feeling. What do you think you are covering up with your anger?" I asked.

"I don't know. I just get so frustrated and then out comes the anger."

"What did you feel as a child, besides scared, when your parents were angry and violent with you?"

"I guess I felt pretty much alone."

"You must have felt very alone and uncared for and also helpless over what was happening."

"Yes, I felt so helpless! I hated feeling so alone and helpless. It was so scary. I couldn't wait to get bigger so I wouldn't feel so helpless."

"What triggers that helpless feeling now?"

"Humm?I guess it's when my wife and kids don't do what I want them to do or what I think they should do."

"So rather than feel and accept your helplessness over them, which is the reality but is a difficult feeling to feel, you avoid feeling that old helplessness by trying to control them with your anger, just as your parents did. Is that right?"

"I guess so. I guess I try to control them rather than feel helpless. But why should I feel helpless? It's an awful feeling.

"Michael, when you were a child, you were helpless over your parents brutality, and you were also helpless over yourself in many ways. You couldn't just leave and go live with someone else. You couldn't walk away without further punishment. However, today, while you are still helpless over others, you are not helpless over yourself. You can walk away from a situation that doesn't feel good, or you can speak up for yourself. You can also explore difficulties with your family. You didn't have any of these options as a child. But unless you accept your helplessness over others, you will try to control them, and anger is the way you've learned to do it. Anger is your automatic controlling, addictive response to protect against feeling that old helplessness. You will continue to be angry until you accept your helplessness over others - over what they choose to do and who they choose to be."

Helplessness over others is a very hard feeling to accept. For many people, it feels like a life or death feeling, because as infants we were completely helpless and if no one came we would die. Some of us cried and cried and no one came and we felt helpless over living or dying. While today helplessness over others is not usually a life or death experience, the feeling can trigger our infant terror. Most people will do anything to avoid the feeling of helplessness, even though we are no longer helpless over ourselves. Yet until we accept our helplessness over others, we will try to control them, and anger is a major way many people have learned to attempt to control.

It took Michael time to learn how to take care of himself - how to embrace and accept his helpless feelings rather than ignore them or cover them up with anger. As he learned to take loving care of himself and his own feelings and needs, he became more accepting of other's feelings and needs. As a result of accepting himself and others, and of learning to feel and manage his painful feelings, his need to control others gradually diminished.

In the course of working with me, Michael learned to access a personal source of spiritual guidance to help him not feel so alone and to know how to take loving care of himself. Michael found that when he was connected with his spiritual guidance, he was much less likely to act out in anger. He found he could manage his difficult feelings of aloneness and helplessness far more easily when he felt the love and support of Spirit.

About The Author

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is the best-selling author and co-author of eight books, including "Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By You?" She is the co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding healing process. Learn Inner Bonding now!

Visit her web site for a FREE Inner Bonding course: http://www.innerbonding.com or mailto:margaret@innerbonding.com. Phone sessions available.

More Resources

Unable to open RSS Feed $XMLfilename with error HTTP ERROR: 404, exiting

More Coaching Information:

Related Articles

It's All To Do With The Way You Wake Up
Do you start your day with anger, frustration and annoyance at the alarm and the need to get up? Do you wake up hoping the day will go away and you can get back to sleep? Have you lost the fun? The confidence to have a go at things. Are you struggling along? Are you just going through the rituals of life? Are you just doing enough at work? Doing what is necessary because you think you 'ought, should, must do this for the sake of others? Do you feel all washed up and no one is interested in you? Do you feel devoid of vibrancy, and sense of purpose, an aimless victim buffeted by the winds of change? It's all to do with the way you wake up.
Learning To Recognize Your Ego
What is an ego? Well, in case you didn't know it, we all have one. The ego is the logical rational part of your mind that allows you to separate yourself from other people.
What You See is What You Get
H. Jackson Brown Jr.
Say Adios to the Fear of Rejection!
Do you ever get an uncomfortable feeling in your stomach when you have to approach someone?In situations like this does your mind go blank?This is not unusual. That feeling is often the fear of rejection.
Sorry Dr Maslow, I Think You Got It Wrong
In the 1950s Abraham Maslow published a book entitled " Motivation and Personality" in which he outlided his now famous Hierarchy of Needs. Over the years since its publication Maslow's work has gained wide acceptance as a tool in understanding human motivation.
Business Coaching Legacy: Reflections on What You Want to Leave Behind?
Updating my will has been on my mind for quite some time now. Life circumstances change, kids grow-up, financial situations changes.
How Does Sports Coaching Differ from Corporate Coaching?
Athletes Versus EmployeesMost athletes are young, open to improvement, eager to learn and anxious to receive what a coach can provide. For the athlete, there is a defined season and something tangible to compete for.
Learn to Say No!
How many times have you agreed to do something that you actually didn't want to do? For someone at work? Your friends? Even your spouse? All you had to do was say no, but the word didn't come out. So you end up doing it?and later resent it.
Purpose
Many people go through much of their lives without really thinking about their purpose. I don't mean a lofty, philosophic, and often unrealistic purpose that has us striving to save the world or solve the challenge of poverty throughout the world (although these are both admirable for those whose true purpose is to do so).
Pecked to Death By Ducks
Ever been in a situation where it seems like minor criticisms are all you hear? Sure, there are things you could improve, you know that . .
Be Better at Business - And Lose Weight, Too!
In business, individuals often secure the services of a success coach like myself to "fix" certain areas of their professional life. The desired fixes typically range from a desire for a promotion and/or a salary increase, to on-the-job performance enhancements, to improving one's personal productivity, to boosting one's level of enthusiasm about their job.
Coaching: YOU Can Improve Your Organizations Performance
GOOD BUSINESS COACHING: Clearly, the right kind of coaching can alter a team's or an organization's performance. The implication for business is that if you create a climate of coaching in any organization, you can produce performance that exceeds your expectations - and you won't have to change the people to do so.
The Role of Grief Group Facilitators
Technically, there are two types of grief groups. Informational and support groups are for individuals who have an interest in the grief process.
Greasing the Path to Success: Finding the Confidence to Step Up to Key Moments
Whether it's making a prospecting call to a promising business contact, giving an informal "elevator speech" to a networking group, or attempting to close a transaction, there are certain key moments when putting your best-dressed foot forward really matters. Some of life's fortunate people seem to be naturally at their best finding confidence under pressure.
Value Based Leadership Coaching
What can I do to be a better coach? The Eight Step Coaching Model describes the process, yet too often the focus is on techniques only. "How can I say it to win my point, get others to do things my way, or convince them?" Focusing only on one technique is fundamentally manipulative.
Forget Resolutions - Craft A Life Theme That Works
How many people do you know who, in January, enthusiastically name their resolution for the year yet somehow neglect to follow through with it a few weeks or months later? Forget making New Year's resolutions. They rarely work because they are often based on "shoulds" versus the bigger picture of your life.
Difficult Challenges? -- What If?
Sometimes life can seem like one long series of unsolvable problems. I know there have been times when I would much rather find something else to do and quit whatever I was doing simply because it was too much trouble to continue.
We Are Exactly Where We Choose to Be
The idea for this month's newsletter came from an unlikely encounter: I recently had lunch with a new friend named Rick Rockwell. You may remember him as the bachelor from the first-ever reality TV show, "Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire?"During our meeting, Rick described some of the knowledge he gained from doing the show, along with a few of past his experiences in business, ethics, and of course, primetime romance.
Throw a No-Heat Party for the Planet
Is it really possible to have loads of fun, and help the planet at the same time? I remember the first No-heat party I went to. It was on the coldest night of winter that year, according to the Farmer's Almanac.
An Easy Way to End The Year
As a healthy business owner or independent professional, how do you end your year? Well, I tell my clients to stop working. That's right, stop working.