Don’t Blame the Anger, Blame What’s Underneath it
The first thing to do when you are angry we are told is to count to ten and see how it pans out.
Of course, this therapy doesn’t work for everyone.
We often see anger as a “bad” emotion, a dangerous one that needs to be ridden.
And while I’m not here to talk about what can necessitate an angry mode or the usefulness of anger per se, it’s noteworthy that anger isn’t always what it looks like.
There’s always something beneath it. It’s not in a dashboard signal emotive way, but more like a self-aware practice of realizing what’s beneath our anger and using that as a means to manage it.
So what can we describe as the undertone of anger?
Some of them involve:
Being angry is a defensive mechanism
Sometimes you are not truly angry when you think you are. You’re using anger as a defensive mechanism to chase away threats that might eventually make you angry. You may activate this mode as a caution to prevent you from being angry, which is not a bad tactic.
Anger is a call for help
Sometimes when we are angry the undertone could be a call for help. We subconsciously call for someone to come to our rescue. The rescue mission could be in the form of loving us, understanding us, and being there for us (the more). When someone is this type of angry, it’s best to double-down on the compassion we show them because at that point whatever they are doing is equivalent to dialing a 999 or 911 (insert any emergency number as it suits).
Anger is an overarching expressive bullet
Expressing anger can be a means to tell a lot of untold stories about a person or a situation. It is that irretrievable bullet your shoot. The kind that either kills to die or kills to amend. For instance, anger expression can tell if one is soft, a sensitive person, a hot-tempered person, a fearful person, or a heartful person — or a hard, insensitive person as the case may be. So, to tell that story, it hides beneath the anger as an emotive explosive.
When you see someone displaying their anger, before you react pay close attention to what’s beneath their anger and exercise lots of compassion towards them for they are either using anger as a defensive mechanism or an explosive to mask their true nature. Or they are imploring it as a means to call for help.
Either way, don’t react on a whim.