Everyone gets upset sometimes, but anger problems aren’t universal.
It may be hard to believe, but some people don’t get mad. I mean everyone gets mad, but some people don’t show their anger. This article is about those of us with the first response getting mad and expressing it. This is the way I am wired, and I know there are a lot of you out there wired the same way.
Anger Problems Stem From Our Youth
There are many theories about why we are wired the way we are, but I would like to boil it down. We are wired this way because when we were little, the big people who influenced us expressed their anger this way. We learned how to express ours by watching them. There could be other reasons too, like no one listened to us so we had to get loud to be heard. All this happened when we were small.
Whatever the reason, I just want to talk about having this wiring. We get our feelings hurt, get mad, express the disappointment, misunderstanding, pain, hurt, confusion or whatever is happening in a big way where everyone knows we are unhappy. I have been doing this all my life. I have softened over the years and have been able to walk away at times instead of blowing up, but I haven’t in all the years I have tried been able to change the way I am wired.
So, if you are holding yourself responsible because you have an “anger” problem, relax. You too are wired this way. And you too can learn some tools to not throw up your anger on people you care about. Yes, you can.
When Anger Problems Manifest, We Don’t Care Who We Hurt
The reason I wanted to write about getting mad came to me after seeing my horoscope. Here is what it said: “Maybe they won’t like you when you’re mad, but when you get mad the very last thing you care about is whether or not they like you.”
OMG, this is so true. Maybe it’s true for you too. When I am mad, I am not thinking that my anger will be a problem, that people might not want to experience it, or that they might not like me if I explode. No, that’s not the way I work. When I am mad, that’s all I see. I see the mad. Maybe that’s what happens to you.
Anger Problems Trap You Inside Yourself
I am not thinking about the other person’s feelings; I am trapped in mine and there’s this very familiar belief that someone has to make me feel better. This is definitely the way I see things when I am hurt, misunderstood, left out, disappointed etc. And here’s what I know. That feeling of wanting attention from someone who may have hurt me is as old as I can remember.
This isn’t new or from the adult Linda. This feeling of being hurt intentionally is as old as my oldest feelings and memories. I grew up this way, looking for someone to blame. So yes, just like the horoscope says, I am not interested in your feelings when I am wounded. I am just looking to feel better.
Try Letting Your Partner Know That Your Anger is a Manifestation of Your Need to Be Loved
And maybe that’s what we should all be saying to the people who love us. My bark may be big, but it covers my very real, primal need to be loved. If you could remember this for me, then maybe you would not take my anger expressions so personally. Now that’s a lot to ask from your partner. But I think it’s a good request.
Your partner loves you. Your partner does not want to see you hurt. Unfortunately, all this gets lost when we make them wrong. Let’s work on it, shall we?
Need Some Help Resolving Anger Problems in Your Relationship?
Read a Book About Relationships
Learn about how to communicate your frustration and feelings productively, by reading Linda’s book, Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It just might help you fight less and feel more loved. Give it a read.
Get Couples Counseling
Come in for couples counseling. Couples counseling can help you and your loved one get the most out of your relationship. It'll equip you with coping strategies and tools for communication that can help you argue less and love more.