Anger: Another Form of Shyness?
How on earth can we equate a shy, pale person with an angry, red-faced person?
Easily... when we realise that hidden is a series of thought and feeling processes that is just the same in both...
Anger is normal and a very healthy way to say that we are hurt or frustrated; Anger in itself is felt when we feel brushed off, not listened to or made fun of etcÂ?. But anger becomes a major problem in the way it is expressed. Physical Violence, verbal abuse, tantrums even in adults, swearing and abusing othersÂ?you know when you are faced with a person "who has lost it completely!" don't you? Problem is, they do not see it or accept it until they are threatened to lose that prized status, job or relationship.
We are brought up in a civilized society that often says "don't be angry", "you don't look good angry!" so that we grow up lacking the right skills to express our hurt feelings in a healthy way. So how do we express anger or aggressive feelings: often shouting, swearing, throwing things around, pounding on doors or tables, shrieking, or pushing people aside and stomping off, sulking in silence for days before exploding into rageÂ?..all these expressions of anger are bound to leave us feeling released in the short term but ashamed, guilty, angry with ourselves and demeaned in our self-esteem and with an estranged, hurt or demeaned husband, wife, partner or child.
Because what often angry people see as triggers for anger e.g. "she does not listen", "he behaves so irresponsible; like a child I tell you!", "my colleagues think I am a bully so I give them a bully!" are not there in the first place. Triggers are often there, seen and felt by them because of their belief systems e.g. being vulnerable if I cry, not good-enough for love, fear of losing control and being hurt, being too ordinary to deserve authority status, etcÂ?Thus when the eye see and the heart feels that we are being treated as such we are bound to react defensively to protect ourselves.
PassivityÂ?Assertiveness--Aggressivity: Scale of expressing emotions.
The person who has learnt to retreat in passivity from early years as a way of protection will keep that same attitude and may even get sympathy and help later on in life to come "out of the shell!" But the person who has learnt anger (from role models, from being ignored, or by colluding with the abuser in the family) and expresses those same hurt feelings and beliefs in anger will get rejection and resentment in later years. No doubt it is difficult to sympathise with angry and aggressive people but I have learnt in my practice that they are wonderful human beings who are in pain but do not know how to acknowledge it , live with it, or express it. Their own feelings make them very uncomfortable and they defend against them!
Expressing emotions or thoughts can be done: either passively, e.g. bottling up, agreeing with everything that is said, following the other person at work or home even if we do not agree or aggressively as laid above. The only healthy way to express angry, hurt, aggressive feelings is by being assertive. Assertiveness skills are learnt from childhood when we are brought up in an environment that allows us to compromise, negotiate and argue within boundaries. But for angry people Assertiveness is an unknown sensation or skill.
When we say some people need treatment for Anger Management we mean that they need help to express their hurt feelings in a constructive way. I have had many clients over the years who have expressed a fear of losing all ability to be angry if they come for Hypnotherapy. What Hypnotherapy will help with is simply programming the mind to process the anger in manageable doses and manageable ways both for the client and his/her family members or colleagues
For people with anger issues often from childhood onwards they have learnt either to be passive with their feelings/thoughts and then blow up or they have a very low frustration tolerance which causes them to react at slight remarks. So as they grow into adults and the pressure of life, work and relationships take over they respond either by giving silent treatment that ultimately explode into raging anger that the partner often does not understand at all or by reacting so defensively and so quickly that they look dangerous and threatening. They will later say that they were only expressing themselves but it is the other person who can hear the rage in the tone, who can feel the threat of attack and who can sense themselves in danger.
Hypnotherapy works well with anger issues for two major reasons
In Hypnotherapy we are working with the unconscious mindwhere all our instinctive reactions have taken roots and angry/aggressive people often feel helpless once those triggers get touched upon. They have forgotten when they learnt unconsciously to blow up if someone says "you are being silly" or if they just imply it. The trigger has been programmed in the inner mind and gets set up automatically.
What a Hypnotherapist will do is access the inner mind and help identify and then change those triggers and set more constructive reactions to anger, like talking it out, shouting within limits, staying within boundaries of self-respect etc. Hypnosis techniques are there to change those belief systems that are creating anger into healthier beliefs about one's self-worth.
The added bonus here is that we train the mind to relax and become calm so that we can access the unconscious mind and work with it and these results in the clients' also learning to relax their mind and body. Which is something an angry person will agree is the most difficult thing for them to do!
So relaxation and peace within the mind and body as well as ability to express anger in an assertive way are some of the few things that Hypnotherapy allows an angry person to achieve. Over three to five sessions the client is helped to develop a more constructive unconscious mindset which he then practices over a few more weeks as he is taught self-hypnosis.
So next time you are faced with that angry partner, friend or work colleague of yours, know that he or she is feeling as vulnerable and hurt and fragile as the friend you know who's shy and reservedÂ?.and then you may just be able to sympathise and help him/her?
About the author:Amreeta is trained as a Psychologist and Clinical Hypnotherapist. She has four years' experience as Hypnotherapist working mostly with cases like anger/aggression, sexual abuse/problems, low self-esteem, panic attacks andphobias.
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