A nger is a signal that tells us that we don't like what's going on. It doesn't go away if we ignore it, to deny it exists or fail to resolve it. He goes "underground", where it makes sneak attacks on her health and interpersonal relationships. Buried anger can also surface when the next emotional crisis comes along, intensifying its impact upon us.

What makes us angry and how we express it varies according to culture, age, sex, marital status, politics and relative power in a situation, but the motion is universal. It almost often begins with a loss or the threat of one, such as...

  • Loss of self-esteem. We get angry when we think we've failed or "let ourselves down".
  • Loss of status. Public exposure of failures or inadequacies can be both humiliating and infuriating.
  • Threat of physical harm or violence. Anger helps activate the instinct for selfpreservation.
  • Loss of valued possessions skills or abilities. Regardless of who's to blame, losing something you're proud of or attached to can cause both hurt and anger.
  • Loss of a valued role. If you lose a part of your life that is important to your idenity, they may feel angry at having a role removed.
  • Loss of valued relationships. We often respond with anger when an important relationship ends.

Anger is often accompanied by physical reactions such as dry mouth, pounding heart, dizziness, feeling faint, shaking, cold hands, red face, headaches, stomach aches, fatigue or crying, all of which are caused by the rush of adrenaline that floods the nervous system.

We react to anger psychologically also, and may:

  • See ourselves as victims
  • Feel discounted or ignored
  • Feel powerless
  • Look for justice or revenge

Cultural standards and sex roles also play a part in how we do-or don't-express anger. In some cultures, anger is freely expressed and readily accepted; in others, displays of temper are a serious breach of social convention. In our culture men are allowed to express their anger freely; in fact, is not uncommon for men to act angry when they feel Hurt, afraid or confused. Anger in women, on the other hand, has traditionally been considered "onfeminine" or threatening. As a result, women are more apt to fill hurt than angry, or turn their anger into self-criticism and depression.
In families were anger is prohibited, children may learn to express their anger by whining, clinging, or passive- aggressiveness (promising compliance but doing otherwise or "accidentally" in solving or hurting the target of their anger.) we carry these attitudes and ways of handling anger into adult life, replaying unresolved anger from childhood in current relationships in becoming angry with new people in the same old ways.
In this case, there he can help by providing...
1.  An opportunity to safely express delayed angry feelings.
2.  Identification of the real sources of your anger.
3.  Resolution of old anger.
4.  Practice expressing current anger effectively.

In the workplace
Communicating with an angry employee or co-worker can be very difficult. Here are some suggestions to make it easier and more effective.

  • Try to understand their anger. Everyone has reasons for what they do; understanding his motivation, you can often understand what angers him.
  • Stabilize his emotional state using the feel, felt, found approach: I know how you feel about such and such. I felt that way when... I found that by doing this, things worked out.
  • Under react, maintain a low, even tone of voice and passive body language; it will sooth the angry person.
  • Rehearse what you want to say. You'll feel more in control of the actual situation when you deal with angry people.

Resolving your anger timing counts.

Choose the right time to express or anger. Don't try to resolve angry feelings when you or the other person is tired, or pressed for time.
Express feelings using "I" messages. Accusations such as "you don't care about me" only inflames hurt feelings further. If you were too angry to talk about why you are attacking the other person, you can always say "I'm so angry I can't talk about rite now; give me an hour (or day) to cool off".
After explaining why you're angry, state what you want the other person to do about it. Use clear, direct language; "in the future will you...?," not "I wish you would... "
Give the other person an opportunity to express his feelings about situation, and can be certain that you understand them before going on. Paraphrase in often helps: "are you saying that...?" Get feedback from the other person rather than assuming that you know what they're thinking.
Look for a win-win solution. Resolution of feelings or plans you develop must be truly acceptable to both parties to work. A competitive, win/lose approach only perpetuates anger.

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