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Living with Anger

Anger is normal but what about rage?

I am slow to anger. As long as the other party is being honest with me. Without truth on both sides, it would not be possible to communicate on an equal footing. I think, unexpressed anger turns into rage. But what is rage?

"There is research available that suggests that suppressed anger is an underlying ingredient both of anxiety and of depression. Anger that is not expressed can kindle and erupt in a manner that disrupts relationships and can lead to a variety of medical problems. Frequently the underlying anger is related to a perceived loss of control over factors affecting our integrity—our beliefs and how we feel about ourselves".

"In some cases, the anger has to do with the inability to meet unrealistic expectations (our own or those who have expectations of us). Rage is a shame-based expression of that anger. Rage is the accumulation of unexpressed anger and perceived disrespectful transactions that after multiple 'stuffings' finally flow to the surface. When we become enraged, usually there is the belief that someone is deliberately attempting to incite us to become angry. Within this ego-bruised state, we are onvinced that trying to be reasonable will prove to be ineffective, and therefore we will need to “even the score” or methodically disarm the offending party".

While expressing anger is all about the controlled notification that one feels threatened in some way, rage has little to do with control. Rage denotes a loss of control and is characterized by shouting, engaging in violence (including the destruction of property or threats of violence), manipulating through emotional blackmail, or punishing through social withdrawal (e.g., “shaming”).

"Raging offers a false sense of empowerment to an individual who feels inadequate and in turn uses the rage to shut down the other individual. From time to time, anyone can have a bad day. However, a persistent pattern of controlling through bullying can leave scars that may never heal".

"If you question your ability to self-assess whether your anger has crossed the line to rage, just look directly into the eyes of the other person—you will know the answer to your question. By simply asking, “Has my anger offended you?”, one could offer the most responsible and effective strategy to fully assess the impact, while simultaneously signaling a commitment to improve one’s communication style".

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