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Jul 26

The Inauthenticity of Anger

Welcome to the July 2013 Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival: Anger

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival hosted by Authentic Parenting and Living Peacefully with Children. This month our participants have written about anger. We hope you enjoy this month’s posts and consider joining us next month when we share about breastfeeding.

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Feelings…..nothing more than feelings….Anger. It’s a very real emotion and one that many parents have experienced. Anger, even when expressed in healthy ways, is not healthy tough.

How can a real emotion be unhealthy? It is unhealthy because it is a manifestation of our inauthenticity. You heard me correctly. While anger can be very real, it isn’t authentic.

Anger is actually a secondary emotion. It always follows after other emotions. While emotions point us toward our met and unmet needs, as a secondary emotion, anger doesn’t let us know what is going on.

When we find ourselves angry, we have ignored the primary emotions, the ones that were there to tell us about our met and unmet needs. We haven’t been honest with ourselves or with the people we love.

It is important to take the time to discover the primary emotion we are experiencing in order to address what is really going on. When we are being authentic, including with our parenting, we address issues before we reach that point of anger. Sure, there are times that we may be frustrated, sad, upset, or just feel unappreciated. The time to address those issues is when they occur. Bottling up our feelings until they explode into anger isn’t helpful to anyone.

Be kind to yourself and kind to your family. Acknowledge the primary emotions and work together to meet everyone’s needs. Be authentic.

photo credit: Mysi(new stream: www.flickr.com/photos/mysianne) via photopin cc

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APBC - Authentic Parenting

Visit Living Peacefully with Children and Authentic Parenting to find out how you can participate in next month’s Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival, when we discuss breastfeeding!

 

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be live and updated by afternoon July 27 with all the carnival links.)

2 comments

  1. Shonnie

    I appreciate what you’ve written, Mandy, yet disagree about anger being a secondary emotion. As I understand it and am learning to experience it, anger is energy. Given a voice, it says, “No! That’s not okay with me.” When a boundary we have is violated — someone physically hurts us, someone takes a material possession, someone is verbally disrespectful — our own self-protection mechanisms kick in. We feel angry because we were not respected or were even harmed. We may also feel sad or frustrated, yet I don’t believe anger results from ignoring our sadness or frustration. I’m learning that anger is my body’s energetic way of telling me that something is not right with me. It may be the way we humans are treating the planet, the laws being passed that weaken our social safety net, the ads for violent films that appear on youtube when I search for a video for my daughter. When I feel this energetic “No!” I want to pay attention and honor my own integrity, humanity, and values. Expressing my “No!” in a way that does not harm others’ integrity, humanity, and values is, for me, the part of anger that can either work or not work for me, those I love, and the others with whom I share this planet. Respectfully yours.

    1. Mandy

      I agree that anger is definitely as self-protective mechanism, but I disagree that it is a primary emotion. According to the research I have read, we become angry and feel the need to protect ourselves when our primary needs are not being met. When we feel hurt or disrespected and that issue is not resolved, our protective mechanism, in this instance anger, kicks in.

      An example in parenting would be the parents of a child who is not home by curfew. While they wait for their child to show up, they may feel a multitude of emotions, such as worry or fear that something has happened to their child. When the child arrives safe and sound and they haven’t addressed their fear, whether that is acknowledging it to themselves and their child or coming up with a solution which will prevent it from occurring, that is when the anger often hits.

      There are times when anger is warranted, and it definitely can be energizing. However, in those instances, it wasn’t the first emotion. The first emotion wasn’t addressed, prompting the anger in order to motivate someone into doing something proactive. That doesn’t mean that anger is not real, or even justified. It just means that it came after the initial feelings, which we may not even have recognized.

      In our society, we are taught that expressing emotions, and to some extent even having them, is unacceptable. This is especially true for many men, who are often discouraged even more than women to express emotion, accounting for the greater amount of anger shown by many men. In general, this suppression of emotion causes a lot of problems for both individuals and society as a whole. It comes back to the idea that in order to find a viable solution, you must first understand the problem.

      When we are being authentic in our relationships, we are free to express our initial emotions with our loved ones and come up with amiable solutions without the need to resort to anger to make changes.

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