Some Distortions and Perversions of Anger:
What Anger the Emotion ISN'T
Being Controlling: Being demanding, expecting that others will do what you want, or telling others what they should do and how they should be
Sulking/Pouting: Trying to hurt others with a silence that is punishing, hostile, ominous, and threatening
...e.g. emotionally withdrawing from your partner and refusing to talk for long periods of time when you're angry; giving your partner “the cold shoulder” or “the silent treatment”
Being Blaming: Not taking responsibility for yourself (i.e. your thoughts, feelings); continually focusing on others and what they say and do to justify what you have said and done
...e.g. "I never would have said that to you if you wouldn’t have put me down first”
your anger on others who don't deserve your anger but who
are "safer" and "easier" targets than
the original person would be
...e.g. yelling at your partner or your children rather
than speaking up directly about your concerns at work with your boss.
on and on" and "talking at" someone to try to make a point or convince them that you are “right” and they are “wrong”
“Ranting and Raving:” “Going on and on” about some topic or issue that bothers you whether the other person wants to hear about it or not
...e.g. about the taxes you pay, a disliked neighbor or in-law, local or national politics or political figures, how the government is run, a micromanaging boss or a lazy co-worker
Labeling: Making simplistic
and critical judgments about others
...e.g. "What an idiot!" "You're a moron!"
"You need to grow up!" "You're Nuts!"
and making "right/wrong" assessments about others
and what they say and do
...e.g. "No one should ever act like that"
Making "grand interpretations" about why others
do what they do
...e.g. "You're just saying I'm abusive because of
what your last boyfriend did to you"
Being Sarcastic: Devious
and hostile joking at someone else's expense
...e.g. "You're really a winner!" / "Right...I'm
sure you know what you're talking about"
Being Aggressive: Being
"pushy," rude, abrasive, bullying, and intrusive
and ignoring what others think, feel, and want
...e.g. "I don't care what you want" / "To
hell with you"
Being Vicious: Taking
advantage of another person's vulnerability
...e.g. "going for the throat; " "hitting
below the belt;" using confidences to hurt someone
Being Punitive: Wanting
to punish someone by making your reaction so strong that
they won't repeat the behavior you dislike
Being Vindictive: Being
vengeful and trying to "get even with" and "get
back at" others for the "wrongs" they have
supposedly done to you
Violence: Allowing your
internal pain to build to the point where you make the
choice to strike out at others physically or sexually
...e.g. grabbing, pushing, restraining, slapping
© 1987 David J. Decker, MA, LP
Phone: 612-725-8402 or 651-646-4325 - www.ANGEResources.com