Acceptance of Underlying Feelings Many times we may have a strong emotional reactions to something that may not be that big of a deal to someone else. When this happens, it's important to see if there are any underlying feelings underneath. This happens a lot with children and teens. They have more difficulty expressing how they really feel, especially when it might be negative towards a parent or their family members. So as they bottle up their feelings, they gather at the surface and come out in ways we may not understand. Here are some examples:
~A child who is gets angry over very small things like their pencil breaking, not having pizza for dinner, or a toy breaking. If their parents are going through a divorce or fighting a lot, they may feel very sad. They may have trouble identifying the sadness so it is coming out in anger.
~A teen may be angry when he can't be in control of things at home. If this is out of character for him, he might be getting bullied at school. His fear may come out through anger or trying to control things.
~For adults, a wife may be upset and rage about the husband not taking the garbage out. It's really not about the garbage, she's upset that he is not home much and doesn't spend time with her. She is truly hurt.
~A coworker goes off because you asked them to help with a project. This doesn't make sense! Come to find out, they feel overwhelmed with their work load and they are angry at their boss.
Do you see a theme here? Anger is a theme. Usually when people show anger, they are hurt, afraid, or frustrated. I often ask my clients when they are angry- are you hurt, afraid or frustrated? 99% of the time, is one or all of the above. To ask yourself this question in your relationships will help you tremendously. Don't try to "diagnosis" your relationship. But possibly look for what could be going on and ask questions to show interest and make it safe for them to share. If you can get to the underlying issue, you can really focus on the feelings and then a solution.
Tomorrow Joleen will share our last tip- it's a good one! Stay tuned! Thank you for reading.
Source: Parenting Your Out-of-Control Teenager by Scott Sells, Ph.D.
Written by Natalie Chandler