As Christy introduced to us yesterday, anger may be the emotion we show to others, but it may not be the primary emotion we're feeling on the inside.
This week we're discussing what some of these more vulnerable emotions might be - the actual feelings we are experiencing - but anger is expressed instead.
Whether we're disappointed with ourselves or with someone else, the feeling of disappointment is heavy. When things don't go quite as we expected or when we hurt someone's feelings by accident, this weighs heavily upon us.
When someone lets us down, rejects us, or doesn't come through for us - it's natural to feel disappointed with them. To look them in the eye and say "I'm disappointed" may feel very vulnerable. Or, it may be hard to even name what we're feeling. It can also feel confusing.
Anger may be the emotion that first arises. We may want to yell at the person who let us down. We may want to "beat ourselves up" for the mistakes we made. However, if we tap into the feeling of disappointment, most likely there won't be any yelling or "beating up" taking place.
Disappointment looks different than anger. It may be softer, include tears, and involves more sharing. Anger, when used in an unhealthy manner, places distance between us and another person. It doesn't allow for healthy communication or closeness.
I hope you can see the difference. The next time you find yourself angry, ask yourself if there is another emotion fueling the anger? Dig deeper under the iceberg.
Written by: Tamara McCord MA, LMHC, LCAC
*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counseling at Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.