Passive Aggression- The Sneaky Anger

Passive Aggression- The Sneaky Anger

When someone is angry, they may be upfront with you and tell you that they are upset with you. Then there is another type of anger where someone could act like everything is fine, but use subtle tactics to avoid having to confront you about their anger. It is always important to be upfront about your anger to avoid any pent up anger or confusion if the person you are angry at cannot pick up on your signals.

Not Looking In the Eye

One form of passive aggression is when you do not look at the person you are mad at. You know that if you look at the person you are mad at for too long, your anger can come out. You would rather distance yourself from that person. Maybe you could be dealing with problems that have nothing to do with that person, but you do not want to look at them because you are afraid if you do, you are inviting them to ask you what is wrong. The truth is that a person, especially a good friend, will know that something is wrong if you look like you are avoiding looking at them. It will make them feel ignored.

Ignoring Someone in a Group Setting

You could be in a group setting and have a problem with one person in the group. This can mean that when the person you do not like is speaking, you could be ignoring them and speaking to everyone else. The person you do not like will catch on when they realize you are not answering them when they speak or if they are trying to bring a good idea into the discussion and you are just passing it off.

Your Actions Do Not Match Your Words

The whole point of passive aggression is that you are nice to that person to their face, only to speak harshly about them behind their back. One example is that you may over compliment that person and they do not know you are mad at them. That person may have no idea that anything is wrong and that you are just being genuinely nice. Or that person may find it odd that you are being too nice. It may come as a shock to them when they find out how you really feel.

Being Critical

If you do not like someone, you may be using your tone of voice as a way of conveying your dislike towards someone. An example can be that you are to train someone at work that you do not like. Whenever that person makes a mistake, you are rudely criticizing that person for every mistake instead of comforting them. This is a way of establishing dominance and seniority by making that person feel useless to feel smarter. All this is telling the other person is that you are insecure about yourself and tearing the other person down to feel on top.

Making Fun of Someone

Passive aggression is using subtle signs in regular action. This can mean that you are constantly mocking the person you do not like. You could be making fun of the way they walk, talk, or certain quirks of theirs. You could be lying to them and saying that you are joking, making them feel like they are being too serious. In reality, you mocking that person is your own subtle way of telling that person how you think of them. You are pointing out what you think are flaws that you cannot ignore about that person.

Denial

One of the biggest signs of passive aggression is when you will absolutely not admit you have a problem with that person. You do not want to have to confront that person about your dislike towards them, so you would rather take the subtle approach to avoid a fight. You will still tell that person that everything is fine even when they clearly see that it is not. You may even respond to that person in anger when they ask you how you are feeling. If you do not confront that person on your feelings towards them, that anger will not go away.

Unsatisfied Resolution

You may have tried to resolve things with this person because they see all of the red flags you are sending them. Even when it seems you have come up with a solution, you are still not satisfied. The problem is that the other person has no idea that you are still not happy. On their end, everything seems fine because you gave off that impression that it is. With no resolution means more pent up anger and frustration. 

How You Can Change

Remember that being passive-aggressive is a choice you made instead of being confrontational. This may be who you have always been, but there is room for change. Learn to direct your communication to that person who is angering you instead of your subtle approaches. Think of the subtle choices that you have made in the past when you were passive-aggressive and how you can change them. For example, if this person offers a conflict resolution you are not happy with, tell that person and come up with a solution you are both happy with. Let others know that you are trying your best to change. Confronting your passive-aggressive anger will help resolve it and move past it. 

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress-reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


How to Calm Down When You Are Quick to Anger

How to Calm Down When You Are Quick to Anger

Anger is an easy emotion to turn to when you are feeling depressed or overwhelmed. Anger can come naturally to all of us, but it can also turn away our loved ones if we are not careful. By learning to take control of your anger, you will learn to express your anger in healthy ways that will not push your loved ones away. 

Mindfulness

One effective method of keeping your anger in check is by practicing mindfulness breathing when your anger is beginning to get more intense. Try counting backward from ten. When we get angry, our fight or flight responses tend to take over which makes it hard for us to come up with successful problem-solving solutions. If we focus on our deep breathing instead of our problems, we will be able to problem-solve better and have a clear head.

Jot Down Your Thoughts

You do not want to say something to someone that you do not mean or will hurt their feelings. We tend to say things in anger without thinking about the people we hurt. That is why you should write down your thoughts to avoid saying them all out loud. For example, if someone on the phone says something to anger you, tell them you will call them back and then write down what is going on in your head. This will lift a huge weight off of your chest and help you organize your thoughts. Then, you can call your friend back when you have calmed down and still express your anger but in a way where no one gets hurt.

Distract Yourself

When we are angry, we tend to be too focused on our emotions to think of anything else. If we got into a fight with someone, we may be focused so much on that fight and the things that we said that it takes over everything. Take a few minutes to find some distracting activities to take your mind off something else. It can be playing a game or reading. You should be able to see your emotions shift when you surround yourself by activities that make you happy even if the problems that make you angry still exist.

Focus on Yourself

You may think that your anger is the most important thing happening to you right now. The truth is that nothing could be more important than your health. You cannot forget to take care of yourself. This means taking a shower, exercising, seeing your therapist, and being with your loved ones. Taking care of yourself will help yourself feel calmer. You should also take care of yourself in the evening by giving yourself a warm bath, listening to smooth music, or reading a book. All of these self-care tactics will help put you in a better place by the morning.

Evaluate Your Anger

Everyone’s anger works differently. Some people will yell really loud, others will slam doors, and others could be violent. Scale your own anger to increase your chances of calming down. Think about what happens to you when you get angry, what you do, and how you feel. Scale it from 1 to 10 with 10 being the most angry. If your anger is at a 9, then ask yourself what you can do to lower it to an 8 or a 7. You can even ask your partner, friend or family member to help you out with this.

Choose Not to Be Angry

When something bad happens, know that anger does not have to be the go-to emotion all the time. We can choose to feel differently even if it takes a while. Once we are aware of our anger, how we express it and see who we are turning away, we realize that we do not have to react this way. We can be bigger people and rise above the anger if we know we have the option to. 

Control Yourself

Sometimes, anger has a way of killing us if we do not control it. For example, if you got into an angry phone call while you are in the car, you could end up getting into a car accident if you keep yelling or putting yourself in a frenzy. You could be hurt yourself, the people in the car, and the people on the road. If you are aware of what angers you, come up with a plan of what to do when those moments come, like taking a breather, going into another room by yourself, or pulling the car over. Ask if your anger is worth all of the hurt that can come to yourself and others in the future.

Think of Your Emotions

Anger is normally triggered by an initial emotion. It can be fear, embarrassment, jealousy, disappointment, or sadness. Anger is what people do to mask the initial emotion to avoid crying and looking weak. Your anger probably has good intentions in trying to make you strong, but it will only leave you feared and hurt by others. You can experience these initial emotions by staying in control and keeping your honor, dignity, and self-respect. You may be trying to get these things through anger without realizing that your anger is destroying it. It is human to be angry, but it is important to have control over it so that you can convey you are upset without hurting anyone in the process.

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress-reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Gratitude as a Remedy for Anger

Gratitude as a Remedy for Anger

Anger is a part of the human experience, and those of us with addictions and mental health issues often find ourselves having tumultuous relationships, stressful conflicts, and other tough interpersonal issues.

When someone angers us, we have a tendency to react with aggression and hostility. We yell, we scream, we punch holes in walls, we break things, we abuse each other.

Some of us shut down and respond to our anger with silence, detachment, distance and/or isolation. We cut people off. We stop talking to them altogether. We end lifelong relationships and never speak to family and friends again.

We often hurt the people we love the most. We consciously or unconsciously trigger each other’s sensitivities and pain. We carry grudges. We are most impacted by the hurts brought on by our loved ones, because it is with them we feel the strongest connection. Anyone can anger us, but when our close family and friends hurt us, it often affects us in deeper, more personal, more impactful ways.

One way to manage our anger is to intentionally switch our focus to gratitude. Our loved ones often give us a lot to be grateful for. They have supported and cared for us, helped us. They gave us life. We could put our energy towards focusing on all the things we’re grateful for about them. This can help a lot, especially in moments of heightened pain and anger. To do this, we are essentially meditating and praying on gratitude.

“I am grateful to you. I am grateful for all the ways you’ve loved me and helped me. I love you.”

This process doesn’t mean we forget how they’ve wronged us. It doesn’t mean we condone their behavior, or that we let them off the hook. It doesn’t replace the work of resolving the conflict, which can be some of the most difficult work we’ll ever do in our lives- it hurts!

For many of us, the people we’re most angry with hurt and abused us to the point where we can’t find much to be grateful to them for. We can focus our gratitude on how strong and resilient we are. We’ve endured so much and are still here. We haven’t given up. “I am grateful to be the person I am.”

Gratitude is like a soothing remedy. It helps us to relieve some of the pain as we heal our wounds. We can find a lot of comfort in choosing to focus on gratitude. We can even find gratitude in the situation. “What can I learn from this? What wisdom will this bring me?” We can choose to see our pain as a blessing. The lessons it brings can be huge transformational gifts in our lives.

Our healing and recovery benefit greatly from working with our emotions holistically. The community at Enlightened Solutions can help you process your difficult emotions, relationships and experiences. Call (833) 801-LIVE.


Writing the Angry Email – One Way to Process Anger

Writing the Angry Email – One Way to Process Anger

Anger is a part of life. How we deal with it can make all the difference for our mental and emotional health. Our responses to things that anger and hurt us are often reactive. We yell when there is a misunderstanding. We break or hit things or punch holes in walls when we feel enraged. We abuse each other and ourselves.

One super helpful technique to diffuse anger is to write an angry email to the person or people you’re angry with, that you don’t intend to send. Write everything out. Don’t sugarcoat anything. You don’t have to worry about hurting their feelings or causing more conflict, because they won’t be reading it. Don’t hold back. Include everything that comes to mind, any and all details you can think of, and any emotions it brings up. Ask any questions you have. Write in all capital letters whenever you’re yelling in your mind! Do whatever you need to do to feel like you’ve expressed all your thoughts and feelings on the issue. This email might take days, weeks, months, even years to finish. With some relationships, it might be an ongoing email. Use the email to help you. This doesn’t solve the problem or eliminate the issue, but it can help in multiple ways.

Writing can help you manage the wave of emotions that can come with any tense situation. Conflicts, especially within families and close relationships, can cause us tremendous stress, anger and sadness. The process of writing it all out helps to navigate the many emotions. It also helps the energy to flow rather than staying stuck within you. Writing through a situation can help you to detach, by allowing you to feel like it’s on paper (or your phone/computer) so you can hold onto it less tightly in your mind. Writing it out can also help if you’re inclined to replay details, obsess over conversations, or have a hard time remembering how things happened.

Writing in general can be very meditative. You might feel the anger as rage, sadness, anxiety, tension or nervousness. These may cause physical effects such as sweaty palms, nervous tingling in your hands and feet, or heat in your chest. You might feel that as you write, these physical feelings start to decrease and then subside. Once you’ve done this writing process, you might have a whole new perspective and understanding on the issue and find yourself feeling much less angry.

We all need safe spaces to process our anger. Enlightened Solutions wants to help. Call (833) 801-LIVE.