Saturday, July 10, 2010

Anger is Fear...

Today a friend told me I've seemed angrier of late. I laughed it off and said that, in actual fact, I've always been this angry, and if anything I've been trying to be less angry in recent times because I don't to be an angry person, or to be thought of as an angry person.

On reflection, yes, I have probably been an angry person for a while now. Anger is an emotion that is a direct response to fear. The correlation between fear and anger is very close. The angrier a person seems to be, the more fear they feel, the more threatened they perceive themselves to be.

Fear affects people differently, in some people it cause a flight response. Some people become unbelievably keen to please when afraid, they'll do anything to deny the threat they are feeling, to suppress the fear with a smile and a pleasant tone and a willingness to do just about anything for anyone, especially anyone who has the power to alleviate their fear. Society likes people who flee when afraid.

In other people, like myself, fear causes a fight response. Society sometimes likes the fight response, fleers like it if the fighting angry person is fighting on BEHALF of them as well. However, the fight response can actually CAUSE a lot of fear in others, which sometimes makes them flee, and sometimes makes them fight back.

A person who responds to fear with a fight response, will become more and more defensive and aggressive as their fear mounts.

So, yes. I'm a fighter. I get angry when I'm afraid. It's not attractive, it doesn't oil any social wheels.

Another problem with us fighters. People think we're strong, hard, able to cope. People think we don't need anyone, ever. We might be tell people we don't need anyone (that is a defense which is solely to help us cope with the intense fear we feel). People might think we're impermeable and therefore don't need understanding or gentleness.

When fleers are afraid, they response to fear often causes people to want to protect them. When fighters are afraid, their response to fear at first causes people to believe they'll be fine without help and later that they don't deserve help.

Yes. I guess I've been angrier than usual of late, I'm been far more afraid and feeling far more vulnerable in the past year and a half than at any other time of my life. There has been no safe harbour in this storm for me to shelter in and I've felt very much alone and afraid with the burden of keeping my little family of six emotionally and materially afloat. So, when you think I'm angry, imagine how afraid I am.

4 comments:

Spiralmumma said...

That makes total sense. I'm more of the 'run away, flight, chickenshit' type :D I only like debate Where it's healthy and constructive, otherwise I'm very anxious/avoidant. Having said that I get angry too, and anger most certainly can be a manifestation of fear. Hope you feel better soon *hugs*

Jen said...

I know you didn't write this for me Sif but it sure feels like you did so thankyou! I am the same as you and I get angry alot and it stems from fear and insecurity. I'm also incharge of everything and take on the brunt of all worries and problems that need solving or dealing with, partly out of choice but mostly outvof necissity. I hope that things begin to feel more settled for you all and the burden starts to lift off your shoulders soon xo

Rachael said...

I never thought about it all before that way, but I sure am angry a lot of the time...

Sif said...

LOL, Jen, this wasn't for anyone so much as me blurting out my own feelings about anger and my own anger and my guilt about my anger. I want to not be angry, but it's not realistic until my fear levels subside. Fear response can only fall into fight or flight response. People who think a fearful person can and should be able to control their response have simply not experienced this level of fear.

Being a fighter is a double edged sword. On the one hand, people often don't understand that you're actually suffering - they think you're just a pain or difficult - on the other hand, it's the fighters fortitude that keeps them and the people they're staying tough for from drowning...

I can't go into how tough things have been and the fears that have kept me awake night after night for months even though i'm emotionally and physically exhausted. Needless to say, i just don't have the capacity to be gracious, i'm stretched just trying to be emotionally and physically present for the peoplw who rely on me at home, that's all i can handle right now.

Teenagers and the failing parent...