Anger and Fear

As a rule, a certain period in my life is marked by a certain emotion. Happiness changes sadness, energy comes after frustration and so on.

A very long time ago I noticed that anger goes hand in hand with fear. Let me make my point clear. When I felt anger for a number of days, I knew that after that fear would come and vice versa. Sometimes it felt like a vicious circle from which it could be rather difficult to disentangle myself. At other times I was gripped by the two emotions simultaneously: I might behave aggressively feeling fear inside or, on the contrary, showed fear and meekness while feeling anger. All this made me wonder, for I couldn't approach understanding the mechanism. 

Then I began to notice the same thing about other people. The loud aggressive people I met often happened to be the ones most subject to fear. As for meek and calm people, they often turned out the most courageous and self-assertive. An idea began to form in my mind that anger and fear are nothing but two sides of one and the same emotion. When one is outside (shown, explicit), the other is inside (hidden, implicit).

One day reading a book I came across a chapter "The basis of fear and anger" which contained answers to nearly all my questions. I learned that both anger and fear are linked to the"fight or flight" response:

"The reactions for anger and fear are closely similar. Much of the difference in quality between the two is caused by the  appraisals that go with each experience. Typically, anger is externally focused on obstacles for which others carry the responsibility and comes with thoughts and resentment, recrimination and blame. Fear, meanwhile, is related to the self and associated with uncertainty, worry and dread."

So, I had been on the right track! Understanding the nature of the two emotions makes it easier to cope with them. When we don't trust ourselves and life, blame ourselves, fear results. When we don't trust others and blame them, we feel anger. It is as simple as that.

Here is what the authors say about fear:

Of course there are things in life that we are afraid of but can't avoid - ageing, financial loss, accidents, war, illness and separations. But, considered realistically, these are the price we pay for being alive. Approaching them with fear will make them worse than they need to be. Approaching them with acceptance and a trust in our ability to cope with things empowers us to meet these challenges head-on.

And here is how they explain anger:

Anger  is just as futile as fear. Typically it is based on blame. We blame others because they do not do the things we expect them to do. But they will choose to do the things that make most sense to them on the basis of the choices they know about and the information they have at the time. If they could do something better - given the situation - they would no doubt do it. However, once we get caught up in the blame game, anger follows as night follows day. The only thing we can do with it is find a constructive outlet for it.

Looking at things like that, everything clicks in place. So, both of the negative emotions can be cured by acceptance and trust.

Further reading: "Communicate with Emotional Intelligence" by John Eaton and Roy Johnson

jemmacheck аватар

Yes, all comes from not trusting and not accepting.
Thanks, Olga.