Fear, once converted to anger, prompts a fight response, whereas its direct expression fuels flight.
The realization that anger is always a secondary emotion and never a primary one makes such expression even more dysfunctional.
Imagine what you would feel if I were to walk over and stomp on your foot, Your first sensation would be to feel pain. But your first expression might well be rage, especially if you perceived my stomping as a deliberate act. On the other hand, you might express simple irritation if you ascribed to my action innocent clumsiness.
Whatever the case, anger, irritation or annoyance would be secondary to the primary experience of pain.
This is not to imply that anger is totally without value. Having access to such an emotion might prove handy when dealing with difficult people in some societal circumstances. The conundrum is that expressing anger generally serves only to beget more anger.
Love involves risk.
The more intimate we desire a relationship to be , the less appropriate our expression of anger is. The anger shield is often the "soft underbelly" of feelings of loss, pain, grief, helplessness, or fear.
Therefore, anger is a way of avoiding risk and preventing intimacy. When we dare to be intimate, we have no absolute certainty of safety, only a reasonable chance for love.
We must not hide behind a shield and then wonder why we cannot get close to others. The realization that the adult's vulnerability no longer equates with the child's helplessness makes letting go of the anger defense possible.
Any relationship sacrifices intimacy and understanding when anger is its predominant mode of expression.
Think of anger as a suit of armor. How cozy can one get with someone dressed in armor? Safety is achieved. Intimacy is lost.
Anger is an important emotion to express.
Anger also can easily keep us from acknowledging our primary feelings.
Sometimes it defends against owning and resolving feelings that often stem from old conflicts.
By clinging to those conflicts, we hold onto the past with its once perceived safety to
avoid the fear of change.
Kardener & Kardener ~ Breaking Free