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  • Writer's pictureMonika Bassani

Anger and Rage

Updated: Jul 31, 2022

Often, we use the terminology of feeling angry in general conversational concept something like "I am very angry!" or " I am soo pissed off at..!" but really what we feel and say are not defined or even clear states of mind and emotions. Anger is a pure emotion, a subtle and benign energy related to the here-and-now state of arousal, anger protect our emotional, physical, and intellectual aspects from experiencing our immediate environment, it signals an immediate need to safeguard ourselves from a variety of life changes and situations, particularly in relationships, whereby those dynamics and deep relational connections may be very different from any other rapports and interactions.

We feel angry when experiencing a bereavement or a challenging situation, making decisions and bringing up changes. It is possible to think while we feel angry at the same time, unlike with rage the capacity to think usefully is absent.

Throughout our childhood years we develop the capacity to be both dependent and independent while practising crucial relations, we learn how to negotiate closeness and separation from others, to tolerate isolation and to find companionship, to be single and yet social, fundamentally to learn how to be and to think for oneself and to separate from our parents without losing their love.

When the separation is inhibited by the carer behaviours and it becomes a power struggle the child response it escalates into tantrums, which is a form of rage.

The individuation has now failed, and this bring the adult into a sense of alienation, not being sure of their own emotional boundaries, experiencing low self-esteem, feeling and needs catapulting the adult into relationship difficulties caused by their either passive and or aggressive behaviour. To be able to release that anger effectively and to manage the behaviour through a process of exploration within a healthy environment and a receptive one, we can connect with feelings and to name those emotions.

Rage on the other hand is a distorted anger, a suppressed one if you like it includes unprocessed material, alongside many other unaddressed emotional responses, unmet needs, lack of approval, and acceptance; often characterised by a chronic lack of self-worth.

Those emotions and feelings as well as thoughts are brewing in this large pot, and when the lid flies off, we experience shock, shame, terror, jealousy, humiliation, abandonment, guilt and many more. That is Hot Rage! a very distinctive reaction from Cold Rage where the lid stays firmly in place and those emotions are contained, undigested, and permanently suppressed.

To conclude when Anger is explored directly and healthily, it can reveal our expectation and meet our needs, as opposite to suppress it.

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