Neil Warner

Neil Warner

Monday, April 28, 2008

Anger and conflict messages

Some people carry a lot of repressed anger from their childhood, and tend to form relationships that reproduce abusive situations from the past in the present. The trick is that they are not clearly aware that their actual way of interacting with others is passive aggressive and sabotages the same bond they claim to cherish. To do so, they would have to also accept that they are now behaving in such a way (actively on others) as their parents did to them (passively, as recipients) years ago!

As we reach adulthood, our coping mechanisms become entrenched. Fear, resentment, anger, and hopelessness take over when we are dealing with conflict. The emotions are huge and seemingly uncontrollable. Depressed people frequently find a release from these negative emotions by fighting.
Conflict, in this case, reconnects the depressed party with another person. When resolution seems impossible, hopelessness leads to deeper depression and less hope. Fighting or arguing becomes the best outlet for self-expression. While this response can be healthy, some problems often follow.
Messages get misinterpreted, and those who don’t know how to process confrontations can isolate themselves and experience some further consequences such as eating disorders, alcohol abuse, and increased aggressive behavior.

These responses reveal an ongoing hidden anger together with a subsequent inability to manage it. In adulthood the anger becomes aimed at the wrong targets: instead of family members we act out at colleagues, acquaintances, lovers, and partners.
When we learn that open aggression is rejected by others, then we begin using passive aggression as a means to vent anger.

Tragically, when they are more needed than ever, conflict resolution skills disappear and leave us with the raw anger of the past, pushing us to fight, humiliate and break the other’s self-esteem!
This can be fatal in a family. If you are aware of the destructive role of anger in relationships, perhaps you can gather your courage and learn how to express frustration and sadness in a more cooperative and supportive way...At the end, we need to accept the families are composed by people who need each others' support and love, and expressing those feelings in the right way can cement love and companionship for ever.