Wednesday, June 13, 2007

my little issue.

In social work land, we have this stupid mantra about anger being a "secondary emotion." I am officially calling a halt to this bullshit:
Primary vs. Secondary Feelings
Perhaps the most helpful thing to remember about anger is that it is a secondary emotion. A primary feeling is what is felt immediately before we feel angry. We always feel something else first before we get angry.
We might first feel afraid, attacked, offended, disrespected, forced, trapped, or pressured. If any of these feelings are intense enough, we think of the emotion as anger.
Generally speaking, secondary feelings do not identify the unmet emotional need (UEN). When all I can say is "I feel angry," neither I nor any one else knows what would help me feel better. A helpful technique, then, is to always identify the primary emotion

Guess what? I am so pissed off I can't see straight and right now I have no, none, zero, indications that there is anything underlying it except rage. My theory right now is that people are just so turned off by real anger that they need to change it into something softer, more acceptable feeling. I say, fuck off assholes. I care about being so short-fused insofar as I may hurt someone unintentionally. Other than that, I am trying to allow myself to quit searching for the elusive Primary Emotion. It's probably crammed up some customer service guy at Dell who is jerking me around.
p.s. What do you do with your anger to keep yourself from hurting people (emotionally, or I guess, otherwise)? Seriously, I need a tip or two. Anyone? Anyone?


pea in a pod said...

You're so right! It's a conspiracy meant to make us feel bad about anger! My therapist and I are working on how difficult it is for me to feel anger toward her. For example, anger about the fact that we have 2 sessions left until her maternity leave.

This weekend my anger at Delta airlines was helped somewhat by half a bottle of wine. Something tells me that's not constructive coping, but whatever.

Sarah said...

I am the queen of anger. I am a flash anger kinda gal. I can get wicked pissed off, I cool done, and then usually everything is good. Is freaks my spouse out. He can't understand how I can be SO EFFING ANGERY with him and half an hour later, I am snuggling with him. I am a freak. I;ve got a temper, and usually customer services workers suffer my wrath.