Are you someone who never gets angry? (and could that be harming you?)

"When I was younger, I would tell people proudly that one of my strong points was that I would never get mad.

“Have I ever been angry?” I would ask, knowing full well my reputation for being mellow. However, as time went on, I began to lose track of what being nice really meant.

When faced with challenges or confrontations with other people, I would automatically act nice, without actually feeling that way. It was as if I was set to automatic, where by habit, I was agreeable. However, on the inside, I felt depressed and anxious whenever someone did something I did not agree with.

Despite feeling sad, I did not give myself an outlet to communicate my opinions, and this finally came to a climax when I was unable to truly voice my thoughts during my four-year relationship.

For me, being agreeable had transformed into something ugly and submissive, where at times I did not recognize myself. During arguments, I would attempt to be accommodating; however, when alone, I was caught up in self-pity and resentment".

This is an exerpt from the following site.

It goes on to recommend tow books. One is "Born to Win" by Muriel James and Dorothy Jangeward. Another is "don't sweat the small stuff" by Richard Carlson.

I am starting to realise that for myself my problems of anxiety and depression (think it is both with me) lie in the way my personality has developed to be over accomodating to people and overly adaptive. I know I have posted about this before but I am even more certain now and am wondering if there are others out there who may see some of themselves in this. Just thought I would post up (put it on both sites as I am never quite sure which site I fit into, if either) but this is the nearest I can get to explain to myself how I get to feel how I feel. Hope it is helpful to someone.

The books are quite cheap; the one is only £4.50 to download onto Kindle.


6 Replies

  • Gemmalouise - anxiety and depression are closely linked so there's no need to beat yourself up worrying if you should be posting on an anxiety forum or on a depression forum. I'm a member of both but rarely go to the anxiety depression because I just find it too busy and that makes me anxious but it will help others I know.

    My problems with anger are slightly different. When I was young I think I had quite a temper and would speak my mind quite visciously. It was something that concerned my father and I think my friends found it a bit difficult. Anyway, I learnt to repress the anger and it turned inwards and that isn't healthy either.

    Anger is a really difficult thing. Our society (UK) tends to be very repressed about expressing anger ... seethe quietly on the inside and that often ends in people going off like a bomb when it all gets too much ... or else like me they just sink into the mire of despair and cut themselves off from their feelings because that is the only way of coping with them.

    I think these days I'm more aware of how I handle anger and I'm also aware that it is a huge source of energy - look at how many people have gone on to change the world for the better because they were angry about an injustice.

    I don't think being angry is necessarily a good or a bad thing ... it's whether we use the energy it gives us for the positive or the negative.

    Yesterday at work my line-manager was having a conversation with a colleague that really was getting on my nerves (an area that is raw for me and is also raw for him) so it was making it difficult for me to concentrate and I actually got to the point of getting up and saying to him 'please could you have this conversation somewhere else' ... which brought him back to reality ... and then at the end of the day the office manager came to me in need of a hug because she was also struggling with his behaviour and had tried tackling him about something he'd done earlier and my behaviour was brought up as an example of good behaviour (which actually surprised me a lot because it was an act of desperation). So we talked about things - my boss is just someone that you have to tackle at the time when something happens - doesn't believe it unless he's caught in the act. But I also remember an incident years ago where a report was behaving really inappropriately and I laughed and superficially agreed with her but then I brought her back to reality. I felt awful at the time but a few months later I did a workshop on communication and realised that actually what I was doing was naturally managing the energy level of the person I was dealing with so they could hear me and I could then calm them down.

    Don't be too hard on yourself for your behaviour because there may be an element of that going on - your subconscious is matching their energy levels. The trick is then to go on and get your message across without getting carried away by their energy.

  • Thanks for this Gambit62 x I really appreciate you taking the time out to reply and was going to add more to this reply but I can get too analytical, so I have edited it. Some interesting points though. :)

  • Hi Bev and thanks for your reply. I can't take credit for the term "managing their energy", as it was Gambit62 that said this. Me also I found that a very useful and interesting way to look at it; sort of struck a cord with me. One of the theories I have that is because my mum is so volatile (to put it mildly!) and also always has to be the top dog and always right we were constantly reacting to these changeable moods in her and "managing our reactions" so we could survive as children. The atmosphere went through cycles of her being calm for a while (she seems to have a "settled period" from time to time for a couple to three days) to the inevitable "something else has aggravated her". She seems to "need" something to have a go at and gets very extreme. She likes to control and manage people's lives and gets very jealous if anyone else appears to steal her limelight. She can be completely irrational and will rant and storm and then expect no reaction back.

    Therefore I think "energy levels" in the household were always high or "on a knife edge. Just as you thought there would be calm there was another "explosion" . I was trying to manage all this by being extremely supportive,suppressing all of my own needs as there didn't seem to any room for them on top of hers , attempting to mediate (but failing ultimately ) She would bang and crash doors and then say she was going to jump in the canal and stuff like that. I would be left feeling I had failed in my attempts to resolve the situation and also that my mum could now be dead. This went around in cycles but she did come back and sometimes I even felt angry that she'd come back because of what I'd been through whilst she'd been gone.Then she could be sweet and charming and had lots of friends (and still has). She could be quite dismissive once she was ok again (whether that be from saying she was ill and going to die or someone had aggravated her), and I was left sort of "depleted'" and "reeling" with confusion.

    So this is how I may have developed an attitude of anxiety in general. All in the past yes, but it takes a long time to heal and one can go on being that same person that one was as a child. It is very confusing to see someone like that has a better life than you. She has a lot of friends, her house is adorned with flowers they have brought for her.

    I am only just now starting to see that I am ALLOWED (as adorable1 said) to exist in my own right. Allowed is the right word, as somehow I thought I wasn't allowed this.

    I know I go on a bit, but maybe if someone else reads this and recognises their own circumstance it may help.

    Gemmalouise x

  • That last bit is very poignant Bev as my mum is 87 and has been unwell for the past couple of years. Last year she was in hospital and we were all told that she would die within a 3 week period. She and we all prepared ourselves for the death, but she wasn't to give in that easily. She is a determined if not "iron" lady; I have respect and admiration for her in some ways but regret the way she has maintained her "cult" status in our family through making us all intimidated. In particular I regret the "sacrifice" of my true self by becoming her "golden daughter" or "her little angel" and not being my own person. When she was very ill I was able to look after her physically, emotionally and do what was necessary; I have always been able to do this but I know she is not able to do the same in return and never has been.

    My sister was the "bad" one; she interestingly enough told me that she just decided to have nothing to do with my mum from a young age as she realised there was something wrong with her, so her decision was to "go it alone" emotionally. I got "sucked in". Like you my mum has spent her whole life castigating my dad and saying she is ashamed of him. He is a weak man and pretty trivial and childish and selfcentred (but also not a "bad"man; someone described him as "like a frightened rabbit" the other day ; feel bad saying this; I do love him; I am just being objective). However experiencing her constantly going on about him has not been good; and even when she gets something better (which she did later in life) she pushed too much and demanded too much and even tried the patience of the most saintly man.

    She is though such a beguiling person and so charismatic and at times very very sweet and does make you feel special. I am worried as I have put on other posts that I have somehow "hid behind her" and when she goes I will be an empty shell in that I could never have the same kind of power or "presence" that she has.

    So its tricky. Yes I do still love her and I know when she goes I will miss her and I may even feel bereft. I guess nothing is black and white in this life. :)


  • Wow. This was an alarmingly potent read... I stumbled upon something remarkably similar with my therapist recently.

    There does seem to be something inherent in British people about not displaying anger. I for one have a serious problem displaying it toward other people, instead bottling it up inside and unleashing it on myself when emotions become too overpowering. I wonder what it is about our society that puts such a taboo on anger?

  • Thanks for responding on this Thomas. I'm really glad you found it interesting. I think for me I am scared of showing anger because my mum reacts so badly to being challenged, but in more general terms yes not expressing how you feel and botlling it up and then turning it in on yourself can't be good! Hope you're finding the site useful Thomas. I've found they are good people on here. :)

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