I stumbled onto this excellent article that I’d like to share, Anger: Attachment and Neurobiological Perspectives. It gives a thorough explanation of anger management styles and how they originate in attachment. I think many of us will find it a useful tool for examining our own anger as well as that of people we know.
The author, Daniel Sonkin, Ph.D., wrote these words at that top of the page:
In all close relationships, we affect each other’s emotions. This emotional contagion process allows us to get into the mind of others and really understand them.
I thought this was particularly interesting because psychopaths are so difficult to understand. They lie about everything and none of their behaviors make any sense. Yet, I believe that the only way to understand what motivates a psychopath is by feeling the contagion of slime that they project at us.
When an abuser behaves angrily, one might assume it’s because he IS angry. Lundy Bancroft, author of Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men, explained it differently.
He states that angry men rage because it gets them the reaction they want. It’s not that they aren’t really angry, they are, but that anger is controlled and suppressed most of the time. Then it’s allowed to escape like the steam on a pressure cooker, whenever it suits the abuser or when it will get him what he wants. In other words, with an abuser you really never get a clear picture of his emotional state, what you’re getting is an act.
Still, the act is meant to slime his victim with a feeling of fear and powerlessness, that’s the reaction they expect. I propose that fear and powerlessness is what the abuser himself is feeling and that the anger is a way to bypass that feeling onto a victim so that he doesn’t have to feel it himself.
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