Considerations for a discussion on ANGER

The following discussion questions were created by me for use with the Trauma-Informed Parenting Support (TIPS) Group for which I am a co-facilitator. 

The TIPS group is a support group for parents/guardians who have chosen to interact with their children from a trauma-informed rather than a punitive-based approach and who seek the guidance of professional & peer support in their process.  TIPS is sponsored by HeartSpace Clinic, a not-for-profit clinic directed by my supervisor at Lawrence, Oliver and Associates, which was created for the purpose bringing quality trauma treatment to our community through services provided to individuals, families, and social systems within our community.

I am sharing these discussion questions here on the Living Life Fully blog because these questions underlie much of the perspective I bring to the movement work I offer, and is especially pertinent to the workshops I have been offering related to CONFLICT, RESILIENCE and PEACE.

Questions for a discussion on the Emotion of ANGER

Let’s consider the unique meaning for each of us when we say that we or someone else is Angry?

  1. What do you believe is the purpose of Anger, in general and in this situation?  How does the experience of Anger serve you or the person having the particular experience that resulted in the emotion of Anger?

  2. What pattern of internal body sensations do you experience and identify as being Angry?  These can be physical or metaphorical:  consider body part affected, shape of the sensations, size, temperature, texture, rhythm, pressure, weight, color, tension.

  3. What actions, voice quality or bodily changes in another person must you observe that will cause you to believe they are angry and to trigger a Fight/Fight/Freeze reaction within in you?

  4. Do you experience Fight/Flight/Freeze if someone reports that they are experiencing Anger but you do not observe the actions or bodily changes?

  5. What pattern of internal body sensations do you experience and identify when you observe Anger in another person and you have a Fight/Flight/Freeze reaction?  See suggestions of #2.

  6. What did you learn as a child in your family of origin about Anger?  What have you learned about Anger in your adult relationships?

Anger is a word that we use to describe a set of sensations we experience in response to something in our environment, something we also call an "emotion".  The emotion of anger may be a patterned response, but the sensations and bodily reactions that we experience as Anger are not voluntary.

After reviewing the questions above, ask yourself:  what can I do for myself to give myself space:

1) to notice the reactions I have to observing something I identify as Anger,

2) to give myself the space to identify Fight/Flight/Freeze reactions within myself,

3) to soothe myself so that I can

4)  more consciously be fully present and able to respond to the unspoken communications/ needs/wants of the person with whom I am interacting who is angry?

For further consideration of your relationship with emotion:  How would your answers change to the above questions if we replaced the word “anger” with one of the following words: fear, sadness, embarrassment, confusion, blame, joy, confidence, empowerment, peace?


Art source:  https://elisafox.deviantart.com/art/abstract-emotions-1139275