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  1. #1
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Default Relationship b/w Anger & Sadness

    I've been thinking about this a lot lately and have made a few observations, but the thing that gets me is the exact relationship between the two. As I see it now, anger is a reaction to sadness in the majority, if not all cases. I believe that things trigger sad moods in us, anger arises as a technique to push away the sadness, and we use our anger to "touch" that sadness thereby deflating the anger, either by exposing sadness in someone else and reflecting it, or by needling our own feelings. So, my hypothesis is that anger is a way to distance the subject from depression/sadness.

    The prime example is with abusive relationships. Guys gets abandonment anxiety. Abandonment depression (sadness) is looming, so he feels anger inside. The anger is generalized, but finds targets to project on. He could be angry at his dog, his kids, or his wife. The wife is the prime target being the source of the anger. He uses the anger to create sadness in his wife, reflects on that sadness (via mirror neurons) and touches his own sadness. The anger dissipates, since the depression and sadness has been reached and the anger no longer serves a purpose. He can then function alongside the depression instead of trying to avoid it, and is free to be himself without the worry and anxiety, and strengthen his relationship (honeymooning) until the next episode. Thoughts? Additions?

  2. #2
    mrs disregard's Avatar
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    How about you ask some specific questions.

    That would get the ball rolling.

  3. #3
    heart on fire
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    So Edahn you are saying that the guy creates a sad situation in order to avoid dreading the development of a sad situation?

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    Actually, the few times I've truly been angry had nothing to do with holding off sadness or any other combination thereof.

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    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dana View Post
    How about you ask some specific questions.

    That would get the ball rolling.
    Why do people get angry?

    How does one resolve anger?

    Are these two questions related?

    Quote Originally Posted by heart View Post
    So Edahn you are saying that the guy creates a sad situation in order to avoid dreading the development of a sad situation?
    Kind of. I'm saying that he doesn't know how to express his own sadness, or maybe "reach" his own sadness, pain, and worry. So what he does is create it in another person, then reflect it, and alleviate everything.

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    mrs disregard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    Why do people get angry?

    How does one resolve anger?

    Are these two questions related?
    I'll speak for myself:

    I get angry when I feel powerless or hurt. I will express anger if I'm irritated, but it's less common and far less passionate.

    I can effectively resolve my anger by putting things in perspective.

    If I were to acknowledge that I do have control (options) in every situation and that I don't have to choose to feel hurt or offended by looking at it in a new way (from, for instance, the other person's POV, which takes guts), then I could sidestep becoming angry in the first place.

  7. #7
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    I think anger usually comes out of hurt.
    Sadness obviously comes out of hurt too.

    Anger is a defense mechanism meant to protect one in times of hurt; the hurt is a threat to self; anger empowers one to push back against the threat, perhaps even neutralize it.

    Sadness is a natural response to hurt; we've lost something, we feel less than we were; we are powerless to do anything about it; we feel sad.

    I mentioned being angry and sad at the religious protesters yesterday. Part of it is that I found their behavior destructive and threatening to people's ultimate well-being, and especially in a way I saw as a contradiction, so I was angry; but I was also sad because I saw their own behavior as destructive to them as people, not just the people they were aggressive towards, and I understand that to attack them was to hurt them (which wasn't my ultimate goal), and I was powerless to make them do anything different.

    All I could do was grieve; but that's a hard feeling to endure, and there was always a temptation to feel powerful by getting angry and lashing out instead. People who are insecure or fearful in the core level have trouble experiencing the vulnerability brought on by sadness and usually will resort to anger to relieve the anxiety and pain.

    I agree with your example of abusive men. They are afraid to feel the vulnerability that comes with sadness. So not only is anger an emotion that creates a sense of power (the energy gives them both drive and efficacy), but they experience the power by being aggressive against others and succeeding in affecting them, and when the women experiences sadness, he can experience her vulnerability vicariously without feeling vulnerable himself.

    Situation is resolved for him.

    If the cycle can be broken, the pattern stops working and things have to change somehow.
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    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Anger gives a person energy. Sadness takes it away.

    Anger is usually directed outward, while sadness is directed inward.

    Therefore sadness is a reaction to pain without wanting to do anything about it, while anger is a reaction to pain that desires to do something to the source of pain.
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    No moss growing on me Giggly's Avatar
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    I have thought about this a lot too. It does seem to me that most anger stems from sadness, depression or low self-esteem. Except I think that when people experience sadness, depression or low self-esteem, it causes them to be very hard (read: mean) to themselves or to others. It gets discharged in a negative fashion no matter what by either being very harsh on themselves or on others. Which of the two ways a person chooses to discharge these feelings depends on the individual person and each person is different. The people who discharge their sadness on themselves seem to be the self-loathing, always down on themselves, sad, never think they're good enough, wish they were someone else kinds of folks. The people who discharge their sadness on others tend to treat others in a mean, nasty, callous, cold, vindictive, no one else is as good as me, and/or hateful ways. I am in the former group, but I can honestly say that one method is not better than the other. They both suck equally just in different ways. Obviously, the best way to deal with these emotions is to learn how to not discharge them on yourself or others, and find other ways to discharge them.

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    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    I have heard psychologists say that depression is "anger turned inward".

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