Some people feel that anger is somehow genetic and point to anger in the wider family. The old saying ‘Like father like son’ may be true, but can be misinterpreted. An angry father may create an angry son, but the angry father will have been formed by an angry, neglectful parent, and so on back through generations. Creating a loving bond with our children will have major implications for society. If you look at the violence that is perpetrated on others by violent people you will invariably find that such perpetrators never experienced love or affection in their childhood. This can become a vicious circle as they abuse their children who may in turn become adult abusers. It is more likely that anger is either learned or generated in the core, but it may be part of temperament which is inherited. I am not altogether convinced of this, however.
Toxic anger may be seen as part of a personality disorder, which is a broad term for personality types who are emotionally unstable, impulsive and who find it difficult to relate to other people and who find it difficult to control their emotions. Some personality disorders are labelled as paranoid, schizoid, anti-social, borderline and narcissistic. Anger is viewed as only a small part of the larger personality problem, but it is easy to see that narcissistic people with a blaming mind-set, who see themselves as superior to others, could easily be aroused to anger. A small trigger can provoke a strong angry outburst. Such people tend to be rigid, inflexible and have black and white thinking and find it difficult to deal with the changes and challenges of life. They are dysfunctional and see anger as outside of themselves, so it is unlikely that they will make much of an effort to change. Their irrational and irresponsible mantra is ‘you made me angry’ or ‘only for you I would not be angry’.
Extract from Understanding and Healing the Hurts of Childhood. Publication 2018
THERAPISTS IN TIPPERARY
PSYCHOTHERAPISTS IN TIPPERARY
DEATH OF A CHILD
ABUSE AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE