toxic shame is utterly painful

Those who carry the burden of toxic anger and are driven by the controlling impulse are also inclined to have a poor view of their victims. As narcissists, they occupy a very high perch in their own eyes and tend to look down on others and therefore assume that others are deserving targets of their anger. There is an inherent irony in this, because anger is often driven by shame, a burning feeling that is about the self and about feeling flawed or defective. So the reality is that a shamed person who does not feel good enough makes himself feel better by spraying it on others. Shame is chronic and permeates all other feelings, utterly preventing any type of happiness. It has been described as the annihilation of the self. Shame and anger are, however, very different. Shame is debilitating and anger energising, but they are comfortable bedfellows. The greater the shame the greater the anger it generates. It is possible to fully experience rage, but shame is so burning that it is impossible to feel it fully. John Bradshaw’s book, Healing the Shame That Binds You is worth reading for an insightful exploration of toxic shame.
Anger is also associated with other types of personality, which, unlike personality disorders, are not pathological, but they might help you to make better sense of yourself. The theory of Type A and Type B personalities was first proposed by two cardiologists, Meyer Friedman and Ray Rosenman, and aroused much debate among psychologists. While there is plenty of scope for disagreement, there is much to be said in support of their theory in the context of anger. We need not be concerned about Type B personalities, who are less stressed and less inclined to anger than Type A. The Type A personality is not necessarily a narcissistic disorder although many narcissists are type A. Neither is it a psychological disorder, but simply points to particular characteristics some people have. In my clinical experience, they have one common factor in that they have childhood attachment problems. Type As are probably over organised, task orientated, and obsessed with time management. They are always in a hurry and always feeling that time is running out. They are generally high achievers and addicted to work and busyness. They are driven and always have deadlines and hate delays or obstructions. They face challenges head on and are creative in finding solutions. Above all, Type A personalities are very competitive and hate losing. They are often pessimistic, hostile and aggressive. They are continuously on a treadmill that brings constant stress and is a serious threat to health.
Extract from Understanding and Healing the Hurts of Childhood. Publication 2018

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