Anger is a normal emotion. But what causes anger? Is it always the other person’s fault? Some say anger is a secondary emotion, and there may be truth to that. What that means is someone is not just angry, but that the real emotion just comes across as anger. The person may be feeling hurt, embarrassed, disrespected; even depression can show up as irritability.


So what to do with anger? There are a few steps. First, acknowledge it. Go ahead, it’s ok sometimes to be angry. Next, see if you can figure out what the real feeling or cause is behind it. Did someone cross a boundary that perhaps the other person, or maybe even you, didn’t know was there? That can feel like you’ve been taken advantage. Or do you feel hurt? This can lead to a few different roads. Should you feel hurt or are you taking something personally when you don’t need to? An example of this may be when someone has a hard day and takes it out on you, even when it really had nothing to do with you. There are so many underlying reasons  why someone can be angry, more than we have time to look at in this short blog. Finally, what can you do with the anger? Again, these answers will vary. You may need to challenge those thoughts. One example I use often is if someone cuts you off, is driving crazy, and you get angry about it. What works for me is to consider that maybe they REALLY have to use the bathroom! If the anger is really feeling hurt or disrespected, maybe you need to have a conversation with someone. Again, the answers to what to do are as individualized as the reasons why. If you have difficulty getting to the bottom of it, it may be time to speak to a licensed counselor.