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Finding hidden anger

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Pemberley, Jan 23, 2019.

  1. Pemberley

    Pemberley Peer Supporter

    I’ve been reading “Freedom from Fibromyalgia” by Dr. Nancy Selfridge since there’s a forward by Dr. Sarno, and it’s basically the author’s own strategy that she used on herself to conquer TMS.

    One thing I really like so far is that she gives some tips on finding anger. Dr. Sarno wrote that it’s not the anger that you’re aware of that’s causing the symptoms – we should be looking at the little things, annoyances, frustrations that might be triggering something much deeper. For many years, I’ve journaled about a lot of these little things that I know about myself. But in this book, she has slightly shifted my thinking. It has a great chart (page 136) for you to start recording when you notice these little things that might be clues to your hidden rage. The columns are like this:

    - Summarize the anger
    - Locate it in time
    - Identify the source
    - Describe how you got rid of it

    Based on her tips, I used this last night to deal with a minor annoyance with my daughter who keeps leaving the tub mat in the shower instead of draping it to dry out. Definitely not something that I would consider “anger,” but it’s a nuisance to keep reminding her and I’m getting tired of hearing my own nagging. So using Dr. Selfridge’s advice:

    - Summarize the anger = Annoyed that tub mat was left out again
    - Locate it in time = Early evening while I’m making dinner
    - Identify the source = Daughter
    - Describe how you got rid of it = Told her to pick it up again, but specifically said (and this is new for me), “It’s disrespectful to the rest of the family to leave it out and make us have to deal with it.”

    I’m not expecting that I won’t have to nag again about the tub mat… But it’s the whole idea of training yourself to start thinking psychological, rather than focusing on the symptoms. Also, if the irritation only feels like a minor thing, I’m not going to feel enough “anger” to punch a pillow, scream or whatever. Sometimes this is just speaking our minds like I did last night.

    So I thought I’d throw this out there and 2 questions to the forum:

    1) What are some of your examples of these little irritations/frustrations, and how do you approach the last column – “Describe how you got rid of it”? (Especially if it’s about your boss and you can’t exactly speak your mind.)

    2) What are some things that you know, rationally, should make you angry but they don’t, and how do you bring yourself to start feeling angry about it?
  2. Bodhigirl

    Bodhigirl Well known member

    Summarize the anger: my husband is grumpy and sarcastic, it’s his birthday tomorrow and he is feeling old.
    Locate it in time: most of the evening
    He’s the source:
    To get rid of it I gave him a back rub to compensate for my own stiffened and angry neck.
    I guess I will have to read the book.
    I am annoyed a lot these days! Thanks for posting!
    Pemberley likes this.
  3. Pemberley

    Pemberley Peer Supporter

    Also came across this idea (not in Dr. Selfridge's book, but I found in an article online about hidden anger):

    Think of a situation that made you feel uncomfortable, anxious, nervous or depressed. Find something in that situation that would make someone else angry.

    So, for me, it's a shift to think about why something that makes me only "uncomfortable" might make someone else angry. And it's not really about finding "the thing" that's causing repression. Still about thinking psychological, training your brain to look inward and not focus on the symptoms themselves.
    Bodhigirl likes this.
  4. Bodhigirl

    Bodhigirl Well known member

    Ah. Well, as a psychotherapist it’s likely the only way I know how to think after thirty years (-:
    Still, my codependency urges me to be sweet and compliant when I would like to get angry and say “Stop.”
    Pemberley likes this.

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