Anger Iceberg

There are two sketchy looking men wandering around the outside of my house right now.

It’s not as bad as it sounds. They are survey guys getting information for an updated real property report. But I wish they would go away!

They pulled up in front of my house an hour ago. I, being the snoopy old lady that I am, sanctimoniously observed them from my perch on the couch and decided I didn’t like the look of them. Then I ignored them and went back to my book. But then they did a horrible thing.

They rang my doorbell.

UGH! I hate it when that happens! Go away! I don’t like people! Especially when I’m still in my sweats, no make-up, hair not done, teeth not brushed, and fighting a wicked virus that I accurately predicted in my last post.

I didn’t answer the door. There is no one here. The house is empty, you see.

So here I sit in supposed secrecy and quietness until they leave and I can stop pretending to be an intruder in my own home.

It’s not like I have big plans for the day or anything, but still. It’s making me mad.

You know who has anger down to a T? My youngest daughter. Since she is number seven in the line up of kids, I will call her “seven”.

Seven has this anger thing down to a science. She can flare up faster than anyone else I know and she can stay mad for a long, long, long time.

G says it’s a female thing. After I hit him I admitted he might be right.

Anyway, Seven was introduced to this amazing image by her psychologist and it’s been wonderful.

This anger iceberg poster is a great tool for helping us identify the emotions underneath our anger. Anger is a secondary emotion, something we use to protect all those other raw feelings underneath that make us feel vulnerable. Instead of admitting to ourselves and others that we are feeling hurt or disappointed or worried, it’s easier to just cover those vulnerable feelings up with angry, unkind words or actions.

I took this awesome chart home and educated all of my children on it during our next meal. As they rolled their eyes at me, I marched over and hung it on the fridge so everyone could see it.

It’s been a great tool for everyone in our home, especially for Seven as she works through what those emotions are underneath her anger. It’s good for us adults to have around as well. It helps the anger to abate when we understand what emotions are really driving us.

For instance, I am mad at those guys right now who are tramping around in my beautiful gardens because I’m feeling exhausted from being sick, stressed about getting stuff done, unsure of their presence (like they look pretty rough..) trapped in my house, and worried that they will know I’m in here!

See, I did it!

I hope this chart helps you identify some of your underlying emotions. Feel free to print it off the internet and stick it on your own fridge!

It’s from the Gottman Institute. There’s also a pretty good article that goes along with the pdf chart.

Good luck out there today!


Photo by Ezra Comeau-Jeffrey on Unsplash

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