Anger: the secondary emotion

Being angry is a natural human experience to have and can sometimes be of benefit by showing you your own limits and boundaries in life. However, being perpetually angry or constantly feeling like you are quelling you anger is not the way to live a happy and fulfilled life.

Anger is known as a secondary emotion. That means it is a cover up emotion as it is a reaction to one of the primary emotions such as frustration. However because it is such a quick reaction to feel anger, most people do not even realise that they are actually experiencing another underlying emotion such as frustration, humiliation or fear.

 

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This knowledge will help you to deal with your anger. Next time you feel yourself getting angry, ask yourself why are you angry. What is causing this anger. Are you frustrated by your computer not working, are you fearful that your boss is going to view you as incompetent and fire you, are you feeling a loss of control in the workplace or are you feeling humiliated by the words being said to you. By identifying this underlying emotion, you will be able to better tackle the issue at hand.

In short, anger is a secondary emotion which means it is triggered by another feeling you are having. It is a healthy emotion but the actions associated with it, can cause issues in your life. 

Action step: next time you are feeling angry, before launching into a tirade of abuse or stifling that anger, take a second and identify exactly what emotion you are feeling be it fear, frustration, guilt, humiliation etc. Once identified, your anger will dissipate and you can focus easier on resolving the issue.