Too often victims of anger learn, over a long time, to tolerate it! And so it never gets “fixed.” Instead of confronting the controlling anger directly, the victim tries to “cure” the problem indirectly.
A co dependent person is one who has let another person’s anger (or other “negative” emotion or behavior) affect him or her. The co dependent person is obsessed with avoiding or controlling the persecuting person’s behavior…by hidden means.
Co dependents believe the following myths about anger:
- It’s not okay to feel angry.
- Anger is a waste of time and energy.
- Good, nice people don’t feel angry.
- We shouldn’t feel angry when we do.
- We’ll loose control and maybe go crazy if we get angry.
- People will go away if we get angry at them.
- Other people should never feel angry toward us.
- If others get angry at us, we must have done something wrong.
- If other people get angry at us, we made them feel that way and we’re responsible for “fixing” their feelings.
- If we feel angry, someone else made us feel that way and that person is responsible for “fixing” our feelings.
- If we feel angry at someone, the relationship is over and that person has to “go away” or “get lost.”
- If we feel anger at someone, we should punish that person for making us feel angry.
- If we feel angry at someone, that person has to change what he or she is doing, so we don’t feel angry any more.
- If we feel angry we have to hit someone or break something.
- If we feel angry, we have to shout and holler.
- If we feel angry at someone, it means we don’t love that person any more.
- If someone feels angry at us, it means that person doesn’t love us any more. Anger is sinful.
- It’s okay to feel angry only when we can justify our feelings.
Anger, expressed and unexpressed, is contagious. Reactive anger is when we get angry because the other person feels
ngry. Then they get angrier and we get angrier because they got angrier. Soon everyone’s angry and no one is too sure hy but everyone knows “It’s their fault!”
And then the guilt generates another cycle of anger: Some get madder; some get more co dependent!