What kinds of things make you really angry?

There is an interesting approach to understanding anger which suggests that what annoys us most are those people or situations that mirror back some aspect of ourselves.

At first glance, that might not appear to make a lot of sense.

We generally tend to be more accepting of those who are like us, than those who are different, so why would we get angry if an aspect of ourselves was being reflected back to us?

We don’t recognize that aspect of ourselves in the other person, because it is an aspect that we possess, but are in denial about.

Why are we in denial about it?

Probably because it isn’t something that we’re proud of.

For example, A father might be annoyed at his son for not being assertive and standing up for himself.

In this case the father may be bothered because he does not feel strong and confident himself, and can’t stand to see those traits in his son.

A woman may be upset because her partner is not romantic anymore and doesn’t do all the little things that he used to.

She may be feeling that she wants more romance in her life without realizing she’s not as romantic as she once was.

While anger is a natural and acceptable emotion, it is important for us to look deeply into the reasons for our anger before we vent it inappropriately.

Gwen Randall-Young is an author and award-winning Psychotherapist.