Moving through anger

Emotions can exist in three states. Basic, secondary and complex.


When anger is basic, it simply states that your boundaries have been crossed. When it is secondary, it usually means you don’t know how to respond to other emotions, so you feel out of control. Anger is then used to regain your perceived loss of power such that you can feel in control again.


When anger is complex, it’s source is hard to grasp, often leaving you guilty/shamed that you feel angry or you find yourself trapped in your anger. For example, you may be angry that a loved one has passed on, leaving you in a mess. You feel guilty that you are angry at the deceased, which complicates your ability to do anything about your situation. In this scenario, what you are really angry about is that you feel trapped in your situation, not that your loved one escaped, or created the situation you are in. In effect, you are transferring your anger at something intangible to something tangible. You can’t affect the state of life/death of your loved one – thus you feel powerless and your anger emotion you raised to rebalance your power is misdirected and thus can’t help.


Complex anger is often mixed up with other complex emotions, such as complex guilt, leaving quite a maze of emotions and perceived causation of events for you to navigate before you can find a path to happiness.