Anger Management and Unresolved Grief: The Connection

Why would we want to manage anger?

Managing anger, rather than completing the source or cause of the anger, implies that we would keep our anger stored up and tucked away for use at a later date. When we hold onto anger that way, it turns into resentment. One of the consequences of taking actions based on accumulated resentments is to create even larger problems than we had before we took those misguided actions. And the ultimate result of acting on accumulated resentments is to destroy relationships, whether romantic, familial, or social.

Anger Has a Purpose, But Anger Management Can Be Self-Defeating

We know it’s unrealistic to think that we should never get angry. Anger has a purpose, even though we don’t always recognize what that purpose might be when we’re riled up. But accumulating anger after an emotional loss has no benefits, and when we act on the resentments we carry around, bad things can and do happen. We have no doubt that a primary cause of the build-up of anger is our failure to complete what has happened, and that is usually in great part because of our inability to forgive people who we perceive to have harmed us.

Unresolved Grief and Anger Management—The Connection

Unresolved grief leaves anger incomplete, which in-turn becomes frozen as a resentment. The primary goal of effective grief recovery is to help people discover and complete what was left emotionally unfinished for them in their relationships with people who have died, or people from whom they’re divorced or estranged.

In taking the actions of grief recovery, it’s not uncommon to uncover [and then complete] a well-spring of things within our relationships that made us angry, and which we may have bottled up and turned into permanent resentments.

We believe it’s much more effective to become emotionally complete with what has caused us to be angry and generate ongoing resentments, than to constantly re-cycle the anger and suffer the consequences, which manifest in damage to all our relationships.

Anger is also often confused with grief when looking at the Stages of Grief. Here’s an additional article with helpful information on this misinformation surrounding anger and grief:

The Stages of Grief – Anger

Source: Russell Friedman GRM 27 June 2013



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