The Problem with Anger

“Sometimes I get angry, especially when the problem seems to be a recurring one. But it doesn’t get better if I get angry. My partner either gets angry back at me or pulls away.”

Anger is an affect; we react to affects by either resonating with them or throwing up a wall against them.

The trick  is separating the anger from what the anger is about. When we get angry while saying what we’re angry about, the important message (the what we’re angry about part) often goes unheard. Anger operates like all affects–by amplifying the source. When you state your reason for being angry in an angry tone, it sounds very different than when you can state it calmly.

Whatever we say when we are displaying anger affect is  qualified by the angry tone and thus blown out of proportion.

The goal is to have a conversation about what the anger was about, and sometimes we have to wait for calmer moments before we can have that conversation.


Welcome to the Emotional Safety Website

Welcome! You have reached the website that highlights emotional safety, a condition that characterizes all successful intimate relationships. The concept of emotional safety was introduced to professional therapists with the scholarly volume, Emotional Safety: Viewing Couples Through the Lens of Affect (Routledge, 2007). This goal of this website is to make the material accessible to the lay reader. If you are in a relationship, you will find this website very helpful.