Topic 3 – How Anger camouflages our emotions

Because it is such a powerful emotion, a lot of the time anger can be a good cover-up for other emotions. Sometimes, we can experience all the symptoms of anger without realising that we are really feeling something else, a different emotion,  that sits just below the surface of the anger.  We often say that anger hides the true story.

Below is a list of common emotions that can be easily confused with anger.Masking feelings

  • Frustration
  • Fear
  • Hurt
  • Loneliness
  • Helplessness
  • Powerlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Annoyance
  • Worry
  • Concern
  • Sadness

Take some time to reflect on the last time you felt angry, and circle any emotions that you think might have been underneath the anger. If you have any suggestions that are not on the list, feel free to add them.

Pen and paperNow, in the workbook, or using a pad or computer, write out two examples of a time you felt angry, and then substitute the word anger, for what you now know you were really feeling at the time.

E.g: ‘I was so angry at John for cancelling our dinner date’ becomes ‘I was so hurt at John for cancelling our dinner date’. 

A key part to understanding your anger is listening to what it’s really saying; what are the hidden emotions and messages beneath the anger.  The next step is connecting your anger to your threat response of Fight or Flight.