Let’s keep in mind that we don’t get angry when people are helpful or friendly or kind or cooperative. We can probably have a lot of peace in a moment like that.
The righteous anger
We get angry when people are harsh or not understanding or not available emotionally. The anger starts building on the inside of us. If we look carefully, we will figure out that anger is tied up to our sense of self-preservation.
In fact, we can even say that anger is the emotion of ‘self-preservation’. When we feel angry, we want to preserve one of those three elements:
- Our sense of worth “would you please show me respect and treat me as a decent person?”
- Our legitimate needs “Hey I’ve got needs; please acknowledge them, recognize them, will you?”
- Our fundamental convictions by which we identify ourselves.
More to the point, the righteous anger means that someone violated a boundary — either an existing one or a boundary we realized after being hurt we needed to create. Thus, this anger is triggered to motivate us to do something about it, to make some change.
Interestingly, we need to pay attention to the difference between the righteous anger and the one coming from our narcissistic tendencies — existing in everybody to some extent until we can start being self-aware and reprogram our subconscious.
Those tendencies are making people very reactive and quickly offended. They are diving into life with numerous emotional scars and shields, which they have been building to protect themselves from the deep shame of never feeling good enough.
Why are we building shields? Why are we feeling this shame at all?
Well, as their name is stipulating it, shields are created to protect us. From what? Our insecurities. There are multiple shields we can develop. We tend to use a couple of them depending on the circumstances or people with whom we are dealing.
We can distinguish two kinds of shields:
- The shields which hurt us like being a pleaser, an achiever, all types of addictions to things and people, withdrawing, keeping secrets, hiding, etc.
- Those causing harm to people with whom we are interacting that is aggressiveness, using power to intimidate others, free cruelty, etc.
When it comes to the question “why we are feeling a profound shame”, the answer is quite simple, but not that obvious:
We were all disconnected from our intrinsic worth to some degree. Everybody around us criticized us, mainly our caregivers at an early age. Instead of being elevated, they asked us to prove our worth daily.
More to the point, we get angry because of a perceived violation of our worth/needs/identity — triggered on ‘auto-pilot’. It turns to be a flashback and the result of our distorted judgment afterward. Or the violation is real, in other words coming from our secure self-preservation need.
Curiously, when we are still operating from an invasive subconscious program, and that we are the victim of a smart narcissist or psychopath, we might be misled when it comes to our righteous anger…
I am talking from a place of experience. Unfortunately, when the narcissist is extremely clever— especially the covert and malignant ones, their abuse techniques are very subtle; hence, really confusing.
It gets more complicated when we tackle life with numerous limiting beliefs about ourselves because of a lifetime of conditioning. We can act confident and believe it at a conscious level.
Still, we tend to question our judgments frequently. Also, we have been empowering our denial unconscious process preventing us from doubting others’ intentions.
It happens when people are not ready to bear with the pain and grief that would be triggered by seeing the truth for what it is. Eventually, they would inevitably have to face it.
The difference between the denial mechanism of the emotionally imbalanced people and the manipulators’ responsibility-avoidance tactic is the source of the motivation.
While the former is motivated by fear, desire is the keyword for the latter. That is to say, the only way for our anger to be righteous and effective at the same time is to commit to our homework of destroying our limiting beliefs about ourselves.
When we commit to it, we move from our unhealthy attachment style to the secure one. We build healthy boundaries. We learn to respect ourselves and never please even a person we care about at our expense.
The second big step of re-writing our subconscious program is the limiting beliefs about the world. It is a tricky part and needs more time as well as developing our critical thinking skills.
Until we finish the whole transformation process, so that we can reconnect with our purest gut and become able to feel and see the manipulation with no filter no matter how brilliant it is, education around narcissism among other Cluster B disorders is a MUST.
By breaking your denial circle and becoming knowledgeable, you are not only protecting yourself but also your kids who could be abused by their teachers. Don’t be shocked. Those sick souls are everywhere. Plus, they love the educational industry for two reasons:
- Being grandiose, they hate hierarchy. Consequently, and since the levels of the grading in the educational system are in general fewer than if we are a beginner in any other industry, it is quite convenient.
- Kids are the easiest target. Their brain development is not complete. They trust their teachers because their environment told them this is the norm. They provide the narcissists with plenty of narcissistic supply. Should you be interested, I took care of exploring the topic here:
In School & Play: How Can You Help Your Kids’ Healthy Development?
You need to pay attention to whether they are manipulated at school…
The toxic anger / the narcissistic rage
It is the abusers’ type of anger. They use it to scare, dominate, control, or intimidate the person with whom they are interacting.
If you grew in a dysfunctional family system, it is crucial to understand that this could be one of the reasons that you are afraid to let yourself get angry or even admit it.
How come? Because you have always been associating anger with that raging monster in your life. This kind of anger is anything but healthy. It can come out, for example, when you set a boundary such as “I don’t tolerate that you hang up the phone and disrespect me”.
This can also be triggered by a simple “No” to whatever the abuser wants from you: validation, money, sex, obedience; you name it! Their anger is simply a means to get you terrified and submit.
The toxic anger switches to a narcissistic rage whenever you challenge them, criticize them, or call them out. What happens in such circumstances is that you create a narcissistic injury. Hence, they love making use of their blame-shifting manipulation strategy.
What if our anger is righteous but that the trigger is a complete stranger we would probably never meet again?
For the quick story, I was on my way back home after two exercising sessions. The traffic was horrible. A guy was trying to get out of a parking lot and join the line. Nobody let him.
It was late, and everybody was in their head and, most probably, willing to reach their destination and relax as soon as possible. I stopped my car and gave him my priority. I didn’t deserve any thank you. He was too entitled to even think about it.
I felt pity for him, smiled, and drove my car again. Around one-third of a mile later, another guy was trying to get into his car, but it was too tight. Can you guess what happened? Let me help you.
I stopped my car again. He didn’t even bother looking in my direction. That’s when I realized he wasn’t waiting for the drivers’ permission; rather afraid of causing some harm to his treasured belonging.
Moral of the story: I gave my attention and kindness to two narcissists who didn’t deserve it. The least thing I can say about the adventure is that it was a pleasant one. It is never the case with such disturbed individuals who believe their lies about deserving all the favors because they are better than the rest of the world.
Of course, it is frustrating that someone takes your free act of warm-heartedness for granted. But here is the deal: allowing some stranger to consuming our energy is worthless.
In such circumstances, we invite our self-awareness — responsible for creating the space between the stimulus and the answer and our emotional intelligence to the table.