We’ve all experienced the anger of another person sometime –  whether that person is a colleague, a partner, a child or even a complete stranger. I mentioned last week, that when a person is displaying anger, the real reason may not be the obvious one, but there might be something else going on beneath the surface for that person. Let me share an example.

I had a frightening experience a few years ago.  My husband was in a serious condition in hospital, I was tired from driving daily into the RBWH and still had children at school.  His family were making life extremely difficult for the girls and myself and had been very cruel to us all.  I went into the coffee shop at the hospital and when a staff member messed up my order, I came close to losing it at them.  I wanted to scream and yell and throw something.  I’m so grateful to God that I didn’t, but it really rocked me.  It also made me realize that when somebody loses it, it may not be the thing that’s on the surface that’s causing the anger, but something else completely.

When I saw this “Anger Iceberg”, I thought that it was a great illustration.  It’s one I use quite a lot with clients now and is useful for use with both adults and children. It can be really helpful in trying to get our children (or ourselves) to identify why they’re (we’re) expressing anger (probably wait until all have calmed down to look at it though).  It’s well worth printing out and laminating a copy to have on hand. 

(Illustration used with permission)

Jenny Billingham

(If you have a topic that you’d like more information about and think might interest other parents, please don’t hesitate to email me with suggestions at j.billingham@mueller.qld.edu.au  Thanks.)