The Disowned Anger Pattern

This short article describes one of the patterns from the Pattern System.

If you have the Disowned Anger Pattern, you have a tendency to keep your anger hidden, to the point where you may not even be aware of when you are angry. You may, in fact, act passively and without assertiveness or strength. Because your inner fire has been doused, you are more likely to behave in pleasing or self-effacing ways, and you may lack self-confidence or drive.

You may have hard time standing up for yourself, setting limits, saying no, or being firm. Because you have disowned your anger, your strength is also squelched.

You may believe that anger is a “bad” emotion that is dangerous and destructive. Of course, anger can be destructive, but it also has an important role to play in our lives, so disowning your anger entirely will cause problems. Since you keep your anger tightly suppressed, it may occasionally come out unexpectedly or explosively without warning, like a stove pot blowing its lid from too much pressure. These extreme outbursts may create a feeling of shame and confirm your belief that anger is dangerous and out of control. This may lead to a cyclical pattern of clamping down to prevent your anger from getting out, followed by further blow-ups.

The important thing to recognize is that feeling anger is not bad. Anger is information that something important to you is being pushed against, or that a personal boundary is being crossed. In order to hear the message that your anger is trying to tell you, you must first acknowledge it. Anger also provides the fire and personal power to respond in a strong way to threats or violations. The trick is to own your anger in such a way that you convert it to strength and firmness, which is the Strength Capacity. This way you don’t need to act out your anger in destructive ways.

Generally, anger is culturally stereotyped as OK for men but not for women. Because women often receive the message that people don’t like them when they are angry or that “nice girls don’t get mad,” they are more likely to suppress the feeling from an early age. However, while the Disowned Anger Pattern is common among girls and women, boys and men can have it as well. Anyone may have the learned from their family or society that they are not supposed to feel or express anger, and therefore learned to hide their anger, even from themselves.

If you rarely feel angry (except for occasional blow-ups) and you also don’t have access to your strength and personal power, then you probably have the Disowned Anger Pattern.

This pattern is part of the Strength Dimension of the Pattern System. Click http://thepatternsystem.wikispaces.com/Strength+Dimension for more information on that dimension. Click www.patternsystem.com for more on the Pattern System as a whole.