Role of Self Esteem in Managing Anger
“The self-concept is what we think about the self; self-esteem, is the positive or negative evaluations of the self, as in how we feel about it” – Smith and Mackie (2007)
“Anger is nothing more than an outward expression of hurt, fear, and frustration. – Phil McGraw”.
Oxford Languages dictionary defines self-esteem as ‘confidence in one’s own worth or abilities, respect. And Anger as ‘the strong feeling that you have when something has happened that you think is bad and unfair’.
Feeling angry – is something all of us would have experienced, universally. It is a natural feeling and many times an automatic response to an outer trigger or an inside pain. It never occurs in isolation; it is always a reaction to something. Do some research in this area and you would find numerous in-depth study material available online.
Anger, if is not expressed in a healthy way becomes a huge issue in all kind of relationships is it personal or professional. Expressing anger can negatively damage relationships with friends, family, and at the workplace.
Self-Esteem’s inverse relationship with the ability to manage Anger
Low Self-Esteem brings with it feelings of being unloved, unattractive, worthless, and a sense of hopelessness and failure. Resultant the incumbent feels self-conscious and feels that their opinions or feelings do not matter and have no value, leading to a burst of anger either in self-defense or in defiance. It then becomes a weapon to hurt the one who has triggered this feeling of embarrassment, worthlessness, and hopelessness. They tend to be oversensitive. Criticism causes rage, guilt, and shame. They direct the anger at the perpetrator, as it seems like the only way which helps them cope with their inner oversensitivity.
Such a person often finds it challenging to self-regulate especially when it comes to feeling angry or ashamed. At times those who suffer from low self-esteem often are obsessed with perfection. They want everything to be perfect and sometimes, they try too hard. Have we come across personalities like these? I sure have…
On the other hand, a person with normal to high self-esteem is equipped with healthy capabilities to manage and regulate his or her emotions. This comes from the inner feeling of confidence and competence and this is visible whilst handling every aspect of life and its vagaries.
Causes of Low Self Esteems
The causes of Low Self Esteems can be tricky to be identified; there are many reasons why. In most of the cases, the causes of low self-esteem are deeply rooted in childhood experiences – experiences that leave a lasting effect on a child’s psyche. Environments at home, schools, friends, their world view, in general, creates a self-image within themselves – which becomes baggage they carry.
- Parenting Criticism: As a child, how he or she is treated plays an important part in how they feel about themselves. High expectations, overly critical, made to feel that they are never good enough – create a negative impact.
- In the later years – the quality of interaction and treatment amongst friends and peers
- Self-Image planted by society, friends, family.
- Event or Trauma leaving a big impact on how one thinks about one’s relationship with others, situations, and life.
- Abuse, be it emotional or physical
Many more…. by digging deeper within one’s psyche – we can identify the root cause, its origins.
Signs of Low Self-esteems:
There are several signs of identifying a person struggling with low self-esteem.
- Extra sensitive to criticism.
- Lashes out and is aggressive
- Is preoccupied with personal problems
- Avoids new things and opportunities
- Thinks others are better. Feels unworthy, unloved, and not needed
- Finds it difficult to make friends/ relationships.
- Thinks negatively about self – ignores self-achievements. Feels ashamed at failures
- Having body image problems
- Substance abuse
The above list is not exhaustive…
Raising Low Self Esteem
One can overcome low self-esteem with the right support from family, friends, or professional help. It all starts first by identifying the problem, the root cause, and then take deliberate steps to change one’s mindset and behaviors.
- Become self–aware of your thoughts and deep-rooted beliefs. The causes, the patterns, the way you see things.
- Identify triggers, conditions, or situations which deflates your self-esteem
- Adjust your mindset by challenging your deep-rooted beliefs, patterns, preconceived notions towards your life and situations.
- Focus on positive aspects of all situations. Learn to look towards the other side of the coin.
- Practice Self-love. No one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. That’s the magic of being human.
- Be Kind to yourself.
- Create your support network. Be it family, buddies, or a professional coach.
Good self-esteem helps in handling emotions in a healthy way.
Self-esteem and anger have a strong connection.
Anger can be managed by being Self-Awareness of the emotion, acknowledging and taking responsibility for the feeling within you. Followed by analysing one reason for feeling angry – what, at whom, and why – go deep within to understand the source of the emotion, the circumstances, the history and you might get astonished when you find the real reason.
Plus many a time the justification of the emotions gets lost when you attempt to write it down or drawn a visual picture of how you are feeling. Or Punch a bag. Or Stomp your feet.
Though do not let yourself be browbeaten, abused, or taken advantage of – self-esteem allows you to moderate your emotions. Feel angry when you must – just moderate it.
An important aspect of improving self-esteem and resolving the resulting anger issues is to talk to a professional about how you feel.
Don’t keep all your feelings locked in, reach out and see the difference.
Author: Margaret KM
Author Bio: Head HR in a Reinsurance Company in India| SHRM-SCP | Life and transformation Coach | Facilitator & Vision Builder, with over 20 years of experience in the corporate industry in various capacities.
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