Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Insecurity, Fear, and Anger

Sometimes we express something exactly the opposite of how we really feel. A lot of times we don't really know how we really feel either.

  • Someone who really feels inferior acts superior.
  • Someone who feels he has failed criticizes others that he perceives as successful.
  • Someone says he knows who he is but deep down is so lost.
  • Someone says he is optimistic but acts pessimistically about everything.
  • Someone says he loves but exudes hate.
  • Someone says he is happy but acts angry.
Anger is interesting. Anger can be aggressive and confrontational. But anger can also be passive. There's even a term for it, passive-aggressive.

Dealing with passive-aggressive people is so frustrating. The Lord gave an interesting example of passive-aggressive behavior in The Parable of the Two Sons in Matthew 21:28:

"What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, 'Son, go and work today in the vineyard.' 'I will not,' he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, 'I will, sir,' but he did not go. "Which of the two did what his father wanted?"
The second son exhibits passive-aggressive behavior. If he were asked why he would deny disobedience. He would say he forgot or hadn't gotten to it yet. He would be all sweet and nice on the outside but seething on the inside. He would see himself as the victim, too. He would never take responsibility for anything himself. He would act superior and even think he was superior to everyone else. He would claim to be a certain kind of person and never realize that he was so obviously the opposite.

The Lord was talking to a bunch of Pharisees. As a group they were passive-aggressive. They wore their righteousness on the outside and walked around criticizing and complaining about everyone else. They really hated The Lord.

I've read that passive-aggressive behavior is often the result of repressed anger from childhood.

I suspect that's true, too. I know a little about repressed anger. Sometimes I've been so angry at my dad but I know that he is not responsible and so I try with all my strength to never direct my anger his way. But invariably I run into someone who has done absolutely nothing to me and that poor innocent gets the full load of my repressed anger.

I've noticed it is a lot easier for me to be angry when I am afraid. I think anger is defensive. It's like the little Chihuahua dog that bristles and barks like crazy at the huge Rottweiler. Since we are impartial observers and notice that the Chihuahua is 6 inches tall and weighs about 5 pounds and the Rottweiler is at least 24 inches and 110 pounds it is rather apparent who is going to win the fight. I think our anger is like the Chihuahua and our fear is like the Rottweiler.

On the other hand you can watch the Rottweiler who peers down at the Chihuahua. Sometimes he is rather bemused but mostly just unconcerned. That's security.

If you can't tell I've actually watched that Chihuahua and Rottweiler (not mine).

I'd rather be the Rottweiler.

That's pretty much it for this post - just a bunch of random thinking that escaped. I need to keep a better hold of it but sometimes it leaks out.


Lori1955 said...

I think you should post this on Jim's blog. :)

nancy said...

i personally find that passive aggressive people ate the most difficult for me to deal with. that's interesting that it is a result of repressed anger from childhood. i had not heard that.

i find my anger sometimes also results from being under stress.

i had to laugh at lori's comment. it was good!

flintysooner said...

Ha! I glanced over there today in fact. He comments on his own posts so I don't think he really needs - or probably wants - my input.

SKYGIRL said...

Flint! What a great & timely subject! I must have written this word in a 1/2 dozen E-Mails today! About you-know-who?

The danger is that they can 'lure' some in with the nicey~nice, and then "Bam!" Scarey Personailty Disorder, it is. You have it by the tail!

Have you ever considered being..a..Therapist? LOL!

~Betsy said...

Passive aggressive people drive me crazy. My husband had a fellow who worked for him who was a classic case.

I haven't spent much time at you-know-who's blog, but the one or two pieces I read I found to be disturbing. I don't have the time nor patience for his silliness. Can you say narcissim??

flintysooner said...

Him whose Name Shall Not Be Spoken