In parts one and two, I looked at how using Breakwell's model of anger can help to understand anger better, and work out how to respond more constructively when we are angry. However, some people have a pattern of anger, which feels very different to the one suggested by the model. Often described as 'bottling' anger. The person may have an awareness they are holding onto anger, and have times when they suddenly explode, often over seemingly trivial things. However, sometimes the person can feel completely calm, before exploding. Until I went through the intensive personal development that accompanies becoming a counsellor, I had a pattern very much like this.
In part one I looked at a model of anger, and how it can help understand anger better. It suggests that people get angry because of the meaning they make of events. The efffect of these events can build up until the person explodes into a crisis, or they can happen with a single event, if there is enough going on in the background. After an explosion the person gradually calms, and can explode again if something else happens, until eventually they begin cooling off. There is often a dip during cooling off when the person can feel tired, tearful and remorseful. In the rest of this article, I am going to look at using this model in more detail using a real example of anger, and look at how you could use this with yourself to look at your own anger.