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Virtue or Vice?





                                                 f asked the question; do you see  wary of. That then is the pattern we
                                                 anger as a virtue or a vice, how  adopt in later life.
                                                 would you respond? Your          Of course little in life is black or
                                                 answer to this question is     white and the reality for most of us is
                                                 important as your answer shows  that while we may feel comfortable
                                            Ihow you view anger and how         with how we express some of our
                                            you deal with anger, either your own  emotions, we may feel uncomfortable
                                            or someone else's. With anger, as   or reluctant to express others.
                                            with other powerful emotions, the     It is a useful exercise to think about
                                            issue is not that we have them – that  the attitude you have inherited
                                            is obvious – but with how they find  towards anger. You may have
                                            appropriate expression.             incorporated this without thought. It
                                                                                is therefore opportune to ask yourself
                                            HOW DO WE LEARN HOW TO PROCESS AND  the question; in what way do I express
                                            DEAL WITH OUR ANGER?                my anger now? Is it healthy and
                                              Like many experiences in life our  appropriate?
                                            initial learning occurs in our family of
                                            origin. As children we observe how  WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES FOR US
                                            adults – particularly parents – behave  IF WE CAN'T FACE OUR ANGER AND
                 By MIKE KELLY              and we copy them. During this early  SEE IT NEGATIVELY?
                                            period we are exposed to a wide       If we can't manage to process and
                                            range of emotions and their         express our anger appropriately this
                                            expression. As we get older we      has consequences for us. Failure to
                                            incorporate these behaviour patterns  process and express our anger
                                            into our own lives. If we have learned  appropriately means we remain
                                            how to process and channel our      emotionally immature and generate
                                            emotions appropriately, then that is  unnecessary problems for ourselves.
                                            the behaviour pattern we adopt.       These find expression both
                                            Alternatively, if our experience is that  emotionally and sometimes physically.
                                            emotions – including anger – are      Emotionally we become anxious
                                            repressed or not acknowledged, then  and experience unhealthy guilt.
                                            our learning is that emotions are   Physically we can experience
                                            something to be feared and to be    headaches, stomach problems and


          The Irish Kidney Association provides a FREE and confidential counselling service for those on treatment, their
          families and carers, either through their counsellor, based at Donor House, or through a nationally registered,
          locally-based counsellor network.
            If, as a person on treatment, family member or carer, you feel it would be of benefit to you to speak to a
          counsellor or if you would like a referral to a counsellor in your local area please contact Mike at Donor House.


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