Hidden Emotions of Anger (Anger Iceberg)

Is It Anger or Something else?

We all get angry right? Yes, but anger doesn’t just show up for no reason. Each time you get angry there is a deeper emotion underneath that brings the anger to the surface. So next time you feel angry, take a moment to try and find the source of the anger. This strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility is just the tip of the iceberg.

The Anger Iceberg represents the idea that, although anger is displayed outwardly, other emotions are almost always hidden beneath the surface.

It’s easy to see a person’s anger, but it can be difficult to see the underlying feelings that the anger is protecting.

The Anger Iceberg can be used in multiple ways. It works well as a group discussion piece, or as an activity where your kids identify and circle their own hidden emotions. I printed one and placed in a clear sheet protector. Then I ask the kids to use a dry erase marker to circle what emotions they are really feeling under the surface. Most of the time when they are mad at each other they are really just hungry!

This works for my husband and me as well. Maybe not in the heat of the moment…but once we are calm we often refer to this silly sheet and say, “Now what were you really feeling?”

Anger as a Protector of Raw Feelings

Anger is a natural human emotion that is felt by everyone at times. The issue is that there are times when we use anger to protect the raw feelings that are at the heart of the issue. This solves nothing because we never process the underlying emotions.

Learning to Recognize Anger for what it is

Learning to recognize anger as not only a basic, valid emotion, but also as a protector of our raw feelings, can be incredibly powerful. It can lead to healing conversations that allow couples, as well as friends, children and parents to understand each other better. I’m telling you this will help you so much.

Below is a picture of the Anger Iceberg, which is a great illustration of all the other emotions and feelings that may lurk below the surface. Sometimes it’s embarrassment, loneliness, depression, or fear. Other times, it’s a combination of several feelings.

For my kids, half the time they are just hungry or tired. Get of the screen protector and dry erase markers and have fun with this. Sign up for my mailing list and get the free printable here.

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