Anger Inquiry

These questions and examples are a framework for inquiry into anger
The answer to each question can take you down a different follow-up pathway of deeper inquiry, and open the doorway to greater authenticity
Curiosity is the key to inquiry

Am I angry? 
How easy / hard is it for me to acknowledge that I’m angry? 
Can I express this anger, or am I contracted / frozen by the anger?
e.g. is my throat open or constricted when I acknowledge or express anger

What is my first impulse when feeling anger? 
e.g. escape, freeze, yell, hurt someone, break something, hurt myself
What feelings accompany the anger?
e.g. hatred, loss or gain of confidence, power

How angry am I? Can I express it on a scale of numbers, or scale of colors?

What, exactly, am I angry about?
e.g personal boundary violation, abuse (physical, mental, emotional), clash of values / beliefs, community / collective violation, not getting what I want, losing in an interaction, loss of face / power
Have I turned the anger inward – am I angry at myself rather than at what has happened?
e.g. self criticism, frustration, disappointment
How does this twist of anger serve or protect me?

Where is the anger in my body? 
Is it moving around? 
Does the anger stay at the same level or pulse up and down?
Have I felt this type of anger, location in my body, intensity before?
What does the location and dynamics of the anger tell me about how it is influencing my health?

Am I fearful of others’ anger?
Am I afraid of my own anger?
Was it dangerous, or was I punished in the past if I was angry?
Did my anger explode in the past and lead to out of control actions and follow-up regrets?

Do I use anger to get what I want?
e.g. intimidate others, maintain power or control
Am I use to, or addicted to, ongoing simmering anger?
What other payoffs do I get from this anger?
What shadow aspects of myself is the anger revealing?

Does my anger match the current situation or has the situation triggered deeper / hidden anger – often related to past trauma?
Is the anger mine, or am I feeling my parents’ / grandparents anger?
Am I feeling collective anger?

Is anger part of an ongoing pattern, first arising when I was young, of what happens in my life and how I respond?

Is my anger a protector?
If my anger is non-specific and chronic then it is likely a protector.
If my anger is quick to come up and surges in a variety of situations then it is likely a protector.
Covering deeper feelings – often anger covers up pain arising from trauma. An anger protector thinks it is safer to be angry than to feel the pain and other emotions under the anger.

Do I stay stuck in anger as a way of avoiding other feelings?
What deeper emotions are held down under the anger?

Does what I’ve learned from this inquiry allow for a more compassionate relationship with anger, personal boundaries and how I manage internal fire?

How can I use the results of this inquiry to motivate inner change and right action?
e.g. release of protections and payoffs, new personal boundaries, action in the world
What aspect of this inquiry into anger motivates deeper inquiry and ongoing personal work?

Commitment is the key to transformation


Note: For additional information see “Danger Consciousness” and “Protectors – hard at work”