About Anger Policies

    A policy is a set of beliefs, values, rules, and priorities that governs personal or group behaviors. All relationships and families develop un-spoken polices about key dynamics that affect their members, inclu-ding privacy, money, worship, health, grieving, respect, love, responsi-bilities (roles), and others.

    A universal policy that is often unspoken is how family members are "supposed to" feel and express anger and frustration. Core parts of such policies are (a) whether family members differentiate anger from frustration and (b) whether each of these normal emotions are seen as useful (indicating unfilled needs) or "negative" (harmful and disruptive).

   Other important policy "planks" are (c) how adults and kids are "sup-posed to" respond to angry and frustrated people - empathically, defen-sively, combatively, manipulatively, submissively, scornfully, etc.; and (d) whether family members see anger as a healthy part of the normal grieving process, and encourage that or not.

   Are your family adults aware of your anger policy? If so, are they using it constructively? Teaching it to your kids? Does it promote or diminish your family's nurturance level?

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