Anger has a powerful amphetamine effect. Amphetamines create a temporary sense of confidence and energy – it feels like you’re absolutely right and you can do anything! But they achieve this feeling of energy and confidence. That’s why you feel more confident after a cup of coffee (a mild amphetamine) than before it. It’s why you’re convinced that you’re right and everyone else is wrong when you’re angry. Like all amphetamine effects, the sense of power and confidence gained from anger resolves in depleted energy, self-doubt, and a diminished sense of self. It always drops you down lower than where you started, which is why most people feel depressed after a bout of anger.
The universal mammalian response of anger requires a feeling of vulnerability or potential vulnerability, plus a perception of threat. The more vulnerable people and animals feel, the more threat they perceive, which is how the wounded can be so ferocious.
Most problem anger in humans is about perceived ego-threat, triggered by the possibility of a vulnerable emotion, such as guilt, shame, anxiety, or sadness (in love relationships, inadequacy or unworthiness of love). The perception of vulnerability causes a precipitous drop in energy, confidence, and self-value. Some people have formed the habit of blaming this state on someone, which produces anger for instant energy and confidence, however short-lived.
Once the habit is formed – blaming when self-value drops – it hardly matters what we’re angry at; the habit will rule, particularly under stress or when physical or mental resources are low.
Core Value Conditioning for Anger forms a new habit, through repetition, of automatically raising self-value when it drops for whatever reason.