(This post will be paraphrasing from chapter 8 of The Anger Workbook by Les Carter and Frank Minirth).
Hesitancy, apprehension and doubt are some of the feelings underneath the emotion of fear. We expect fearful people to be shy and easily intimidated. However, fear can also be expressed by talking a lot, workaholism, lying and being dishonest, as well as excessive bravado.
I resemble quite a few of the checklists in this chapter on fear.
*I sometimes feel the need to justify or rationalize my decisions.
*People don’t know me as well as they think they do.
*I use humor to avoid delicate subjects.
*Other people’s moods have a strong effect on my mood.
*I worry more about my public image than other people would expect.
The authors stress that fear is revealed in cover-ups and phoniness. Fear keeps us from being fully honest about who we are. Instead, we project a false or partially true image. Individuals who fear have learned to be cautious in self revelations. This causes evasiveness or edginess.
Perhaps the most reliable way to identify fear is by defensiveness.
Defensiveness is an expression of anger.
I am in recovery from PTSD. Basically, at its peak I felt afraid 24/7 and was in a constant state of defensiveness. My fears were out of control. My anger was hair-trigger. I am discovering that as I work through the past traumas, the fears lessen, and the defensiveness and anger lessens as well. This workbook is helping me examine how closely linked these emotions can be.
Knowing I was angry wasn’t enough motivation for me to change. Knowing that fear is at the root of this lingering anger, makes me want to overcome it. I want to conquer those remaining fears, because I want to walk in faith not fear. And because I know that then the other nasty stuff will go as well.
It is important to find the roots of things. Without pulling those out, the problems just resurface again and again.