The results are often the same whether or not he loses his temper or is very controlling. He may directly hurt you as his adult child either verbally or physically. Or you may witness your father hurting someone else verbally or physically.
So how can you tell if your angry father has issues
There is nothing wrong if your dad is angry now and then. Even if you notice that he has arguments and struggles in his relationships. Every relationship has its ups and downs.
You may notice him and his partner having a few angry words to each other which from your point of view, it seems concerning but that doesn’t mean he has anger issues.
Anger can also be shown in other ways without any direct verbal or physical abuse. You could have a father with anger issues if he is passive-aggressive. You may find that his anger issues come out with him being sarcastic and demeaning to or to others..
The ways your father can behave toward you are split into two parts. The first part is about: Different types of an angry father. The second part will be on: what can your father’s anger looks like for you
I will finish by providing some tips on how you could manage your father’s anger
Different types of an angry father
There are many different types of anger aside from the obvious signs of rage or punching walls etc. Anger could be any of the following:
The Narcissistic Father
Based on the definition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, NPD is a pervasive pattern of an unrealistic sense of grandiosity, an inflated sense of self-importance, a lack of empathy, and an unhealthy need for admiration.
To be diagnosed with this as a personality disorder is very rare but all have us have some traits of narcissism. Difficulties arise when you experience your dad as having more intense narcissistic traits.
The Bullying Father
Known as an authoritarian parent, here your father uses aggression and bullying as a parenting style. Whether or not he was like this when you were younger as a child, this is very difficult to cope with. Especially if he is bigger, strong, and louder physically than you are.
Your father could be a bully in how he uses his tone of voice, his body language, and the demands he makes on you. Very often it crosses over with some of the other types of angry fathers listed here including Controlling, Demanding, etc.
The Controlling Father
Also known as an authoritarian parent, You may find that your father is very conditional with his love, doesn’t allow you privacy, gives unsolicited opinions about things frequently, interferes, and has unrealistic standards of you.
You may also find that he uses emotional blackmail when he doesn’t get what he wants i.e he sulks or throws a tantrum etc.
The Entitlement Father
Your father may believe that his family deserves special treatment, favors or anything he deems the “best” because he feels he is somehow superior to others by virtue of his economic or social position ― or “just because.”
Being an entitled father refers to when your father feels that he should have things or get things without having to work for them. You may find his behaviour embarrassing because of how he treats others.
The Passive Aggressive Father
He may be more indirect in terms of his aggressive and manipulative behaviour. On the surface, he may seem quiet, kind, and caring but when you really hear him and see his true feelings, you know that they don’t match up.
You may find that he is resentful, he gossips a lot, he is two-faced (in other words he smiles in front of someone but tears them down behind their back),
The Autocrat Father
You may find that these statements ring true for how your dad’s behaviours – “It’s his way or the high way” “If dad’s not happy no one is happy”
You tend to rule with the iron fist as they say but don’t really listen to your opinions on things. He may discourage any creativity or out-of-the-box thinking where HIS rules are clearly outlined and communicated.
You may feel that you are undermined by him especially if he is aggressive in his tone or he uses some of the other tactics listed here if things don’t go his way.
What an angry father can be like for you
Your Angry father is easily irritated
You may find that he is judgmental and reacts to other people’s shortcomings. You can see clearly that he struggles to control his emotions.
He may then be condescending or belittling to others
You walk on eggshells around him
You may find that you have to be so careful what you say, how you act around him. You may feel here that you almost need to predict his triggers to avoid an outburst.
Your angry father can’t control his emotions
One minute he is really nice and kind to you as your father. He could even be loving and generous. The next minute he is at the other extreme end where he is the opposite.
He may love you one day, then lash out at you the next.
Here there is no middle ground where you don’t know how he would react to things
He is not supportive emotionally
Your dad doesn’t need to shout and be verbally abusive to be angry at you. He could show his anger by giving you the silent treatment
Your angry father doesn’t build your confidence
He may constantly make you feel unworthy. Even telling you how great he is as a dad and how lucky you are
Like any emotion, anger can be dealt with poorly or allowed to swing out of control. This can include disruptions to your relationships, career, mental and physical health, and ability to achieve goals.
Anger can also show itself through constant criticism, humiliation, sarcasm etc.
Tips on How to manage your angry father
Remember first, and this is the most important one for your own mental health. It is not your job to manage your father’s anger. It is their responsibility to learn to manage their own emotions. When it comes down to it, it is something no one else can do for someone else.
Remember we are not talking about a father who gets angry every now and then, of which he is just being a human being. We are talking about a father with genuine anger issues.
The first thing is to take care of yourself emotionally and physically as best as you can so you can have the inner resources to be able to cope with any repercussions of any decisions you make.
It is hard to do anything decisive such as setting boundaries etc if you are physically exhausted or your self-esteem is at rock bottom for example.
So look after yourself as best as you can first.
This may include getting your support team in place. This could include friends or family members that would not try to fix things for you, because they can’t but they will listen to you vent.
You could also vent by journaling your thoughts and feelings. Here you would try and accurately describe as best as you can, how the situation has made you feel.
Other strategies could include some creative visualisation.
You could use your mind’s eye to imagine an invisible wall, forcefield or something else protecting you. This could be your spiritual leader or someone you look up to.
Just something coming in between you and whatever is coming from your father.
This way, you would practice feeling that none of his words and actions would touch you.
What to do next
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