The Silent Treatment causing anger at the holidays is not an oxymoron!
Holidays bring out emotions in many of us that we are not used to dealing with the rest of the year, often feelings that are unexpected or even confusing. The worst of those emotions anger that simmers or surfaces that can cause us to be irritable, cold, or even destructive or suffer physically from upset stomach, tension, and headaches.
Where does this anger come from? How can any family holiday cause such a surprising and negative emotion when they are supposed to be full of joy and peace?
Often the anger stems from being obligated to spend time with people we don't like or reconnect somehow with our families. For unknown reasons, most families interact with each other in a way we would never accept from lovers, coworkers, or even strangers. If a family member is hurtful, abusive, neglectful, or rude, it is somehow supposed to be “ok because no matter what, you know he loves you.”
But it is never really ok to be treated that way, we know that, so the hurt lingers, the frustration festers, and tension is created between family members with no means of resolving the issue because it was “supposed to be” just swallowed and let go. Often this means the sound of a voice, a criticism no matter how small, or an additional injury causes a fit of anger to blossom and darken the experience of the holidays.
The anger is natural and is just letting you know that there is a problem you want to resolve. But the anger is also damaging if you either hold it inside or release it in unhealthy ways. This season it's time to deal with that anger in a way that will help you dispel it and finally enjoy your family holiday. Taking the time and doing the steps to first understand, then learn how to manage your anger will change the way you interact with your family and feel within yourself. Take that time now and learn more about managing your old anger.
Perhaps getting a copy of "The Silent Marriage" could help?