There are three distinctive experiences in the Angry Child Mode that are expressed in slightly different ways. These are the angry child, the impulsive child, or the enraged child.
- Angry child: Feels intensely angry and frustrated, and reacts inappropriately as a result, feeling entitled to something better.
- Impulsive child: Acts without thinking from moment to moment in a selfishly uncontrolled way without regard to consequences for the self and others; has trouble delaying gratification, and utilizes anger to get what s/he wants.
- Enraged child: Directs intense anger to destroy the perceived aggressor, but often reacts with a hot-headed rage.
In essence, the Angry Child Mode reacts against past mistreatment and unmet needs, which can be real or perceived. But, paradoxically, these dramatic reactions frighten or anger others, which continues to have a negative impact. In the Angry Child Mode, people also act by devaluing, controlling, or abusing others.
Schema beliefs of the Angry Child
The following are the most common schema beliefs present in the Angry Child Mode. Read through each and consider which may apply to you at certain times.
- If I don’t fight, I will be abused or ignored.
- I’m angry that people are trying to take away my freedom or independence.
- I feel enraged towards other people.
- I have a lot of anger built up inside of me that I need to let out.
- If someone is not with me, he or she is against me.
- I’m angry with someone for leaving me alone or abandoning me.
- It makes me angry when someone tells me how I should feel or behave.
- I feel like telling people off for the way they have treated me.
- I feel like lashing out of hurting someone for what he/she did to me.
- I’ve been cheated or treated unfairly.
In the first exercise of the angry child session, we look at recognizing your inner angry child and how to heal him/her.