We've all felt anger in our lives, perhaps some of us more than others. But what if anger is "just the tip of the iceberg"? That's the theory behind the Anger Iceberg, and understanding it can help with fostering emotional intelligence.

Anger gets a bad rep, but it can actually be a useful tool for understanding what's going on beneath the surface (or the tip of the iceberg), when we learn to dig deeper into where the anger is coming from. Recognizing when anger is rooted in sadness, shame, or a number of other different emotions can allow us to process those emotions and work through them in a healthy, productive way.

Where did the Anger Iceberg originate?

The Anger Iceberg was first coined by The Gottman Institute, a team of researchers spearheaded by psychologists John and Julie Gottman. Their mission is to help couples and families work through difficulties and cultivate stronger, more loving relationships. Their research led to an understanding of anger as often a mask or cover for deeper emotions. This can be any range or combination of emotions, including grief, jealousy, loneliness, fear, anxiety, exhaustion, pain, embarrassment—the list goes on.

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