Growing up in the South, anger was one of those emotions that was “unbecoming” and therefore rarely got expressed in a healthy way. I’m not sure I ever learned how to “do” anger. I didn’t have a road map for it. Both my parents grew up in households where anger was expressed explosively, if not abusively, and so they learned to fear anger on some level…or at least to avoid it. It took me years into my 20s of finally moving through different developmental stages of anger (lots of tantrums and throwing things had to happen, it seems) before I finally arrived at a version of healthy (not perfect, but healthy) anger expression and assertiveness that I feel confident in.
I think many of us learn, in one way or another, that anger is an emotion to be feared.