I gotta say, AwesomeCloud's anger style is completely incompatible with mine. When he gets angry, he starts relentlessly hammering at you with whatever is bothering him. Or if it's something abstract, with whatever concrete annoyance he can substitute. My anger style is that I'll tolerate annoying behavior a handful of times, and then I shut down and push you away. And if you try to break through to me with more annoying behavior, I will say something unkind to try to get you to stop.
If I've made any improvements, it's that my unkind remarks have become less verbally barbed and more, "Here is some good advice. Take it or shut up." I'm not perfect; I learned the verbal barb skill from my mother, and it's the easier, more automatic option. But I'm trying. I'm trying to train myself not to let the anger set in at all. But my son has a tendency to hammer, hammer, hammer me with his unhappiness, and as long as the only thing that will make him stop is me humiliating him into crying, it will be really, really hard to eliminate that as an option.
And it's over very trivial things, too, like the wooden Thomas train set. Oh my goodness. If two pieces do not slide into each other immediately every time he tries, the drama begins. And this is inevitable, because those pieces are not cut with the very best precision.
Also, he gets all weirdly defeatist. "These pieces won't fit! I'll never build a train track! Now I have to go to bed, and I won't eat supper, and I won't get to go to kindergarten. And I'll never go to a playground ever again."
Sounds comical, doesn't it? I didn't make that up. I don't know where he gets it. Many of his phrasings and attitudes, I can pinpoint the origins of. Existential defeatism, however, no idea.
I don't even respond to it anymore, except that occasionally I'll let him finish his litany and then say, "You'll have fun in kindergarten. You'll see." Or, "Haha, yeah, you'll stay in bed for exactly half a second before you're up and stuffing your face full of supper."
I also shut him out when I'm just plain tired, and he's being bouncy, and I don't know if he can tell the difference between that and a shut-out due to anger. That can be a problem.
I'm trying to learn to just not get angry, and just to shower him with endless good advice until he learns to expect that, and maybe at some point will learn not to pick a fight with me in the first place. Because he really really hates all my good advice. I have also pointed out to him, "Someday you will have to get over yourself and start taking my good advice. You can't just get angry at every little problem your whole life. Life is full of problems. You will never stop having problems. So pull yourself together and learn to find solutions, or else you will be angry all the time and you will never accomplish anything."
He HATES that!