Anger is a powerful emotion that is often difficult to deal with. It’s also probably the least understood. We get angry at our partners, our children, the man standing in line at the bank, the teenager cutting us off in traffic, our boss who just doesn’t understand, and even the dogs barking in the next yard. We get angry and blame our anger on other people or a frustrating situation – anyone or anything but ourselves.
Over the years, I’ve discovered that people who have anger problems are often not even aware they have a problem. The questions below will help you determine if anger is a problem for you or someone you care about.
- When you have an argumentare you convinced you’re 100 % right?
- Do you feel righteous and that your anger is completely justified?
- Do you feel like the other person deserves punishment?
- Do feel like you have to “win”?
- Do you act like you don’t care, but then give the other person the “Silent Treatment?”
- Do you deny that you’re angry, but then pout?
- Do you bring up other issues in order to blame the other person?
- Do your angry feelings become enjoyable or almost exhilarating, like a temporary “high?”
- Do you lash out at the other person, and try to intimidate him or her?
- Do you try to make the other person feel guilty?
- Do you try to provoke the other person or push the other person’s buttons until the person blows up? Then do you act innocent or like the person is the one who has the problem?
If you answered yes any of the questions above, your anger is taking a toll on your life. I can help you develop control over your anger so you stop inflicting unnecessary pain on yourself and others.
Most of us are quick to blame others for our anger. “If you hadn’t done that thing you did, then I wouldn’t be angry!” But the latest research shows that anger might just not be real. Instead it may be a way to cover up the real issue – our pain.
Researcher and best-selling author, Brene Brown explains,
“As our fear, uncertainty, and feelings of vulnerability increase, cruelty becomes an acceptable way for us to discharge our pain and discomfort. Rather than doing the difficult work of embracing our own vulnerabilities and imperfections, we expose, attack, or ridicule what is vulnerable and imperfect about others.”
So, how do we undertake the “difficult work of embracing our own vulnerabilities” rather than discharging our pain and insecurity through anger?
I often explain to my clients that negative feelings, such as anger, can be healthy or unhealthy.
If we determine that their anger is healthy, then they have the option of accepting the feeling or expressing their anger in a respectful way. However, if we determine that their anger is unhealthy, I show them techniques, such as my Mood Switch Method, that can help them change the way they feel by changing their negative thoughts. Here’s how it works.
Research shows that almost every upsetting feeling is caused by specific negative thoughts.
Anger, for example, typically results from thoughts that that we are being treated badly. Some thoughts underlying anger might be:
They should have given me a bigger tip.
I should have received the award.
He should have shown me more respect.
Once you identify the negative thoughts that underlie your anger, you can then change your angry, upsetting thoughts to more balanced, realistic ones.
If you’re struggling with anger, I can help you:
- Determine whether your anger is healthy vs. unhealthy.
- If your anger is healthy, I can assist you in accepting your anger or expressing it in a respectful, constructive way.
- If your anger is unhealthy, I can teach you how to use the Mood Switch to change your negative thoughts so you can feel and act better.