MM > FAQs > Anger
Some Things Anger IS
1) It is acting out of control in order to gain control.
2) It is emotional disturbance.
3) It is distorted thinking.
4) It is self-righteous.
5) Unhealthy and can literally make us physically ill.
6) Usually a mask for other, deeper emotions (hurt, fear).
7) Addictive, because it can make us feel good in the short run.
8) Psychologically harmful, because it can increase our frustration and anxiety in the long run.
Some Things Anger IS NOT
1) A stress reducer.
2) A safe way to express feelings.
3) A good way to motivate behavior change in myself or others.
4) An effective way to express a message.
5) An agent of control.
6) A requirement when threatened.
7) A symbol of strength.
8) A result of unmet needs (neediness is the problem!)
9) A learned behavior (it is inborn!)
10) An emotion that will run its course (it escalates!)
Tips for the Management of Anger
1) Always try to say I made MYSELF angry.
2) Give up the idea that anger must be expressed.
3) Know what to overlook.
4) Recognize that people aren’t against you, they are merely for themselves.
5) Lower your voice.
6) Recognize the hurt or fear that preceeds anger.
7) Recognize that another person’s abusive behavior says more about them and their emotional pain than it says about you.
8) Ask yourself if your feelings of anger are helping your problem solving skills.
9) Avoid scorekeeping.
10) Learn not to hit the sore spots.
11) Ask yourself how important the issue will be in a week.
12) Avoid mind reading.
13) Learn to agree to disagree.
14) Kill them with kindness.
15) Work on anger coping self-statements for “comprehensive emotional rustproofing“
There was a little boy with a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that everytime he lost his temper, to hammer a nail in the back fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Then it gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold temper than to drive those nails into the fence.
Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.
The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, “You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there. A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one”
1) Apologize when you are wrong, even on a minor matter.
2) Remember you are trying to win an agreement, not an argument.
3) Don’t lose your temper or you’ll lose your point.
4) Bargain in good faith. Your intellect will tell you when you are bargaining and your conscience will tell you whether you have good faith.
5) Know and admit the impact of your demands.
6) Remember that the ability to separate fact from opinion is the mark of a clear mind and reflects intellectual integrity.
7) Acknowledge with grace and dignity the significance of the other’s comment or statement of fact.
8) Do not imply superior knowledge or power.
Drinking to quell the anger is just anger turned inward. If we can’t destroy the source, we’ll destroy what we can, ourselves. The inability to adequately express it or work through it in productive ways is where I have the problem. If I’d been able to confront this person who stole my purse, I think I probably would have beat the s**t out her…also, not too productive or healthy. I really need to work on finding a healthy way to release the anger. I think I’ll start saving old dishes and next time, try smashing them on the sidewalk or something. A punching bag would also be a good thing. Also, Xxxxx, it might have helped to let it all out here, to us.
Anger and violence are seen as the internal emotion and external behavior respectively. One common reason for violence in the workplace is uncontrolled anger. A work environment that reduces stress is important, but it is even more important to learn personal control of one’s anger. A person with effective anger management skills has internal controls to deal with fluctuating stressors both at work and home.
It is often helpful to look at anger in four areas: The world around us, our thinking, the emotion itself, and our behavior. People often experience anger when they are insulted, irritated, frustrated, treated unfairly and/or physically confronted. The common expression is “You made me angry” This expression implies that the person is externally controlled by others. We can’t control what others do, but we can control how we react to others.
A common “thinking” cause of anger is harboring resentment and constantly pondering about how we have been wronged. This sets us up to get even angrier whenever we confront the same situation or person again. Anger can be defined as both having tension and how we cognitively view a situation. This means that a person often gets angry under stress and viewing a situation as insulting, irritating, frustrating, unfair and/or assaulting. A person in a high stress job can often get angry fast because they are already tense. With this in mind, the person with a high degree of stress at home is also at high risk for anger and possible violence at the workplace.
The two most common behavioral responses to anger in the workplace is for a person to either hold their anger in or act out. Holding the anger inside can lead to significant health problems and passive- aggressive behavior on the job. The acting out person is often seen as a volcano, exploding and damaging all those around them. It is also possible for a person to “stuff” their anger to the point that they explode in aggression (verbal and/or physical).
Developing internal control of anger involves dealing with our thinking, emotions and behavior. We can’t control fellow workers or bosses in the world around us, but we can control what we think, feel, and do. We can learn how to be aware of our anger problem, develop empathy for others and learn to control our thinking so that we don’t just regurgitate the perceived wrongs done to us. We can also learn how to relax, develop a sense of humor, and learn how to take time-outs to regain emotional control.
Behaviorally, we can learn how to communicate our feelings, become more assertive and to become more task/problem oriented. Regarding the latter, we can look at anger producing situations as problems that need to be solved, not just reacted to. Finally, it is important to learn how to forgive or to close doors on the past. As we harbor anger against others, we are actually trapped by the past. Learning how and when to confront these issues and then to let them go, frees the person. This freedom allows the person to focus on his/her work performance and relationships. The person that controls/manages their emotions well has the potential to not only move on/upward in their vocation, but in life itself.