Anger and Self-awareness

What makes you angry? Disrespect, loud noises, unfriendly, self-centered people, put-downs, rude behavior, people who break the rules? Anger is normal and it is an energy which can help you accomplish goals. But, if you can’t detect your anger in the early stages – you may find yourself over-reacting when something or someone triggers you.

Question:

A while ago I cut somebody off in traffic and this person was upset. This person pulled up beside me at the next traffic light and I apologized but this person wasn’t having it. They started swearing and threatening me and usually in the past I would get out and this person would be eating through a straw for the next month. I couldn’t help myself but to start getting angry and yelling comments back at this person. Eventually we just drove on. Any advice to help me keep control next time? Anon

Answer:

Maybe you are dealing with guilt and wishing you had handled the situation with a ‘cool head’. What if you had done something differently and had been more aware of your own anger and triggers?

How about writing out the road rage event and identifying what you were thinking. Most likely, you had “hot self-talk”. Hot self-talk will cause you to react more angrily than you normally would. Maybe you began saying to yourself- “I can’t let him/her disrespect and humiliate me that way!” “I’m going to tell him off!”, etc. It’s time to start thinking differently.

How about considering what is going on with that other person. Maybe he/she has a mental problem or has had a very stressful day. Maybe you could have counted to ten and just kept silent knowing that yelling was not going to help and actually could escalate the situation.  How about telling yourself that “this person isn’t going to get my goat.” or putting yourself in their shoes. There’s a reason they got so mad – that doesn’t mean it was justified or acceptable but, you did cut them off.

The problem is that you could have provoked that person more with your rage. Your outburst may have incited you (or him) to cause physical harm.

When someone gets that enraged- it’s best to back off for your own protection. He can’t think straight. You can’t think straight and you won’t solve the issue then. Road rage – any kind of rage – leads to violence. You don’t need to become one of it’s victims or end up in jail.

Write it out:
What physical feeling did I sense? (flushed face, knot in stomach, tense muscles, tightness in neck/chest, etc.) What I thought (hot self-talk) –
How I acted (unhealthy behavior)-
What else could I think instead (calming thoughts)-
How else could I have responded (healthy action)-

Then, try out the new calming thoughts and healthy action the next time you get angry or someone provokes you.. Write out the consequences. What happened afterward? How did affect you and others? This healthier response should work out better for you!

© copyright 2018 by Lynette J. Hoy, NCC, LCPC, CAMS-V. Lynette is a Marriage and Family Counselor with CounselCare Connection , National Certified Counselor, Certified Anger Management Specialist-V and Diplomate with the National Anger Management Association. She is the co-author of What’s Good About Anger? and a speaker for professional, community, women’s and church organizations.
CounselCare Connection, P.C. – Anger Management Institute
1200 Harper Road, Suite 602, Oak Brook, IL 60523
630-368-1880

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What’s Good About Anger? is unique…

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“What’s Good About Anger?” is unique because the book and curriculum emphasize the following: Anger is an emotion and force that is good when it is expressed in healthy ways to achieve healthy goals. The physiological process of anger happens … Continue reading

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Serious Problem with Anger

Question: My step father released all his problems when I was little and he beat me up bruised me all over. And now he has stopped hurting but does not stop hurting my feelings. And he told me stay away … Continue reading

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Have you ever wondered what causes anger to rear it’s ugly head so quickly?  In our books I have talked about how expectations, self-talk and choices trigger and amplify anger.
Anger is ultimately a physiological and a cognitive response to certain triggers.  It’s different for everyone. You might be able to shrug-off some triggers such as –  a co-worker not listening to you but, fly into a rage when you can’t get your spouse’s attention.
What you tell yourself or the expectations you hold onto for other people and life goals will impact how you respond to those triggers. You then make the choice to act on the anger you feel.
How can you break out of this? How can you stop the yelling, sarcasm or hidden anger which entangles you in resentment and infects your relationships?
We teach the time-out skill as one of the best methods to stop anger from exploding or imploding.
“But, I don’t want to take a time-out when I feel angry”, you argue, “I want people to understand how they are wrong. I want to be understood. I want to get the problem solved.”
I hear these arguments from students and clients all the time. I can identify with these feelings when I’m experiencing conflict or disappointments.
The important aspect of this skill is that it stops anger from escalating. It stops the physiological fight/flight response we all have when someone or something triggers our anger.
When we take a time-out, we can implement some of the stress management or relaxation skills. During the time-out we can identify what is really happening and write out what we want or need. Maybe during the time-out we’ll discover that what we want is unrealistic or demanding. Or maybe we’ll find out that what we want is reasonable and necessary. Taking a time-out when we feel angry – can help us think through the issues and go back to the other person with one or two  requests or with an apology or with some options for working through our differences or misunderstandings.
So, why not take a break when you feel anger rising inside you?  A time-out will help you put a check on anger and check out whether it’s valid.
Listen to these podcasts: 4 Q’s to Disarming Anger
and Talk Yourself Out of Anger!
See all of the Quick Tips for Managing Anger podcasts at: www.whatsgoodaboutanger.com/podcasts.xml

Here are some resources to teach you skills for managing your anger: What’s Good About Anger? .
_________________

© copyright 2018 by Lynette J. Hoy, NCC, LCPC, CAMS-V. Lynette is a Marriage and Family Counselor with CounselCare Connection and National Certified Counselor. She is the co-author of What’s Good About Anger? and a speaker for community, women’s and church organizations.

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Anger at Work…. May 18, 2018

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I don’t really know where to begin… I’m 22. I work at a daycare, and each day I take care of between 6-10 children from age of 7 mo. – 1 year 4 mo. It is stressful. The kids cry … Continue reading

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Strategies for Successful Relationships… 5/1/18

 

 

 

Managing Conflict – Part One © copyright 2018

If you’re a living, breathing human-being, you will have conflict. The only people who don’t are dead. If you have an opinion on anything you will disagree with someone and engage in conflict. Conflict is an inevitable part of life, work and relationships. What happens when you face conflicts at work? What if a co-worker doesn’t make the deadline with his or her part of a combined project? How do you handle it when your boss asks you to do something unethical? What is your reaction to a co-worker who falsely accuses you for losing a big contract? Do you tend to hold your tongue? Do you wait to see what will happen? Or do you confront, defend and blowup?Facing conflict in relationships is difficult. We all want peace, co-operation, harmony and resolution. Conflict can result in either problem-solving and resolution or an all-out war!

Conflictual scenarios can prevent collaboration and cause relationship breakdown unless you have the skills to manage it. How you approach conflict greatly impacts the outcome.

Insights: Every book of the Bible contains examples of conflict. A godly attitude, response and prayer can make a huge difference in how the process unfolds. Gideon had a remarkable gift for defusing anger and conflict. In Judges 8:1-3 the Ephraimites accused and criticized Gideon sharply. Gideon’s response was truthful, gentle and complimentary. This caused their resentment and anger towards him to subside proving the principle found in Proverbs 15:1: A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Prayer is essential. Pray that your attitude will be loving and that God will provide you with His wisdom and insight to work through the issue. Paul exhorts us to: “always keep on praying” and to “do everything in love.” in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (TLB) and 1 Cor 16:14 (NIV).

Prayer is essential. Pray that your attitude will be loving and that God will provide you with His wisdom and insight to work through the issue. Paul exhorts us to: “always keep on praying” and to “do everything in love.” in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (TLB) and 1 Cor 16:14 (NIV).Practical strategies for managing conflict: 

Step one: When you clash or disagree with someone one way to prevent escalation is to take a time-out to consider the issues and your response. Don’t feel pressured to resolve the situation immediately. Step two: SUM-UP what the other person says by paraphrasing their demands, viewpoints and comments. This will clarify the issue and provide you the opportunity to reply. Most people don’t listen well and tend to react defensively when engaged in conflict. Summarizing what someone says demonstrates that you are listening, you care and are trying to understand. Replaying what you hear doesn’t equate to agreement with their opinion or request. 

Here are some Ways to help you Sum Up what the speaker is saying:  

In other words, you were not able to make the project deadline and hope I can finish the work.”  Step three: Communicate your need and viewpoint graciously but, firmly.

“I was able to complete my part of the project but, I do not have time to take on your portion as well.”

Write out a scenario when you experienced conflict at work or home. Envision how you could respond by using the time-out, Sum-Up skills and communicating your viewpoint.

Why not discover how you can better manage conflict and prevent relationship breakdown? Using conflict resolution skills along with prayer and God’s wisdom will give you greater opportunity for success in the workplace.”

Excerpt from: What’s Good About Anger? Fourth edition.

Lynette J. Hoy, NCC, LCPC, CAMS-V
NAMA Supervisor, Diplomate, Consultant.
President, CounselCare Connection, P.C.
Anger Management Institute:
Anger blogs, podcasts, courses and DVDs

Write out a scenario when you experienced conflict at work or home. Envision how you could respond by using the time-out, Sum-Up skills and communicating your viewpoint. Write out a scenario when you experienced conflict at work or home. Envision how you could respond by using the time-out, Sum-Up skills and communicating your viewpoint.

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Anger Flare-ups!

Question: I will say that I do understand how to normally deal with anger, but what I’m trying to illuminate is that it seems to be flaring up a lot more often than what I consider to be normal for myself. I’m more frequently becoming instantly agitated or irritated by things that are, in essence, trivial, and a lot more irritated than what I’d consider normal even under aggravating circumstances. (E.G. sometimes I feel inclined to fiercely curse aloud when I misplace my keys, etc.) It’s like these days I have to exert even more effort to maintain the same level of control that I’ve always had.I’m pleased to admit that I don’t ever get angry with people or direct/displace my anger towards people. So, I do seem to at least have perfect control in social situations; I suppose I simply need to relax more around inanimate objects or something. Any suggestions?

Answer:

You may find stress management and changing your self-talk very helpful as it defuses the physiological response to anger triggers. Anger triggers the amygdala in the brain within 1/20th of a second.

Here are some steps and strategies:
1. Find out your triggers.
2. What do you say to yourself which tends to inflate anger? “I can’t believe I did that again!”, “life’s so unfair!” or “I’m not to let him/her get away with that” or “that’s so rude. I’ll pay him/her back.”
3. How can you change your self-talk? “so, I did it again. I’ll try to find a regular place to put my keys.” or “that person is having a bad day” or “I’m not going to lose my cool so I look like a fool”, etc.
4. Take a time-out/break and try to prevent or avoid triggers and think through how to solve the problem or be more assertive.
5. Learning deep breathing and relaxation is important to help decrease and interrupt your physiological response to angry situations.

Remember: The more you rehearse anger – the more it grows. And the more anger controls you. I believe you do have anger management skills. Since you do work on incorporating them into new situations. Hang in there. With determination – you will change!

© 2018 by Lynette J. Hoy, NCC, LCPC, CAMS-V

Lynette Hoy, NCC, LCPC, Certified Anger Management Specialist-V
1200 Harger Rd., Suite 602
Oak Brook, IL 60523

630-368-1880

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Anger and Guilt

Question:
D
oes anyone one else feel guilty about expressing their anger no matter how justified ? I`m very laid back and some people take advantage. However, if I reach my limit and express my anger, I end up apologizing for it. I guess I have more respect for other peoples` feelings than they do for mine so I just keep smiling and suppress it. I`ve had some pretty bad anger locked in my head for the last 3 years with no where for it to go because I just bottled it all up. Thanks for any response.

Answer: Often we feel guilt after getting angry. Sometimes, it’s false guilt. Other times, the guilt is a good measure of anger mismanagement and over-reaction to anger. How can you determine whether your guilt is true or false? 

Here is a questionnaire you could complete after any incidents in which you felt angry:1. Describe the situation which occurred.

What was the issue?

2. How did I respond?
Did I talk harshly___, loudly___, disrespectfully___, critically___, in a threatening___ or judgmental way___?

Did I make character assassinations?___

3. Was my response measured,___ respectful___, tactful___?

Did I keep to the issue described in question one? ___
I listened___
I paraphrased what was said to me___
I demonstrated empathy (put myself in the other person’s shoes)___
I stated my feelings in a calm manner along with the facts___

4. What could I have done differently?

How could I have responded in a healthier manner?
Used more tact___
Been more respectful___
Kept the tone of my voice down___
Listened more___
Summarized what was said to me___
Showed more empathy___
Stated my feelings firmly but calmly___

Measuring whether your guilt is true or false:
In order to determine whether you did something right or wrong – score your questionnaire this way:
1. If you checked anything in question 2 or 4 – your guilt is probably right-on. You most likely should apologize.

2. If you didn’t check anything in question 2 or 4 but, checked many of the items in question 3 – your guilt is most likely false.

Don’t apologize. Take responsibility for your actions and let the other person take responsibility for theirs. If the other person says you were harsh or loud – you can apologize that your behavior offended them and that you didn’t mean to.

Learn some anger management skills to help you cope with these situations.
Listen to the current podcast: Talk-Out Your Anger!
“Most people tend to hold anger in or explode. Some use manipulation. Learn some no-guilt techniques to assertively express your anger and get your needs met without squashing others.”

See www.whatsgoodaboutanger.com for FAQs, Quick Tips for Managing Anger Podcasts and all resources.

Lynette J. Hoy, NCC, LCPC, CAMS-V

What’s Good About Anger podcasts, blog, resources

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