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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