Clients tell me that when they feel disrespected or treated rudely – they get angry. Often, they experience anger when they feel helpless or when goals are blocked.
An important fact about anger is that the amygdala (emotional center) in the brain becomes triggered within 1/20 of a second when people first feel threatened, angry or frustrated. In the book, Anger Disorders, authors Raymond DiGiussepe and Raymond Tafrate write:
“Researchers have demonstrated 10 key areas of anger provoking stimuli:
1. Interruption of goal-directed behavior when time is important;
2. Experiencing personal degradation or unfair treatment (and being powerless to stop it)
3. Being treated unfairly, unkindly, or in a prejudicial way whether or not one is present;
4. Being the object of dishonesty or broken promises or being disappointed by others or even oneself
5. Having one’s authority, feelings, or property being disregarded by others
6. Being ignored or treated badly by a significant other
7. Experiencing harm because of one’s negligence toward oneself
8. Being shown by others’ behavior that they do not care
9. Being the object of verbal or physical assault
10. Being a “helpless victim.” (Things one cannot control despite a desire to do so.”)”
A home-study student writes: While we were married, my wife an often exchanged angry and hurtful words. Very often, I would pound things (desk, kick a chair) because I so desperately wanted to avoid hitting her. All of that changed when she hit me. At first I was stunned, but then, very predictably, I became angry and I shoved her back against the wall. From that point on there were many instances when I acted violently or aggressively toward her. I never hit her with my hand, just pushed her around. I was so ashamed of my behavior (after sanity returned) but it was so hard to avoid it. I tried timeouts, but she would not respect them and it became progressively worse.
Though there are many reasons for getting angry – you don’t have to stay angry and you don’t have to experience ill-effects from anger. The goal of What’s Good About Anger is to show that anger is a complex emotion and a force that can be used for good. Healthy anger transformed into assertiveness, problem-solving and conflict resolution strategies can help you reach your goals effectively and live a more satisfying life.
Anger’s Ugly Consequences
The consequences of anger can be very costly. Broken relationships. Legal problems. Job loss. You can prevent negative consequences by learning to manage your anger. Here are some insights to help you commit to change anger for good! Listen to this podcast here.
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Lynette J. Hoy, NCC, LCPC, CAMS-V
CounselCare Connection, P.C. – Anger Management Institute
1200 Harger Spring Road, Suite 602 – Oak Brook, IL 60523