Do You Have Anger Problems
When you get upset, do you shut down? Become emotionally unreachable? Acted passive-aggressively? Have you ever felt overwhelmed by your thoughts and not been able to shake it? Are your friends and family scared of you when you get upset? Do you intimidate other people? Have you ever broken things out of frustration? Or hit someone?
Anger is a normal, healthy emotion. In fact, anger is a universal feeling. However, when anger feels out of control, it can become emotionally damaging and / or destructive. Uncontrolled anger can lead to problems at home, in the office, or in relationships.
There are two primary ways to think of anger
- Anger can be thought of as an aggressive response to negative feelings. Taking an aggressive posture allows one to defend themselves from others. Other people tend to notice anger and react.
- Anger can be thought of as a “secondhand emotion” because it is preceded by other feelings of hurt and emotional pain.
Anger is often considered to be out of control when it is used to demean others, intimidate others, or destroy others. When one expresses anger, common sense boundaries are required. Expressing unfiltered anger is limited. The recipient of the anger, must be able to hear the message. Too much unfiltered anger and the recipient then must become focused on his / her own safety as opposed to resolving the problem.
Typically, people cope with anger in one of the following three ways. .
- The person identifies their feelings, makes his or her needs known, provides the recipient with a way to meet their needs, and respects the others person boundaries. In others refrains from pushing or becoming mean.
- The person holds in their anger, redirects their negative energy and simply stops thinking about it. This style can come out as passive-aggressive, critical of others, hostile, cynical, or demeaning.
- The person self-soothes, calms themselves down, controls their outward behavior. This, while very effective risks having the anger turned inward – otherwise thought of as depression.
Out of control anger typically occurs when all three approaches fail. Developing anger management skills will help you cope with the emotional feelings / physiological responses of anger (increased heart rate, etc). Anger management skills consists of learning how to redirect your immediate energy, identifying good timing to express ones anger, developing relaxation methods, deep breathing, imagery, cognitive restructuring, developing problem solving skills, communication techniques, diffusing the situation with humor or sometimes becoming aware enough to simply change ones environment.
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Hidden hostility: uncovering passive-aggression.