It is important to understand that anger is neither a positive nor a negative emotion. Anger is a simply response that tells us something is wrong with a situation – e.g., an injustice has been done, someone has caused harm to us, or invaded our boundaries etc. Thus, anger tends to push us towards actions that rights the wrongs done against us.
However, how we act in the face of such anger can be a problem.
When does your anger become a problem?
When a wrong has been done against you, it is normal to feel anger. However, when you feel angry about every little wrong that has been done to you, or if you react violently in anger, you may have an anger management problem.
Such anger management problems will end up in crises, where relationships or even careers are destroyed. In order to prevent that from happening, you need to first recognize the signs that you have anger management issues.
Common Signs of Anger Management Problems
The following patterns tend to arise in people with anger management problems:
- Turning extremely aggressive when drunk
- Rigidity in negotiations and becoming angry when things don’t go their way
- Finding it difficult to express emotions in a calm and healthy manner
- Cutting communications with people they are unhappy with
- Isolating thoughts and self-harming behaviour
- Aggressive behaviour, such as violence and raising of voice
- Substance abuse or addiction to compulsive behaviour
- Alternating between bad and good behaviour which affects relationships
If you have anger management problems, constructive criticism can be thought of as a challenge to you, causing a confrontation between the parties involved. You will tend to:
- Obsess about how things should go your way
- Assuming others’ intents
- Focusing on past faults
- Failing to take responsibility
Once you recognize these trains of thought, you can perform the following exercises to help cool your temper.
Anger Management Exercises that can help you
Anger is both a physiological and psychological response to adverse external events. A combination of physiological and psychological approaches will contribute towards reducing your anger, such as:
Being aware of your triggers – avoid them if possible
Keeping a log to track your triggers and responses
Walking away from whatever is triggering your anger.
How can Anger Management Therapy help?
Anger management issues can manifest in many forms. A person with anger management problems may turn to an addiction of sorts. However, this fails to recognise the cause of their anger management issues, which may be emotional hurt or abuse suffered in the past. A professional clinician will be able to help you come to terms with it such causes, thereby effectively addressing your anger management issues.
How does one tell if a loved one has anger problems?
Frequent outbursts of anger are usually attributed to one’s character traits. However, it commonly stems from emotional sources. If your loved one shows outbursts but does not take responsibility for his/her part in the events, he/she may have an anger management problem. Recognise that many of these problems tend to arise from abuse or hurt during the childhood, so help him/her prevent a crisis by drawing firm boundaries. For help,
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