Anger usually arises from some form of perceived transgression against yourself. It needn’t be real – you just need to believe it happened!
It comes about in three main areas
- Some one or some thing gets in the way and stops you achieving a goal
- Someone or some organisation breaks you personal rules. For example, ‘I’ve worked for them for years and now they want to get rid of me!’
- You self esteemed feel threatened
You feel angry and you may lash out verbally or physically. Or you may displace your aggression and take it out on someone else. Instead of attacking you may withdraw – storm out! Or you may attack indirectly – for example, subverting or spreading rumours – a passive aggressive response.
But it is clear that prolonged anger damages you mentally and physically!
You may believe that letting it out is the best way to deal with it. But ‘cathartic’ expressions of anger reinforce your anger because the underlying beliefs are strengthened. To get over being angry you have first to get over the idea that others make you angry! If others annoy you, it is you who presses the anger button so that you ‘blow your top’! You ‘lose your temper’, no one takes it from you! And you probably regret it later which shows that other options were available.
Your self talk determines how you respond to a situation. Anger results from how you think about a situation, not the situation itself.
Examine the potential results of your anger in terms of damaged relationships, poor performance and the effect on your physical and mental health! Look at alternative responses – being more assertive ( stand up for yourself without loss of control), developing an early warning system by recognizing the early signs of anger (muscle tension, clenched fists, the rising voice and impatience) and learn how to diffuse it, You can talk yourself down or leave the situation and when you are calmer think how to deal with the situation in a more constructive way.
Here is a really useful website
With grateful thanks to Life Coaching A Cognitive-Behavioural Approach Neenan and Dryden 2002