Anger is an emotion that is useful and necessary as well as harmful. We teach anger management skills as well as interventions for resolving the underlying reasons for an individual’s anger
ELEVEN THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOUR ANGER
1. The events of this world don’t make you angry. Your “hot thoughts” create your anger. Even when a genuinely negative event occurs, it is the meaning you attach to it that determines your emotional response.
2. The idea that you are responsible for your anger is ultimately to your advantage because it gives you the opportunity to achieve control and make a free choice about how you want to feel. If it weren’t for this, you would be helpless to control your emotions; they would be irreversibly bound up with every other external event of this world, most of which are ultimately out of your control.
3. Most of the time, your unhealthy expressions of anger will not help you. It will immobilize you, and you will become frozen in your hostility to no productive purpose. You will feel better if you place your emphasis on the active search for creative solutions.
4. The thoughts or underlying fears that generate anger more often than not will contain distortions. Correcting these distortions will reduce your anger.
5. Ultimately, your anger is caused by your belief that someone has threatened your sense of self-esteem or has violated your boundaries by acting unfairly or experiencing some event as unjust.
6. Ultimately, being able to see the world through other people’s eyes, engaging your empathy, will often surprise you when you realize their actions are not unfair from their point of view or are not directed at you personally.
7. Other people usually do not feel they deserve your punishment. Therefore, your retaliation is unlikely to help you achieve any positive goals in your interactions with them. Your rage will often cause further deterioration and polarization, and will function as a self-fulfilling prophecy. Even if you temporarily get what you want, any short-term gains from such hostile manipulation will often be more than counterbalanced by a long-term resentment and retaliation from the people you are coercing. No one likes to be controlled or forced.
8. A great deal of anger involves your defense against loss of self-esteem when people criticize you, disagree with you, or fail to behave as you would want them to. Such anger is always inappropriate because only your negative, distorted thoughts and unjustified anxiety can cause you to lose self-esteem. When you blame the other guy for your feelings of worthlessness, you are always fooling yourself.
9. Frustration results from unmet expectations. Since the event that disappointed you was a part of “reality,” it was “realistic.” Thus, your frustration always results from your unrealistic expectation.
10. It is just childish pouting to insist you have the right to be angry. Of course you do! Anger is legally permitted in the United States. The crucial issue: is it to your advantage to express your anger in an ultimately self-destructive way? Will you or the world really benefit from your rage?
11. You rarely need your anger in order to be human. It is not true that you will be an unfeeling robot without it. In fact, when you rid yourself of that sour irritability, you will feel greater life satisfaction, gratitude, creativity, peace, and productivity.
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