Is anger making you unhappy? What can you do about it?
Feeling anger or having some become angry with us makes us feel unhappy! Anger usually arises because you believe someone has acted against you! It needn’t be real – you just need to believe it happened!
It comes about in three main ways;
- Some one or some thing gets in the way and stops you achieving a goal
- Someone or some organisation breaks your personal rules. For example, ‘I’ve worked for them for years and now they want to get rid of me!’
- Your self esteemed feels 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 – you storm out of the room! Or you may attack indirectly – for example, subverting or spreading rumours – a passive aggressive response.
But prolonged anger damages you mentally and physically!
You may believe that letting it out is the best way to deal with it. But these outbursts - ‘cathartic’ expressions of anger - reinforce your anger! This is because your 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! It is you who ‘blows 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.
How you talk to yourself - 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 - standing 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,
- learning how to diffuse it!
Here is a really useful website
With grateful thanks to Life Coaching A Cognitive-Behavioural Approach Neenan and Dryden 2002