Expressing Injustice © Martyn Carruthers

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Anger is a normal reaction to injustice or to threats. Yet uncontrolled anger can damage your body and your relationships. Do you want to manage your anger?

You have probably experienced anger on a spectrum from mild irritation to fury. Anger can motivate creation – and anger can motivate destruction, health problems and relationship damage.

Anger can put you in hospital or in prison –
or anger can motivate you to change your life!

 

What is Anger?

Anger can be called an emotional pressure that can vary from irritation to rage, an emotion that often motivates aggression (a compulsion to fight a perceived threat).

Anger is associated with injustice. Chronic anger may result if you express the unexpressed anger of a victim – typically of a family member who acted like a victim. But if you suppress your anger with fear – you may be called passive aggressive.

Do you experienced flashes of anger? When these happen, you may feel momentarily out of control and your blood pressure probably increases. You may clench your fists and other muscles, and take an aggressive body posture.

What triggers anger flashes? Most often this is historic anger – from a time when you felt anger but could not express it. When something triggers it – even something minor – you again feel that anger and this time you might express it.

Anger increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Some common triggers for anger include:

  • criticism (verbal or nonverbal)
  • worries about personal problems
  • postponed or canceled pleasures
  • memories of unassimilated threats (PTSD)
  • something that reminds you of a threat (transference)
  • threats to you or to someone or something important to you

Let your anger motivate you to change your behavior.

Anger is often a symptom of trauma (PTSD) or abuse – one that can damage or destroy relationships. Anger supports your feeling alienated from other people.

Expressing Anger

Two instinctive human reactions to threats are fight or flight – fighting requires aggression and running away requires fear. Anger inspires powerful feelings and behaviors that motivate us to attack a perceived threat, or to defend ourselves if attacked. Anger has been vital for human survival and evolution.

Some people say that anger should not be repressed but expressed – yet people who express anger – people who criticize, manipulate and condemn others – are likely to suffer unhealthy relationships.

Laws and social norms limit how we can legally express our anger. People who react physically to whatever annoys them may find themselves in prison. So many people express their anger sneakily by covertly hurting or manipulating others.

How close would you stay to someone who manipulates you;
or who brags about how they manipulate their other people?

People who ‘swallow’ their anger, often say that they ‘store’ anger in their bodies. We help people transform their buried anger into motivation:

  1. Express your anger in assertive – not aggressive – ways.
    We can help you clarify your needs, and meet them without hurting others. Assertive doesn’t mean pushy; rather that you respect yourself and others.
  2. Suppress and redirect anger.
    We can coach you to hold your anger and focus on your goals. This can convert anger into motivation towards your goals. (But if you avoid expressing anger, it can turn inward, perhaps causing hypertension or passive-aggression.
  3. Relax your muscles and breathe deeply.
    You can calm yourself, lower your heart rate and evaluate your feelings instead of responding impulsively.
  4. Act like an angry adult – not like an angry child.
    We assume that some part of you is both angry and age-regressed (feels and acts like a hurt child). Such parts are often split-off during some trauma, usually while a child. We can help you mature young angry parts of yourself.

Our Anger Management

We help people reduce the emotional pressure and physiological arousal of anger. Probably, you can’t avoid all the things or people that irritate you, nor can you change them all; but you can change your reactions.

If you have a problem with anger, if you act in ways that seem out of control and frighten others, we can help you find better ways to manage your anger.

Why are some people so Angry?

Some people have a low tolerance for frustration. They may feel that they are special and that they should not be frustrated, inconvenienced, or annoyed. They don’t accept that difficulties  are normal, and they may be infuriated if a situation seems unjust.

I was late for a job interview and then I was stopped for speeding.
I lost control – I punched the cop and got arrested.

What makes people act this way? Some children seem to be born irritable and easily angered. In our cross-generational work, we often trace “chains of anger” through generations. Chronic anger seems closely related to victimization in families.

I never expressed my anger so I took assertiveness training … then my relationships
became power games … my husband divorced me … he has custody of
our children … all I did was assert myself.
Vermont

Few children are taught how to manage and express anger. Many of us were taught that it’s OK to express anxiety and depression, but not anger. Some people never learned how to handle irritation peacefully or how to channel anger constructively.

We can be Here for You

People who are easily angered often know little about communicating emotions. We can help you explore what triggers your anger, and change your triggers.

We can help you change the basis or source of your anger.

Do you want to manage your anger and enjoy better relationships?

 

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