Anger is a normal and healthy emotion. It is the signal that something important is happening in your environment. It is essential to listen to it.
It is less healthy when it takes you into spheres where your behavior gets out of control. Chronic outbursts can have very serious consequences for your social relationships, your health, and your self-esteem. You can consider professional help like one to one counselling for anger issues, but it’s worth trying to understand the anger first.
Anger is neither good nor bad. It is perfectly healthy to feel angry when you think you have been betrayed or are the victim of an injustice. Feeling isn’t a problem in itself; it’s what you do that can make a difference. When it hurts others or yourself, anger becomes a problem.
People with a “hot” temper sometimes have the impression that they can see little possibility of “calming the beast.” This is completely untrue. It is possible to learn to express your emotions in a way that does not hurt others. Not only will you feel better, but you will be more effective in meeting your needs. The art of controlling anger is a skill that, like a sport, requires some training.
Myths and realities about anger
Fact: While suppressing or ignoring anger is not healthy, ventilating it, letting it go is not healthy. Anger is not something that you have to aggressively “let out” in order to avoid exploding … in fact, crises and altercations are just wood that fuels the fire of anger.
Myth: Anger, aggression, and intimidation help me gain respect and allow me to get what I want.
Reality: harassing others does not give real power. People may fear you, but they will not respect you if you do not know how to control yourself or if you cannot bear annoyance.
Myth: I can’t do it. Anger is something I can’t control.
Fact: you can’t always control the situations you are in, and how they affect you, however, you can control the way you express your anger. And you can express your anger without physical or verbal abuse. Even if someone “pushes your buttons,” you can still choose how you want to respond to them.
Myth: Anger management is learning to suppress anger.
Fact: Never being angry is not a good thing either … anger is normal, and it will appear all the more as you try to suppress it. The anger management strategy that we are going to develop here is more a way of becoming aware of the feelings underlying anger and the values that come into play in order to meet them in a more healthy and effective way. Rather than suppressing anger, we suggest that you use it in a constructive way.
Myth: it is others who are the source of my anger, so it’s normal that I take it out on him.
Reality: Anger is created in you, and by you based on the person you are, the values that carry you, and the goals that you pursue. In the same situation, two people will never react the same way; one may get angry, the other reacts with indifference. Basically, others, the world, have nothing to do with your anger. The person who gets angry is you.