Archive for April 25th, 2011
Someone calls you an “inconsiderate idiot,” and you feel angry. Someone cuts in front of you on the freeway, and you feel angry. Someone attacks your friend, and you feel angry. Someone tells you that you will not get the pay increase you think you deserve, and you feel angry. What causes you to feel anger? What do all of these situations have in common?
Underlying anger is caused by a perceived loss of control over factors affecting important values. The values in the above examples might be pride, getting someplace on time, someone you love, money, or being treated “fairly”–we are frustrated about not getting what we want or expect.
With anger, we usually think we know what caused the problem. We have some target(s) for our anger. It may be the person criticizing you, the person who cut you off on the freeway, an attacker, your boss, or even yourself. With anger, we may hope that a burst of energy aimed at the threat will defeat it. Or we may hope that a burst of energy will break the barrier stopping us from meeting our goal.
Anger can be used constructively at times. It can give us energy we need to fight back if physically attacked. However, for most situations it merely clouds our judgement and creates extra stress. If anger prompts aggressive behavior toward other people, it can permanently harm relationships–especially with those we love. Prolonged or frequent resentment (mild anger) has been shown to be a significant cause of cardiovascular problems and heart attacks. It is the villain behind “type A” behavior.
Anger is caused by your inability to mentally cope with some situation. If you have a persistent problem with anger, then you either have important underlying issues that you have not yet resolved, or you are using emotional coping methods that are ineffective.
There are many internal and external methods for coping with anger. Many methods that help with any negative emotion also help with anger. Perceived loss of control for getting important values met causes anger. To get over your anger, it is helpful to identify those important values and to understand why you may lack confidence in your own ability to be happy.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )