Anger: Cleansing Squall or Hurricane?

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Anger: Cleansing Squall or Hurricane?
Learn how to effectively control your anger to get more of what you want from life!

Anger is the emotional energy within each of us that rises up when something needs to change. If you act on the need to create change, your anger can be channeled effectively. If it’s not redirected to something effective, your frustration will build, sometimes to hurricane force.

Anger that is allowed to get out of control is as destructive as a hurricane, but anger that is expressed in healthy ways can “clear the air” just as a mild rainstorm does. If you express your anger clearly and cleanly, without too much drama, it will be like a cleansing rain, leaving you calm and relaxed. The problem will then be solved. Advice: Why Does Monogamy Scare Guys Away?

People who have angry outbursts, whether at spouses or freeway traffic, have poor impulse control. They are often emotionally “stuck” in the early childhood temper tantrum stage (about age 2 1/2 to 3) because they never learned to manage their own anger. Whoever was supposed to help them manage their temper, such as parents or teachers, was absent, intimidated or helpless, and allowed the child to grow into a raging adult.

People who are prone to violent outbursts may also have witnessed a family member who was a "rageaholic" and frequently angry or violent. People who rage don’t know how to do "emotional maintenance" and shake off stress. They also don't know how to quit when something is getting to them. Those who allow themselves to rage don't know how to tell they're on the brink or how to stop. They often have a sense of entitlement ("I just have a bad temper") and a lack of emotional maturity. For the people subjected to the angry outburst, it’s actually like dealing with a tantrum-throwing three year old in an adult body, which is dangerous.

The difference between people who lose their temper (throw fits, throw objects, scream and yell) and those who don't is that those with self control can feel that they're getting upset and getting close to "losing it." With enough harassment and pressure, anyone can be goaded into rage. People who usually keep control of their anger, just stop or leave the situation earlier; before they are pushed so far. They respect their own anger, and deal with it effectively. As soon as they feel their emotions getting out of control, they stop what they're doing, walk away, change their thinking or attitude, write out their upset, pray, or call a friend to get calmed down. Dear Dr. Romance: Why Am I Intimidating?

Once an angry person understands that just spewing anger about is not healthy or functional, anger management is not difficult to learn. Most habitually angry people have a feeling of entitlement ("I can’t change who I am") that prevents them from wanting to control their anger. Once they understand that shouting, blaming, raging and being violent doesn't accomplish anything, that it ruins relationships, and makes them look weak, rather than powerful, then learning to control anger is not hard. I tell clients who see me for anger management that "He who loses it, loses," because no matter who started it, or who’s to blame, once you lose your temper, you become the bad guy. Peace Begins at Home

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.
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Dr. Tina Tessina

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Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D.
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