Anger Part 2
Dr. Michael Edelstein writes that anger results from feelings generated by attitudes and beliefs. He says that one does not eliminate these feelings by expressing them, because by expressing them they are affirmed and reinforced.
Edelstein says that anger IS:
Acting out of control trying to get control.
An emotional disorder.
Unhealthy, it can make us physically sick.
Addictive: as it can make us feel good in the short term so we repeat that conduct.
Anger generally is a mask for deeper emotions such as pain and fear. Anger is psychologically harmful because it raises our frustration and anger in the long term.
Anger is NOT:
A stress reducer.
A good way to motivate others to change.
An efficient way to express a message.
An agent of control.
A symbol of strength.
So what is anger then?
Anger can be defined as the automatic reaction to a real or imaginary insult, frustration or injustice that produces emotional unrest. A mature person can determine exactly the reason for his feelings. He can notice his anger. A mature person has full control of his actions, as his response is by decision more than by reaction. And if he reacts, his anger leads way to a positive action. This person knows how to govern his emotions so that he does not harm those around him nor he harms himself by building up his anger. An immature person may hide his anger, deny it, or explode, expressing hostility towards others. These people rarely analyze their anger, nor do they understand its causes, and don’t try to heal their emotional wounds.
What is your habitual reaction when you face your own anger?
Dwight Carlson writes: “There are two things to understand concerning anger: that conflict is normal and inevitable. We have to realize that when we are angry with somebody we care for does not mean we don’t love them. It’s a fact that we are angrier with those we are close to. Conflict is a fact of life. Bringing the conflict to life and dealing with it constructively is called confrontation. Many people avoid confrontation at all cost, and the costs are high. If you are a person who is always close to anger, you need to control yourself first before you can confront the problem constructively. If you are the kind of person who evades the confrontations, you will have to renounce to your tendency to take a distance or avoid the problem, to face them instead of running from then. The real confrontation is not attacking the other person; it means loving the other person and the relationship enough to speak directly. There are three basic ways of confronting: 1. Informing. 2. Sharing your feelings. 3. Correcting, scolding or rebuking.”
Advice to deal with your anger, by Dr. Edelstein:
Tell yourself that you provoked your anger.
Give up the idea that anger needs to be expressed.
Learn to pass over unimportant things.
Recognize the pain or the fear that precedes the anger.
Lower the volume of your voice.
Recognize that people are not against you, they are in favor of themselves.
Recognize that the abusive behavior of the other people speaks more of themselves and their emotional pain than of you.
Ask yourself if your feelings of anger are helping you to resolve the problem.
Learn how not to deliver low punches.
Ask yourself if the problem will be as important a week later.
Avoid mind-reading others.
Learn to agree to disagree.
“Kill them” with kindness.
This last piece of advice is most interesting! “To kill” with kindness instead of hurting, offending and reaction.
Conclusion: We must act with responsibility concerning our anger, recognize it, and steer it in the right direction, with respect and kindness.