Managing Anger: Some Thoughts To ConsiderMar 8, 2011 Write an essay on this topic.
Popular Products in BooksThe Bottom Line Anger is something we can't deny or repress; it must be controlled.
1. Never idealize and imitate those who are angry. Bombastic people throughout history, such as some politicians and cable news commentators and others, make loud and explosive impressions on us, but in the end people follow measured and reasoned voices, and consider bombastic persons to be childish. In the American Revolution, there were many angry voices. But those who were trusted were seasoned, balanced persons like Jefferson, Washington, and Franklin. In his own day, Jesus rarely got angry, but in my mind he was the most influential person in history. If you have been idealizing persons of "shock and awe," find new heroes who keep emotional balance and are slow to anger.
2. If you feel you are starting to get angry, take two beats. There is nothing wrong with being passionate, but one must hold passion within limits. Fire is powerful, but a fire held within the limits of a stove can provide warmth and cooking; fire without limits can destroy. When you feel anger...PUT ON THE BRAKE. Take...two beats...One, Two...before you respond. A couple of breaths. A few seconds. Give yourself a few moments to cool down and think things through before you respond to something or some one with anger.
3. Anger gives one a kind of power, but it is a hollow power that can easily destroy the dreams of the one who gets angry. We dream of love, of caring, of being loved in return. But when we use anger to gain power and dominance over others, the fear it creates outweighs our persuasive power, so that we turn others against us. They may stay with us, but all the joy goes out of the relationship until it eventually is drained white and dead.
4. Anger is a legitimate emotion. It is an emotional roto-rooter that cleans out the scales of built-up resentment in us. Everyone has the possibility of anger within them. Again, like fire, it is not a question of having or not having it, the question is: will we manage it effectively.
5. Repressed anger is toxic. To say anger itself is wrong is incorrect; it is the inappropriate expression of anger which is wrong. REPRESSED anger may cause these problems:
A. Depression. When one can't express ones's feelings of hurt and anger, one may become emotionally depressed, which may lead to bodily bio-chemical anxiety and depression.
B. Illness. When one can't express one's feelings of anger, the body/mind connection may kick in and one may get sick.
C. Passive Aggression. When one can't express one's feelings of anger, one may say "I don't get mad; I get even," and destroy cherished relationships.
D. "Anger-Unit" saving and explosion. When one can't express one's feelings of anger, one may save small "memories," or "units" of anger experiences, and one day destructively explode them all against the world at once in a personal Armageddon like a divorce, a mass killing, or a suicide. Letting things build up inside is not recommended.
6. Aggression through anger is toxic. Aggressively arguing, shouting, or using anger to repeatedly physically abuse another is toxic.
7. CONFESSION of anger is the way to handling it. Finding someone who will listen and let you unpack your anger is the key to getting it out so it will not consume you. This may be a friend, a counselor, or a therapist like a psychiatrist, but it has to be someone you trust. A friend can sometimes help us with our anger, or if you are a theist, you can also pray and confess your anger to God. The scenario: "I'm angry about ______________. Please help me with my anger."
8. If you mess up and explode in anger, go back and make peace with the person you have been angry with as soon as possible. Everyone gets angry sometimes, and people will forgive, but you need to be quick, or they will never forget it.
9. Don't make excuses for your anger. Simply say, "I was wrong and I take the full responsibility for it. Please forgive me." Blaming it on some other thing cheapens the whole deal. Don't let the sun go down on your anger. Apologize before sunset. Even so, nobody's perfect. We all violate this principal because we are human and humans rationalize, but we should work to overcome it, and reduce it as a part of who we are.
10. Don't let anger control you. Even if you fight it, resolve to be in control of it at all times. Bitterness held on to, over time, is an acid that destroys the bottle that contains it. Let go of old anger.
by Ed Williamson, 3-8-2011
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