Part 1: Introduction to Anger Management
Gender Based Violence stems from anger. Violence is at the end of the spectrum of behaviors that originate in the inability to contain, manage, and operate in a safe way in a state of anger. In this series of blogs, my attempt is to inform and provide psycho-education that can be used to learn to respond to the emotion of anger in a safe and healthy way.
What is anger?
Anger is defined as a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility. The first thing to understand is that anger is normal. Anger is a reaction to something you are feeling and is not planned. It cannot be avoided. It is an emotion that is experienced by all of us. It is a necessary emotion. Anger is a state of feeling that is temporary and it usually dissipates with time.
More anger than ever?
You may have noticed that there seems to be more angry people than ever before. You can see this when watching the news or by reading the comments section of almost any blog or online news story. More and more people are expressing their anger with violence. Violence is all around us. It is in movies, TV shows, video games, workplaces, home, schools, public places, etc. There is so much violence that it sometimes feels normal. Millions of people have difficulty managing their anger.
Is anger bad?
Everyone has feelings and the fact that one feels angry is not a bad thing in and of itself. Anger is not necessarily a “bad” emotion. Anger can actually be a very healthy feeling to experience and can alert us to dangers and facilitate what may be a needed response to a threatening experience.
However, if anger goes unidentified and uncontrolled, it can destroy personal relationships, cause termination of employment, and tear families apart. It can really hurt people. Many people improperly utilize anger to express themselves and to get what they want. Showing your anger can be a powerful and destructive approach to communication if used in this way. Understanding why you feel anger is the first step to being able to decide how to best respond.
“Hello, my name is _______ and I have an anger problem”.
As cliché as it sounds, the first step is admitting that you may have a problem with controlling your anger and possibly violent behavior. Once you have accepted that you have a problem, then you are ready to begin working to a healthier response. It is imperative that you be honest with yourself and identify that you have an anger problem.
The high cost of not managing your anger problem.
Once you have acted in an angry way towards another person, it may be difficult to repair your relationship. Managing your anger takes much focus, reflection, and determination. Anger can only be managed by understanding your feelings and following specific processes that we will outline in the following blogs. Move forward with a commitment to improve your anger problems. You can make tremendous self-improvements. This is no simple task, but can be very rewarding if you stick to it.
You don't know why I'm angry.
You’re right. Only you know why you have angry feelings and why you react the way you do. These readings may not solve your specific problems but they may help you understand how to identify and interpret your feelings so that you have a framework for how to react purposefully and with intention.