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Your Anger Affects You and Your Family

While laughter can be contagious, anger can also have an impact on everyone within the vicinity. Uncontrollable and chronic anger generally displays itself in irrational, unempathetic, and aggressive behavior that casts a negative effect on family members, friends, co-workers and even innocent passersby. It’s generally a way people try to gain control over others, usually back-firing in the long run. Angry people often say and do things that break down relationships by causing others to feel upset, intimidated, stressed or downright afraid. The behavior results in rifts between family members that pushes loved ones away, the disturbing road rage we witness on the way home from work and the bullying our kids experience at school or on the Internet.

People often express their anger in negative and inappropriate ways because this is what has been modeled for them during their childhood and they just don’t know any better. They don’t get what they want or feel that others other don’t care or are being unfair and this is how they think they should respond. Two of these dysfunctional scenarios include:

Repression – some people are afraid to show their anger because they are afraid what others might think or they think it’s inappropriate to show it. Instead, they keep it bottled up inside. Suppressing anger for long periods of time can lead to depression, isolation and anxiety. This type of anger can also eventually lead to a huge outburst.

Explosive – others have no self-control and constantly explode in loud, threatening and dramatic rages. This behavior includes yelling, screaming, throwing things, slamming doors and physical abuse. This type of anger often leads to trouble with the law. Neighbors will hear a domestic fight and call the police; you get into it at a bar or even at an athletic event.

Either way, the angry person affects the family by creating fear and loathing. It prevents people from feeling like they can be honest and open with you or feel truly loved by you. In fact, many recent generations grew up in households in which corporal punishment was an acceptable result of doing anything that made dad mad. However, ongoing research shows that children of angry parents turn out to be more aggressive, less empathetic, have more social issues and have a high chance of carrying this aggressive behavior over into their own adult relationships.

Thankfully, anger is not a permanent personality flaw that has to take over and ruin your life. It is a learned behavior and can be un-learned with the right training. High quality anger management books, programs and individual therapy can help people to learn how to respond to anger in healthy ways. If you are interested in making this life change you can expect to better understand your triggers, find a safer balance and more prepared to cope, and gain more confidence and self-esteem. Take control today by learning to sharpen your communication skills, formulate rational and respectful responses, and to change your thinking so that every bump in the road doesn’t require a feud!

Tips To Overcome Angry Impulsive Behavior

What happens to you when you get really, really angry? Physically your heart rate might speed up as you go into that “fight or flight” mode, you might start to sweat and/or become red in the face, clench your teeth as your blood pressure soars. Your brain goes into survival mode and you start to lose it. Emotionally, you might lose your ability to see the other person’s perspective, lose all objectivity and any remnants of good judgment. Reacting during this angry moment is when most people get themselves into trouble. They explode and say things that are hurtful, mean and that they may not even truly believe. Or, even worse, physically assault someone. It’s just not a sound way to live your life.

First of all, chronically reacting in an angry way to obstacles or frustrating situations is unhealthy. Over time it can lead to a variety of health issues like headaches, insomnia, digestive problems, heart attack and stroke. It can also lead to feelings of depression, bitterness, futility and sadness. As the behavior escalates, you may feel lonely and isolated as others start to avoid your negativity and wrath.

So instead of ruining close relationships, hurting your chances for promotion at work or even getting involved with the law, consider that you can learn to understand your behavior and utilize new ways to manage your anger. Change is good and there’s no time better than the present. It’s okay to be angry, but thinking before you act and trying one of the following tips for reducing stress and calming down can be extremely helpful:

1. Don’t act on your first impulse. Resist all feelings of lashing out and give your anger some time to subside. This will allow you to gain composure and respond more effectively.

2. Walk away. Get yourself out of the situation in a respectful way but saying that you would like to talk about the situation at a later date when you have both had time to think about the situation.

3. Count to ten or visualize a peaceful scene. Both tools take your mind off the immediate scene to help you calm down in the moment.

4. Pick and choose your battles wisely. Avoid pointless arguments. Your time and energy is too valuable.

5. Set limits. Realize that you can’t effectively accomplish everything that everyone asks of you. Stress and anger are often caused when we have too many demands on us. Learn to say no in a respectful, friendly but firm way. Take care of yourself by being honest and not taking on extra-curricular projects that you find draining and don’t want to do.

6. Spend time developing strong emotional connections. Research shows that this support and attention can help your blood pressure drop and help you develop a more positive outlook.

7. Look to make changes. If possible, look for a more satisfying job, take some time off to regroup, get involved with a different group of people who are a more positive influence.

The Many Benefits of Anger Management Training

Anger is a natural emotion that everyone experiences from time to time. It helps us to survive and protect ourselves from situations or people that we perceive as unfair or harmful. It has a great range, from mildly irritated to full of rage. When the anger gets out of control it can be irrational and make us do unreasonable things. Some of us witness this during long commutes. There will be the drivers that might tap their horn if someone is not driving safely, or the ones that will honk, get in the other drivers face by yelling and screaming and cut them off, ultimately causing more hostility and danger. If your behavior has led you to legal trouble, if you have been violent towards your loved ones, or if you are walking around chronically angry and are ready to make a change, you may need anger management therapy. By learning how to recognize what makes you angry and learn to control your feelings, you can gain power and understanding over your negative responses for more positive results.

There are many benefits to getting some anger management training. Most programs are based on cognitive-behavioral therapy. Individuals learn to use coping skills to approach stress and anger by becoming aware of their triggers, learning relaxation techniques, learning how to be more assertive in a good way, increasing empathy and emotional intelligence and changing the way the way think about things. If you happen to get involved with the law, this is the type of program the court will mandate. Just recently, Kanye West was ordered to take a 24-session anger management class in response to his battery charge towards paparazzi.

Do you know when you are angry or are building towards a blow-up? Many people let the emotions overtake them without any awareness of how they are responding. Instead of taking deep breaths and walking away from provocation, they begin to feel helpless and unable to make proper decisions under the weight of the stress and just lose it. Some typical behaviors include clenched fists, shallow breathing, increased heart rate, trembling or shaking, sweaty palms, pacing and talking louder. Some people lose their sense of humor, start talking quickly and even turn red. This loss of control can escalate over time leading to damage to close relationships, problems at work or even violence.

Once you identify these cues, anger management training helps individuals to learn to reframe the situation and respond in a more well-balanced and effective manner. For example, if you are rear ended by another driver, it’s frustrating, but telling yourself to relax, it’s only a car and you can handle this, will help you more effectively communicate with the other driver to resolve the situation.

By modifying your reactions, most people leave a good anger management training experience with improved quality of life. They see improved social skills, less outbursts, less incidences of harm to themselves or others and an overall higher level of functioning. Quality anger management classes are available in-person as well as online for a more private experience.

Some Myths About Angry Behavior

This last weekend we had the pleasure of spending time with friends from England. In our catching up, they agreed that their trip out here has been nice, but that the American’s they’ve run into seem so angry. Very few people they encountered would stop to help, give directions or even make eye contact, let alone polite conversation. We reflected on why this has come about. After years of a bad economy, many Americans are overworked and stressed out. Gone are the pension plans and retirement at 55 or 65 that many used to enjoy. We have less vacation time, traffic is congested and according to the CDC, more than 1/3 of adults are not getting enough sleep. All of this combined is taking its toll and we’re more irritable because of it.

The truth is that anger isn’t all bad. It’s a signal that something is wrong and can energize us to change things or get something done to help improve the situation. For example, at home it can help us strengthen a marriage by motivating a partner to do something differently like open up about their feelings, take care of the bills or household chores, or help out more with the kids. At work, the anger that one feels from missing a potential promotion can get the person in gear and organized to work more diligently towards that goal. On the other hand, anger becomes a negative situation when we blame others for our problems, act impulsively or dangerously and intrude on the wellbeing of others.

As time goes on, if the person doesn’t learn how to manage the anger, it increases. This can cause health issues, a loss of flexibility, constant defensiveness and a breakdown in communication. In many cases, the individual has bought into some of the many myths circulating about anger, to avoid making a change. Some of these include:

1. Anger is inherited and can’t be altered. Actually, research shows that anger is a learned behavior from observing role models during childhood. If someone grows up in a household full of screamers, there’s a good chance that he or she will naturally follow suit. Everyone can change by learning new anger management skills.

2. Aggression gets you what you want. Aggression usually describes controlling behavior that can ultimately harm, intimidate or alienate others. This isn’t the best way to reach your goals. A more healthy and successful response is to learn to be respectfully assertive to get a need met. Learning this skill teaches how to communicate that both sides involved in the argument are important and conflict can be worked out without threatening or abusing someone else.

3. I was “out of control” so not responsible for what happened. Not true. You are responsible for how you treat others and can learn new skills by working with a therapist, reading or taking classes to get “under control” and stop the denial.

4. Venting anger will make you feel better. For years specialists believed that letting out anger in an aggressive or explosive way by screaming, breaking things or punching a pillow was a good approach to release tension. However, research shows that this becomes addicting and actually fuels the bad behavior and becomes a bad habit. Individuals don’t actually feel better in the long run but often are embarrassed by their destructive response. A more positive long-term approach is to go on a bike ride, take a long walk, go for a jog, hit the water for a swim, or garden or clean when you reach the point of no return. Exercising will help burn some excess energy and give you time to regroup before responding.

Many Corporations Offer Anger Management Classes To Reduce Workplace Conflict

Anger in the workplace is a very real situation in many businesses. Employees either come to work each day with anger issues stemming from their personal lives, or they are frustrated with what is happening in the office and take it out on their co-workers and employer. Let’s face it, many of us spend more time at work than at home, so it’s normal that this is where angry feelings will be vented. Much of it is passive-aggressive behavior like purposely trying to avoid new responsibilities, withholding important information to make other’s look bad, arriving late and/or leaving early, or slacking off on meeting deadlines. We also are hearing more and more about outright violent behavior in the workplace. As an employer, there are some techniques that are useful when trying to deal with angry people or when you find yourself retaliating for another’s bad behavior.

1. Do your best to create an environment in which your employees feel comfortable speaking with you face to face. Make a point of connecting with employees as often as possible in person. If you only use email, it makes it easier for them to continue the negative behavior without having a confrontation with you.

2. Be proactive and monitor the pulse of the workplace. Pay attention to what employees are saying about each other and management so you aren’t taken by surprise by angry behavior.

3. Set clear goals and expectations for each of your employees about what their responsibilities are, what kind of work you are expecting and their deadlines so they aren’t taken by surprise. Allow for honest feedback. If you are open to a discussion about it, there is less chance that they bottle up their anger and less room for excuses.

4. Be responsible for your own behavior and don’t engage with someone who is acting out with. Redirect yourself by taking a step away from the situation. Get some fresh air, take a walk, or go for lunch to simmer down and regroup before responding.

5. Don’t be afraid to apologize for your uncontrolled anger, even if you are the boss. Some people think that acknowledging inappropriate behavior might lessen their employees respect for them. Instead, if you show that you care about how others perceive you and are humble enough to recognize your negative actions, it will create a stronger bond and gain their trust.

Following some or all of these steps can greatly improve morale and help manage conflict from escalating. If you feel anger or are having trouble dealing with an angry employee, co-worker or boss, go to your human resource department. Many companies offer free assistance by providing limited therapy with a qualified therapist or by offering an online anger management program. An online anger class that is current and designed by a specialist in the field offers the employee the chance to learn new anger and stress management skills in the privacy of their own home. Online classes can be taken any time and are self-paced. Dealing effectively with anger in the workplace is crucial to the success of the business and to each individual’s chances of becoming an effective leader.