Anger Management
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Causes of Anger: General Overview and differences of different

There are a lot of reasons to be angry these days. The economy is bad, traffic is terrible and the job market is stressing out a lot of people. The anger you feel is a real and gut-level reaction to the pain of modern life. Anger is a deeply passionate emotion, usually reserved as a reaction to the most traumatic situations in life. Your anger may be caused by something in your current life or a terrible event in your past. Sometimes, however, anger has different causes.
Anger is sometimes the result of a collection of unrelated incidences. For example, a man is taken aback when his usually-relaxed wife marches in the door one evening and has a meltdown because the house isn’t clean. He’s confused by her angry outburst, unaware that she missed the train to work, got yelled at by her boss, had a fender-bender on the way home and stubbed her toe walking in the house.
Repressing or hiding your emotions may cause chronic anger or an inappropriate expression of anger. You have a metaphorical emotion container inside you. You feel happy and safe when this imaginary jar is empty and you feel frustrated when it is full. When you repress emotions, you lock them inside this jar. Each time you have an uncomfortable or painful experience, you hide even more anger and pain. It takes less and less instigation to make your frustration rise to the surface. Your container fills up as you shove more feelings in until your emotional vessel overflows and your anger spills out.
Anger is a natural response to pain. When someone hurts you, you naturally feel angry. This emotion helps you take action so that you can move from a state of emotional or physical pain to a place that is safe and pleasant. Negative experiences cause real emotional pain. You feel intense grief when someone dies, for example. As a protective response to this pain, you may feel a sense of anger about the way this person died, or that they abandoned you. You may even seek revenge if the death was caused by some misdeed.
Anger is not always caused by pain from an external source – sometimes the emotion of anger is caused by angry thoughts. You feel angry because you think angry. You decide ahead of time that other people are going to fail and you are triumphantly irritated when they prove you right. This anger might be habitual; anger is your emotion of choice. This type of anger leads to angry and sometimes even violent behavior to people you know or to strangers.
You may feel inappropriate anger as a result of substance abuse. While scientists have not yet established the connection between anger and drugs or alcohol, people sometimes get angry or even violent when drunk or high. You might be one of those people that end up in a fight every time you drink, or perhaps you use drugs or alcohol as a way to stay calm.

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Blame Externalization

“My life stinks and it is your fault.” This is a classic anger style known as blame externalization.

Anger is a protective emotion stimulated by pain. When you feel pain, your brain has a split second to decide whether you should run away or if you have the strength to fight back against the one who harmed you. This is the famous fight-or-flight response, where fear causes you to take flight while anger provides the emotional and physical fuel for the fight. Your immediate response to pain is to identify the guy that hurt you so you can fight back. When you feel wounded, you look for someone to blame.

Most humans have a great deal of control over their own lives, each responsible for his own happiness and peace of mind. Our human nature, however, makes us want to claim ownership of only the good things that have happened in life. We are wired to protect ourselves from pain, even the pain of accepting responsibility for our own unhappiness. Our egos try to protect us from ourselves by blaming the other guy when things go wrong.

Anger evolves in distinct steps that move the emotion from your innermost thoughts and feelings to projecting them onto someone else. It is a way of insulating your inner self from pain. You progress through these stages at a half-conscious level, starting with your desire for something. When you don’t get what you want, you feel the pain of disappointment or frustration. You decide that is awful and terrible. You can’t stand it – you desire this thing and you won’t give up until you get it. That person didn’t give you what you wanted; he is responsible for your pain. He is a bad person and should be punished.

Notice how responsibility shifts from internal to external in the final steps, between “I won’t give up my anger” to “You are responsible for my pain.”

You project the painful responsibility of your own failures onto another person, effectively turning the spotlight of your anger from yourself onto someone else. You are mad at yourself but your ego tries to protect you from pain. You move the burden of responsibility of your failings from yourself to another person.

Blame externalization morphs the emotions as it shift burden of responsibility. You define yourself as the victim and the other person as bad or untrustworthy. Blame externalization demonizes the people in your life in such a way that they can never recover to position of being worthwhile. Your anger imposes an automatic guilty verdict, whether the other party had anything to do with your pain or not.

As you go through the stages of anger, your emotions change from feelings of desire to pain to anger to blame. Not only do you reassign responsibility for your personal failures, you misidentify and therefore mishandle your own emotions. You cannot use anger to effectively protect yourself from harm if you never come to realize that your own personal failures caused you to feel pain, and that others are not responsible for your problems.

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On Your Health – Overview and Differences

You are in danger. Someone has caused you pain and you are angry about that- you must fight back and return to a place of safety. You try to control your rapid breathing so you can hear every little noise. Your heart is pounding in your ears, blood pressure and pulse through the roof. You can feel your skin growing flush from increased circulation and you are sweating profusely. You are shaking and your muscles are on fire, fueled by superhuman anger. You told your wife you didn’t like mashed potatoes and here they are, causing you culinary pain. Your stomach begins to hurt, a headache comes on, and you just want to throw up or throw dinner across the room. Your chest begins to hurt and you grow short of breath. Your chronic anger is taking its toll on your health.

Your brain initiates certain physiological reactions when you are angry. Anger is the fight portion of the natural fight-or-flight response to danger. The natural anger response causes muscle tension, high blood pressure, rapid pulse, increase respiration and flushing of the skin due to increase circulation. Chemicals and hormones, like adrenaline and cortisol, course through your veins. Your muscles become stronger and your reflexes grow faster. Your senses become heighted as your body explodes into a hyper-vigilant state to protect you from mortal danger. These physical responses help you fight your enemy.

Nature intended you to use the fighting power of anger only in life-and-death situations rather than as your default emotion. When you keep yourself in an anger-state, you force your body to remain in a hyper-vigilant, defensive state, on the alert for danger. Your blood pressure stays high, your pulse races and your muscles stay tense and ready to spring into action.

Your body had a hard time maintaining this state of physical anger. It’s the physiological equivalent of working non-stop, without a day off. Muscle tension leads to muscle spasms, stiff necks and tension headaches. Your blood pressure and pulse stays high and, as a result, you develop hypertension that could lead to cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke. Tension leads to improper digestion resulting in acid reflux and a poor diet. Chronic anger leads to anxiety, insomnia and depression. Some medical conditions, like eczema and addictions, stem from chronic anger. Anger impedes circulation, always routing blood from vital organs to muscles so that you can spring into action at the first sign of danger.

It seems difficult to exercise and maintain a chronic level of anger. Anger causes certain physiological reactions that stimulate you to take physical action; when you engage in exercise, you deplete physical and emotional energy in the proper way. You may find yourself unconsciously avoiding exercise so that you can maintain your anger. This lack of exercise, especially in combination with chronic anger, exacerbates the physical damage anger inflicts upon your body.

Chronic anger can reduce bone density and lead to osteoporosis and an increased incidence of broken bones. Anger suppresses your body’s immune response and makes you more susceptible to infection and inflammatory diseases like arthritis. It can affect your thyroid and slow down your metabolism so that you feel tired all the time and gain weight without trying. Stress can eventually impair cognitive thinking and affect your ability to do complex and simple tasks, like drive a car or use a knife.

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Effects of Anger

Anger sends ripples through your entire existence. You feel the effects of anger in your physical health, emotional well-being, relationships and even at your job. Anger is pandemic, affecting every aspect of your personal being. Your anger may even compromise your freedom.

Anger has a profound on your physical health. Nature intended you to feel short, infrequent bursts of anger to give you the explosive strength you need to fight off enemies. When you are in mortal danger, your brain initiates a cascade of physical reactions, like releasing adrenaline which allows your muscles to gobble up oxygen. Your body increases your pulse, blood pressure and respiration. This physical reaction is hard on your body. When you engage in anger too frequently or for long periods of time, the physical effects can include muscle spasms and headaches, hypertension, poor circulation resulting in chest pain, poor digestion and more.

You can indulge in anger until it becomes your default emotion. When in doubt, you’ll choose anger. Left uncorrected, anger becomes a habit – a knee-jerk reaction. Instead of reacting to situations appropriately, you’ll automatically behave in an angry fashion. For example, you say, “Why do you always say you love me? You know that bugs me.” Soon you are missing out on the opportunities to be happy because anger is your emotion of choice.

Anger is hard on relationships. Anger is more likely to have profoundly negative effects on loving relationships than it does on casual acquaintances because of anger’s strong connection to love. Anger is a natural reaction to pain and a passionate love affair gone wrong can inflict devastating and catastrophic emotional pain.

Relationships are based on communication and mutual trust that one party will not inflict pain onto the other. Inappropriate expressions of anger, like hurling insults or fists, injure the intended victim. You may even blame the victim for your angry outburst, stating that “they should not have made you mad.” The innocent party avoids participating in a relationship with you as a way to avoid your unpredictable and unpleasant anger.

The effects of anger can even seep into your workplace. You can carry the anger you feel towards your family into work, or your job can make you angry. Your emotions may interfere with job performance or the way you deal with co-workers, supervisors and clients. An angry outburst can cost you a good evaluation, cause resentful and hostile feelings in the workplace or even result in termination from your position.

Your anger might just land you in jail. One of the most profound effects of anger is uncontrolled violence. When your brain triggers the anger reaction to danger, you are endowed with a momentary burst of strength. Your body is compelled to take physical action to save your life. In an instant, your emotion is brought from your interior to your exterior – anger transforms from an emotion into an action.

You carry anger everywhere. Eventually, hostility takes the driver’s seat, transporting you from a happy, carefree life to a sullen and dark existence. You wear the effects of anger inside and out.

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Managers

Anger in the workplace is a special challenge to managers. As a manager, you are responsible for identifying and resolving problems that might negatively affect your company. The employees under you trust that you will protect them from the wrath and anger of people much wealthier and more powerful than themselves. In fact, your actions as a supervisor can even incite anger among workers. As a manager, you are stuck between an angry rock and a professional hard place.

Adults are expected to separate our personal feelings from our professional behavior. You know it is not professional to express personal emotions. But reality is quite different—we often feel most passionately about our professions.

A manager must be alert to anger and its potential for violence from within the company and from the outside world. Violence in the workplace falls into four broad categories. The first type of aggression is inflicted by people who are not associated with the company, but enter the premises to commit a robbery or some other offense. This type of crime may or may not be anger-driven, dependent on the motivation of the criminal. According to FBI statistics, this category accounts for nearly 80 percent of workplace homicides.

The other categories are more likely to be the direct result of anger, and an attentive manager should remain vigilant for signs of anger that can lead to these types of violence in the workplace. The second category includes violence directed at employees from customers, students, patients or other consumers of the company’s products or services. Anger can be contained within the company, erupting in conflicts between peers, disputes between workers and management or from a disgruntled former employee. Finally, managers should be vigilant against anger in the workplace imported there by someone with a relationship with an employee, like an angry ex-spouse.

Sometimes the workplace itself is hostile as a direct result of poor management. Managers should be aware of and responsive to the signals of an angry work environment, such as excessive absenteeism or turnover rate, poor or nonexistent communication between peers and administrative levels, a palpable lousy morale such as grumpy workers and outbursts amongst personnel.

Managers have direct control over some issues that make workers angry, such as general or sexual harassment, favoritism, a depersonalized workplace, lack of resources and unfair evaluations. You may be fostering an angry workplace by criticizing employees in front of other staff, giving primarily negative feedback and inconsistent or inappropriate disciplinary actions.

An individual employee may give you obvious warning signs of an impending outburst. Be alert to sarcastic comments, mood swings or an irritable demeanor, direct or veiled threats, overreaction to evaluations or changes in company policy and apathetic or inconsistent work ethic.

Managers of companies large and small should consider a plan to deal with anger in the workplace, as current economic trends ratchet up the stress levels, increasing the underlying and potentially explosive anger of employees at every corporate level. While a great deal of anger is imported from the outside world into the workplace, anger within the workplace is often expressed at peers, subordinates and superiors. It is up to you, as the manager, to keep your company and workers safe from anger in the workplace.

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