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Problems With Anger

PROBLEMS WITH NATURAL ANGER

If we work and live around other people,
we get angry about twenty times every day.

And yet many people would swear they seldom get angry at all.
We tend to be so afraid of our anger that, as a culture, we pretend it isn't there.

OBSTACLES
Our anger is there to protect us and to help us overcome obstacles to what we want.
But if we are too afraid to use it, we become our own obstacle.

ANGER AND GUILT
The biggest problem with anger is guilt.

Since we have been taught that anger is bad,
we pretend that we aren't angry and claim to be "hurt" instead.

This waters down the intensity of our anger,
greatly complicates our attempts to get what we want,
and ultimately sets us up as "victims" or "martyrs."


FEAR OF RAGE
Intense anger is called rage.
It is so intense, that it begs for a physical release.

It is very common to think about violence when we feel rage,
but thought is not action
and violence is never necessary
(except to protect our lives, of course).


When You Have Violent Images, Remember:

    1. The images are only a fantasy, and it is normal to have them at times like this.

    2. You do not have to act out what you imagine, so there's no reason for fear.

    3. Violent fantasies are just a measure of how angry you are. It's good for you to know you are so angry.

    4. The fantasies are only telling you that you want to use your body to express all this anger. Go ahead! Hit a pillow, smash some old glassware, do anything that helps you to release all that anger - as long as it doesn't physically hurt you or anyone else.

    5. When you are finished, you will feel relief.

    6. After the relief, decide what you are going to do about the situation that got you so angry in the first place.

PROBLEMS WITH UNNATURAL ANGER

Unnatural anger occurs when we think we are angry but we are actually
feeling some other feeling (sadness, scare, joy, excitement or guilt).

MOST COMMON PROBLEM

The most common problem is using unnatural anger to cover up both sadness and fear.

We all know some "grouches" or "chronic complainers."
From our perspective on the outside, these people seem to be constantly angry.
They may yell, or say mean things, or simply complain all the time.

When you meet these people, know that they are not particularly angry!
(If they were really angry there would be a natural duration to their anger
and they would have been finished with it a long time ago.)

These people usually have suffered intense sadness and fear for years.
They gave up on life many years ago,
possibly after feeling abandoned by someone.

They are sad because they feel they've "lost everything."

They are fearful because they think they have nobody to help them stay safe.

What they need is a close relationship with people they trust.
But, sadly, they will fight this off very, very well.


OTHER PROBLEMS

"I'm Afraid I'd Kill Someone!"
I hear this excuse for running away from anger all the time, usually from very kind people.

When I hear this, I usually ask:
"Well, would you?"
And they say:
"No, of course not!".
And I say: "Then all you need to do is believe yourself...."
(Of course if you really are afraid you might kill or hurt someone
- yourself or anyone else -
stop reading this right now,
get on the phone,
and call a good therapist!)

"Who Do You Think You Are, Young Man!"
When children get angry at adults,
the adults frequently respond with
demeaning comments designed to
"put the child in his place."
As adults, we need to overcome
this negative childhood conditioning
and reclaim our power.

Anger = Energy = Power
When we are angry we are feeling raw energy that is ready for use.
This is our power.

The only real decision we have to make is:
"How will I use all this power?"

Your anger is like a laser beam.
Aim it precisely where it will do you the most good.



A REMINDER

We all confuse our feelings sometimes.

If you thought you had a problem with anger but these words don't fit,
your problem may be related to one of the other feelings.

(Read On.)

Also, be sure you've read ---> ANGER - HOW IT WORKS NATURALLY


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Tony Schirtzinger, Therapist (Milwaukee) 

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