The American Psychological Association article, Controlling anger before it controls you, continued. A lecture on how incompetent, and defective and hopeless you are (Original Sin).
Psychologists (those handy elves again – what a convenient crutch for not supplying any evidence!) now say that this is a dangerous myth. (So, it’s a myth that psychs used to support? What a damning admission! LOL) Some people use this theory (“letting it all hang out” is not a theory) as a license to hurt others. Research has found that “letting it rip” with anger actually escalates anger and aggression and does nothing to help you (or the person you’re angry with) resolve the situation.
Strategies to keep anger at bay (again – this “thing” that lives like a parasite in your brain – ridiculous and defeatist)
It’s best to find out what it is that triggers your anger, and then to develop strategies (but to save time, we will dictate what “solutions” we approve for you) to keep those triggers from tipping you over the edge.
Simple relaxation tools, such as deep breathing and relaxing imagery, can help calm down angry feelings. There are books and courses that can teach you relaxation techniques, and once you learn the techniques, you can call upon them in any situation. If you are involved in a relationship where both partners are hot-tempered, it might be a good idea for both of you to learn these techniques.
Some simple steps you can try: Not exactly “confidence inspiring”
- Breathe deeply, from your diaphragm; breathing from your chest won’t relax you. Picture your breath coming up from your “gut.”
- Slowly repeat a calm word or phrase such as “relax,” “take it easy.” Repeat it to yourself while breathing deeply.
- Use imagery; visualize a relaxing experience, from either your memory or your imagination.
- Nonstrenuous, slow yoga-like exercises can relax your muscles and make you feel much calmer.
Practice these techniques daily. Learn to use them automatically when you’re in a tense situation. (Yes! When you are in a domestic argument, stop and do some yoga-like exercises before grabbing your gun; take a deep breath (your aim will be better), and then shoot. Note that none of these instructions address anger, nor solve the situation; they are, in fact, negative adaptions meant to control “feelings” temporarily, but subject the angry person, and the object of their anger, to ongoing unresolved stress.)
Simply put, this means changing the way you think. Angry people tend to curse, swear, or speak in highly colorful terms that reflect their inner thoughts. When you’re angry, your thinking can get very exaggerated and overly dramatic. Try replacing these thoughts with more rational ones. For instance, instead of telling yourself, “oh, it’s awful, it’s terrible, everything’s ruined,” tell yourself, “it’s frustrating, and it’s understandable that I’m upset about it, but it’s not the end of the world and getting angry is not going to fix it anyhow.”
Be careful of words like “never” or “always” when talking about yourself or someone else. “This !&*%@ machine never works,” or “you’re always forgetting things” are not just inaccurate, they also serve to make you feel that your anger is justified and that there’s no way to solve the problem. (This is the conclusion toward which the reader is being manipulated.) They also alienate and humiliate people who might otherwise be willing to work with you on a solution. (It is also possible that the source of anger IS the people who are UNWILLING to work with you toward a solution, even if it’s specified in their job description or marriage vow.)
Remind yourself that getting angry is not going to fix anything, that it won’t make you feel better (and may actually make you feel worse).
Logic defeats anger (as a logical thinker, I find this assertion to be ridiculous -) because anger, even when it’s justified, can quickly become irrational. So use cold hard logic on yourself: (Note; the following “advice” is not logic – it’s rationalization for why you are a “bad person”) Remind yourself that the world is “not out to get you,” (but specific people may be!) you’re just experiencing some of the rough spots of daily life. Do this each time you feel anger getting the best of you, and it’ll help you get a more balanced (and unrealistic) perspective.
Angry people tend to demand things: fairness, appreciation, agreement, willingness to do things their way. (OMG! if this doesn’t tip you off as to what’s going on, NOTHING WILL! “Fairness, appreciation for your efforts and accomplishments – and workable agreements” are what you ought to expect from other people – but these “normal” expectations are paired with BEING SELFISH.)
Everyone wants these things, and we are all hurt and disappointed when we don’t get them, but angry people demand them ( Or… people perhaps, who simply want justice, fairness and honesty in their “human environment”. This “shaming” is so typical and is used against – let’s say – Black Americans who (are forced to) demand rights in practice, which are ALREADY THEIRS BY LAW as American citizens), and when their demands aren’t met, their disappointment becomes anger. As part of their cognitive restructuring, angry people need to become aware of their demanding nature and translate their expectations into desires. In other words, saying, “I would like” something is healthier than saying, “I demand” or “I must have” something. When you’re unable to get what you want, you will experience the normal reactions—frustration, disappointment, hurt—but not anger. Some angry people use this anger as a way to avoid feeling hurt, but that doesn’t mean the hurt goes away. (Negative adaptations are social demands that require individuals to “put up with” unhealthy environments.)
Do you need counseling? Here we go! Salvation for your sins…
If you feel that your anger is really out of control, if it is having an impact on your relationships and on important parts of your life, you might consider counseling to learn how to handle it better. A psychologist or other licensed mental health professional can work with you in developing a range of techniques for changing your thinking and your behavior.
When you talk to a prospective therapist, tell her or him that you have problems with anger that you want to work on, and ask about his or her approach to anger management. Make sure this isn’t only a course of action designed to “put you in touch with your feelings and express them”—that may be precisely what your problem is. With counseling, psychologists say, a highly angry person can move closer to a middle range of anger in about 8 to 10 weeks, depending on the circumstances and the techniques used. (WOW! What colossal BS! Does this claim come with a warranty and money back guarantee?)
What About Assertiveness Training?
It’s true that angry people need to learn to become assertive (rather than aggressive), but most books and courses on developing assertiveness are aimed at people who don’t feel enough anger. (Have we got you trapped yet, into believing that you MUST have some horrible defect that can only be “solved” by psychologists – aka the High Priests of social rules and enforcement?) These people are more passive and acquiescent than the average person; they tend to let others walk all over them. That isn’t something that most angry people do. Still, these books can contain some useful tactics to use in frustrating situations. (See our ads – go to Amazon right now, and buy our useless psycho-Bibles.)
Remember, you can’t eliminate anger—and it wouldn’t be a good idea if you could. (Because, how then, could we exploit and profit from human defects and misery?) In spite of all your efforts, things will happen that will cause you anger; and sometimes it will be justifiable anger. Life will be filled with frustration, pain, loss, and the unpredictable actions of others. You can’t change that; but you can change the way you let such events affect you. Controlling your angry responses can keep them from making you even more unhappy in the long run.
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