Anger – Ways to REACT (Part 4)

: Ways to react #3

SITEs: Managing anger-frustration

✦ 10 things to never say to your children



LEVELS of anger – Variations (cont)

5. Anger EXPRESSIONS (CHART by Don Lehman Jr ▶️)
PART 3 covers the first 4 responses (a-d) Fight, Depression, Flight & Revenge. Here is the last, & the only healthy one:

e. Compassionate Confrontation (in first chart) = the appropriate response in most cases, but a rarely used ‘language’ in our culture, because it’s the hardest to implement at all, much less on a regular basis.

√ Flight & Depression responses are too passive, only encouraging the expression of Anger from others & cultivating Fear in us
√ Fight or Revenge – under normal circumstances – are an over-reaction & too aggressive, adding to the negatively charged atmosphere of Anger

√ Compassionate & non-violent expressions of anger avoid the need for the other 4 responses – in most cases. Instead of prolonging the Anger, appropriate confrontation will diffuse intense painful emotions & hostile behavior.

EXCEPTION: If having to deal with mentally ill people & pathological narcissists for any length of time – frustrated anger is ragerinevitable. Their interactions are so toxic that Flight – in the form of physically removing oneself – is the only safe & wise course, especially when they unleash abusive rage at us or our loved ones.

Also, we can put up a mental shield to protect our Inner Child from absorbing the rage-poison. It’s important to explain to the WIC that the rage is coming from their WIC, and is not about us.

Compassionate Confrontation may include:
• having the right state of mind (step aside, like a matador facing a raging bull)
• understanding what’s going on with both sides of a dispute/issue
• arranging a meeting, if possible (wait for a ‘good time’)
• talking about your observations & feelings, without ranting or blame
• actively listening to the other’s point of view
• trying to find a win-win solution
📌This process may have to be repeated more than once to work itself out.

6. Emotional INTENSITY (Adam Blatner, M.D.  7 levels)
(0) – Feel angry subconsciously but not showing it
(0.5) – Anger shown through subtle clues
(1) – Displeasure is shown without blame
(2) – Takes more irritation to cause a response
(3) – Anger with a scowl or harsh words
(4) – Anger with loud speech & expression
(5) – Losing temper, in a rage, aggression

7.  Anger Matrix (CHART ➡️ re. Elvis Dumervil)
is the same 10 levels of intensity, but using fun statements to represent each

8. Anger SPECTRUM (MORE… scroll down)
Anger is experienced on a broad continuum -mild to extreme- with distinct levels that have different effects on us mentally, emotionally & physically (TEA).

The chart illustrates this broad range, triggers that correspond to anger as it increases, & ways to deal with them. These are some signs of escalation – when someone:
• starts pacing or fidgeting
• clenches their fists, or tightens / untightens their jaw
• suddenly changes body language or tone used during a conversation
• changes type of eye contact (psychological intimidation)
• forms the “Rooster Stance” – chest protruding, arms more away from body….

When we notice & acknowledge Red Flags (Emotion Signals) in ourselves & our environment, we can recognize anger building. These signals allow us time toanger spectrum use anger management skills that we can learn, to keep our reactions from getting out of control & deal with others

EXP of Bad Parenting: Scolding a young child “Don’t be a baby”. This means: ‘don’t have your feelings OR don’t let your feelings control you’. Since adults are rarely in control of their emotion – how can parents expect children to be, especially without any guidance or example? (Bio-chemically & developmentally small children can’t anyway!)

Interesting fact: Children in many non-Western cultures are not expected to control their emotions until after age 6, when they’re trusted to herd animals, tend to younger children, & do other grownup work, including sitting still in school.
Naturally, for those with physical of mental difficulties, it can take longer.
BTW – ‘being in control’ actually means having a choice, which in this case includes being able to think before reacting. (Posts : “Anger & the Brain” ) 

NEXT: Ways to react #5

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