IT’S VERY IMPORTANT
to deal with anger as it comes up
PREVIOUS: Anger Myths –
SITE: “Why we shout in anger” – a Hindu teaching
⚡️is an uncontrollable natural force, so can’t be reined in
False: Many people believe that once they’re angry they can’t influence it (“I can’t control my anger – it’s just who I am”) & therefore have to let it ‘run its course’. Not so.
While we don’t always have control of an external situation, no one can make us FEEL or BEHAVE in a certain way. Anyone can learn to be in charge of their reaction – via the Healthy Adult. It’s a skill set, like shooting a basketball or learning a new language. Practice, practice, practice!
⚡️is something that happens to us
False: Anger, as well as all other emotions, are our biochemical responses to events, & then may or may not be expressed as actions. Sometimes it feels like a physical impulse that’s out of our control – because it’s erupting from the unconscious, like a lightning strike. However, it is in fact energy that comes from us, rather than happening to us – triggered by our thoughts – inside (about ourselves) or from outside re. PPT (about others)
⚡️is only a problem when expressed (at all)
False: Only about 10% of people act out their anger inappropriately, & they are the visible ones – the squeaky wheels who get everyone’s attention.
Almost everyone else either suppresses it (“I don’t want to talk about it!”) or represses it altogether (“I’m not angry – really!”). Both groups need anger management classes just as much as the ‘ragers’.
⚡️always leads to aggression / some form of violence
False: It may seem to be true if we were raised with one or more rage-aholics, & if we then also have chosen to stay with ragers as adults.
BUT healthy people have learned productive ways of processing & channeling their anger, so it never leads to being self-destructive or abusive to others.
Of course, chemicals (alcohol/ drugs/ some medicines, even food allergies…) can generate anger & set off a compulsion to be nasty, either because the cognitive brain isn’t in charge OR if we haven’t learned to recognize the symptoms of rage or how to handle them
⚡️increases as we get older
False: It’s the other way around – as people age, they report fewer difficult/ painful / intense emotions, & greater emotional control. People – like wine & cheese – do tend to improve with age. Research shows that the angriest people are 14 yrs old boys!
EXCEPTION : We’ve all seen or heard of crabby / nasty old men & women, but they’ve always been that way!
⚡️ is not a ‘problem‘ IF we don’t sound / look angry
False: Anyone who does not understand & appreciate the potential value of anger will have a problem with it. There are ways to tell if someone has hidden anger/rage, even when they don’t admit to it – by holding themseld stiffly, always being fearful, being overly nice, being paranoid, jealous, controlling….
(see posts: “Passive-aggressive anger” // Secretly angry ‘nice people’)
⚡️is best dealt with by stuffing it
False: Some of us think that learning to control our anger means having to always hold it in. WRONG. Instead, we need to be able to recognize when we’re angry, & learn how best to express it. Healthy adults don’t stock-pile emotions the way we had to as kids. (Post: “Low-level anger“)
⚡️ is only a ‘problem’ for certain types
False: All types of people experience anger – truck drivers, college professors, physicians, housewives, grandmothers, lawyers, geniuses, siblings, policemen, career criminals, poor people, millionaires, children, the elderly, clergy, people of any color / nationality / religion….. Anger is a universal emotion!
⚡️ is all about getting even
False: Getting-even-anger can be about revenge/payback, about wanting fairness, or childish tit-for-tat. But there are many other reasons for our anger, such as letting off steam over accumulated frustrations, asserting authority or independence, to protect against feeling vulnerable or used to cover up fear we may not even admit to. However, the main one is to protect ourselves from abuse. (Post: “Retaliatory anger“)
NEXT: Anger MYTHS T & F (Part 1)
2 thoughts on “Anger MYTHS – False (Part 2)”
Anyone can learn to be in charge of their emotions – via the Healthy Adult. It’s a set of skills, just like shooting a basketball or learning a new language. Practice, practice, practice!
True, true, true!