PREVIOUS: Anger Myths – F (#1)
SITE: “Why we shout in anger” – a Hindu teaching
QUOTE: “Anger is never without a reason, but seldom a good one.” ~ Ben Franklin
⚡️is an uncontrollable force of nature, & so can’t be reigned 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 skills 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 ‘event’ that’s out of our control – because it’s erupting from the unconscious, like a lightning strike. However, it is in fact something coming 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 suppress it (“I don’t want to talk about it!”) or repress it altogether (“I’m not angry – really!”), & 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.
Of course, chemicals (alcohol/ drugs/ some medicines, even food allergies…) can generate anger & set off a compulsion to be nasty, if we haven’t learned to recognize the symptoms & 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!
⚡️ is not a ‘problem‘ for someone IF we don’t sound / look angry
False: Anyone who does not understand & appreciate the potential value of anger may have a problem. There are ways to tell if someone has hidden anger/rage, even when they don’t admit to it – by holding themselves stiffly, always being fearful, being overly nice, being paranoid, jealous, controlling…. (Posts: “Passive-aggressive anger” // Secretly angry ‘nice peopel’)
⚡️is best dealt with by stuffing it
False: Some of us think that learning to control our anger means having to hold it in. Once we’re able to recognize when we are angry, we can learn how best to express it. Healthy people 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, policemen, career criminals, poor people, millionaires, children, the elderly, people of various colors, nationalities, and religions….. 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 deny feeling vulnerable which covers 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)