Keep Anger from Becoming Rage
If your temper is hijacking your life, it’s time to take a step back and assess the situation. When anger crosses over and harms you or others, it officially becomes a problem called rage. However, as with most things in life, where there is a problem, there usually is a solution.
Anger is a Legitimate Emotion
Anger is a real emotion that helps keep us safe and in some cases enables us to be assertive when needed. For example, when a person is suffering from emotional abuse in the workplace or in their home, getting angry can be the catalyst to stop the cycle of abuse. According to HelpGuide.org the feeling is not the problem, it’s what you do with it that makes the difference. When anger morphs into rage, you most definitely have a problem. Be assured, however that there are ways to prevent rage from rearing its’ ugly head.
You Have More Control Than You Think
Learning to express your emotions without hurting someone involves looking under the hood, so to speak. To acknowledge that you can have control over your rage is the first step in the process. The next step is to find out what is really behind your anger.
Covering Up Other Feelings with Anger
Often anger issues can be traced back to coping techniques learned in childhood. Ask yourself the following questions to determine if there is a source for the anger:
- Are you unable to compromise? (i.e. you always have to be right, otherwise you feel like a failure)
- Do you have trouble expressing emotions other than anger? (i.e. you avoid fear, guilt or shame like the plague, instead you always act tough and in control, no matter the situation)
- When someone disagrees with you, do you take it personally? (i.e. you are unable to consider a different opinion or viewpoint, if it’s not yours, it is not right)
In order to achieve self-understanding, emotional awareness must be present. Once there is emotional awareness, the full range of human emotions can be used appropriately, leaving anger as one of many emotions — instead of the “go-to” emotion.
Don’t Give into Fight or Flight
Ever heard of “fight or flight”? Although this is a subconscious reaction to conflict for animals and humans alike, humans are able to circumvent this knee-jerk reaction to stress. Anger is almost always due to some kind of “trigger” event.
For example, in a hostile work environment where your work is belittled in front of others, could be a trigger for your anger. In that kind of situation, the feeling of failure is covered up under a nice, neat blanket of anger.
If you accept that this is out of your control and you do not take it personally, there is a better chance that anger can be kept in check. It doesn’t make that other person’s action acceptable, it just means that you recognize the need for self-preservation, but you are not going to let the other person get to you. The result to knowing your triggers give you a much better chance of keeping your anger in check
If You Must Fight, Fight Fair
Anger happens to all of us. When it does, fighting fair is paramount to preventing anger from turning into rage. You can fight fair by remembering this quick checklist:
- Are you being respectful of other viewpoints?
- Are you focusing on the present issue only?
- Are you choosing this battle or are you arguing to just argue?
- Are you able to forgive and forget?
- Are you able to agree to disagree?
Read Life Rage to Find Out More
If you would like more insight into how anger become rage contact Author Timothy A. Dimoff at 330-255-1101 to order a copy of Life Rage. He will sign it and ship it to you or you can come by his office between the hours of 8am-5pm Monday through Friday to obtain the book! The cost is $20 plus shipping and handling. Order your copy today!