You know the feeling, right?
Something has set you off and you feel like a switch flipped. You are angry- not miffed, not annoyed, not irritated, but down-right, seeing-red pissed off. And with that comes the nearly uncontrollable urge to express that anger.
The ways that anger gets expressed can vary. Maybe you yell, storm out, go on a rant and tear down everyone around you- whatever it is, once it is done you likely have regrets about some aspect of your behavior. Rather than make things better, you have made them worse.
Or maybe you feel better letting it all out, but those around you don’t.
Impact Of Anger On Those Around You
Everyone gets angry. It is normal for things to occasionally upset us or to feel frustrated by the people we love. The problem isn’t with the fact that people get angry, but how they handle it.
When anger gets the best of you and you lash out at the people around you, relationships can be damaged. Yelling at your partner or child can affect their self-esteem and start to create feelings of distrust or resentment.
For instance, if your children think that anytime they make a mistake, they’ll get yelled at and berated. Because of that, they are likely to start hiding things, cover up problems or lie to avoid the scary repercussions.
Understand that no one is suggesting children get a free pass on inappropriate behavior. It’s just that when blinding anger has taken over, you are likely to do more damage as you try to correct theirs.
When it comes to relationships, similar feelings can be created. Whenever you lash out at your partner, it can greatly lower their self-esteem and confidence. Making someone you love feel worthless is clearly a destructive consequence of uncontrolled anger and a damaging one to any relationship.
It’s not just close, personal relationships that can be affected. People with anger control issues often put their jobs in jeopardy or become limited in their opportunities. No one wants to get too close to someone who can easily be set-off and explode at any given time.
What You Can Do to Control Your Problem
Controlling your anger is no easy task. For many, it is something they wrestle with almost daily. If you are one of those people, how should you handle your anger?
There are a number of things you can do but keep in mind that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. What works for you will depend on your personality, personal experiences, and what made you angry.
The most effective way to handle anger control problems is to address the origin of those problems. Most people who can’t control their temper are dealing with issues that go far deeper than the things that make them angry. Emotions so strong that they make you lash out at people can be related to many complex problems or even a past trauma.
If you are a person (or know a person) whose anger issues have caused problems in life and relationships, take a moment and ask yourself these questions:
- What are the things that make me the angriest?
- Have I always struggled with this or did it start at a definable point?
- Is getting angry destroying things or relationships in my life?
- Am I okay with my behavior?
While the answers to these questions won’t fix things, they can place you on the right path toward changing things. Especially if the answer to #4 is “no”.
Controlling anger can be difficult for all of us at times. If you find that you are still having trouble despite your best efforts, you may want to seek the assistance of a professional counselor or attend anger management classes. Dealing with anger and its underlying causes is often more than what one person can handle alone.
See Also: 5 Simple Steps to Manage Your Anger
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Author: Dr. Kurt Smith
Dr. Kurt Smith is the Clinical Director of Guy Stuff Counseling & Coaching, a Northern California counseling practice that specializes in helping men and the women who love them. His expertise is in understanding men, their partners, and the unique relationship challenges couples face today. Dr. Kurt is a lover of dogs, sarcasm, everything outdoors, and helping those seeking to make their lives and relationships better.