Anger is a character in Inside Out. He is the red Emotion and one of the five Emotions inside the mind of a young girl named Riley, along with Joy, Fear, Disgust andSadness.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Anger management is the process of learning to recognize signs that you’re becoming angry, and taking action to calm down and deal with the situation in a productive way. Anger management doesn’t try to keep you from feeling anger or encourage you to hold it in. Anger is a normal, healthy emotion when you know how to express it appropriately — anger management is about learning how to do this.”
It seems we could all benefit from learning about the signs or even the reasons that cause us to react in anger. Sometimes angry reactions are expected. Sometimes anger surprises us. Think about what causes you to react in anger. Below are some reasons that people react in anger to various situations.
Expected Angry Responses
Feeling threatened or attacked is a huge reason that people respond in anger. If you see someone that is verbally, physically or mentally attacked, don’t you expect them to have an angry response? I do. If blows are thrown, I expect a physical response. If words are said, I expect a verbal response.
Past experiences can evoke angry responses. Perhaps in someone’s past there is an issue involving rape or mugging or something physical where they were over powered and no matter what the outcome, they were left hurt. This is perfectly clear and I can see why they are angry at the situation. If the situation is in the past, can they put it behind them? If not, why what is causing them to relive the same situation over and over that may be triggered by intimacy in the present? If you know the person’s background, then yes there is an expected response of anger. However if you are not to that point in the relationship and intimacy is suddenly on the table and met with anger and disdain, where do you go from there? I would have to say that unless there is a very strong bond, the relationship will suffer gravely.
Unexpected Angry Responses
So let’s talk about responses that seem over the top. Have you ever seen anyone just blow up in anger at their partner, a friend or a coworker? What is your reaction? Is it one of gees look at how nuts that person is? Maybe you try to keep the peace and separate the parties? I don’t know. I have witnessed sudden outbursts of anger that have left me reeling and questioning the sanity of the situation. However, I have not seen where it is two sides that are gnashing at each other in anger. Usually one party backs down or seeks to diffuse the situation and walk away.
Fight it out or let it go?
What do most people do? Do they fight on the street? Do you see women at lunch throwing blows over simple matters like parking spaces or seating in restaurants? No, you don’t and the reason you don’t is because somewhere, someone taught them how to respond correctly in angry situations.
Anger management education or anger management therapy with The Counselling, Mediation & Relationship Centre – can lead you to understand what triggers your anger and causes you to lash out and respond in anger. Recognizing the triggers is a huge advantage because at that point you can say hey self, this is a situation that causes you anger and you can diffuse it and yourself prior to an outburst.
Most people however need help recognizing their triggers and making sense of their responses. This is where Anger Management therapy with a professional is the answer.
Donna Piromalli has been in private practice for approx. 6 years, helping individuals, couples and families.
She has extensive experience in couple and family therapy and is considered a specialist in these areas.
In her practice, she has helped people deal with complex trauma, affairs, complex mental health issues, adolescent behavioural problems behavioural issues in young children which are impacting parents and families, relationship issues and post-separation work.