Thebastidge: Personality Part X
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    Monday, August 06, 2007

    Personality Part X

    Anger Management - Introduction:

    Anger is as natural as love is, as much a part of what it means to be human as sadness or fear or joy. But for most people anger is a more troubling - perhaps the most troubling - of our emotions. Some people refuse to express anger directly; they hold it in, like holding their breath, until the moment passes and the anger slips out like a subtle sigh. Other people explode with the frequency of popcorn, littering their lives with necessary and unnecessary conflict. What about you? You get angry of course; everyone does. But how do you manage those angry moments? The following paragraphs describe your ability to manage your anger.

    Anger Management: Your Personalized Description

    It's hard to tell with you: does anger sometimes overtake you and you just can't help but explode, or do you choose when and where not to erupt? Because sometimes you seem in perfect control, even in circumstances where others might go Boom. At other times a slight provocation and you're the emotional arsonist, setting off what seems in retrospect an unnecessary conflagration. So it's hard to tell whether you pick your spots and choose when to explode, or whether in those moments you really cannot help yourself, your anger just gets the better of you.

    Are you clear which of these is true, or at least true more often? It would probably help you to know. It's obvious that anger lives in you in ways that you can feel it, and probably feel it rising up when an argument ensues. Anger is as natural as breathing to all of us, something born in us to help us protect ourselves from enemies real or imagined. More than some people, you are aware of your anger. The question is, do you manage it, or does it manage you. Here's a guess: you are more in charge of your anger than you realize. You probably don't explode in situations that would be very costly to you: say, at your boss or at the road rage candidate on the freeway. You are more likely to explode when you can get away with it without too much collateral damage: with the friend you always disagree with or the partner with whom you've turned arguing into a regular substitute for communication.

    If it is your choice, then you might want to consider keeping your anger under better management. Here's what we know: the most predictable outcome of the expression of hostility in any relationship is the expression of more hostility. Anger is self-perpetuating. So it's always - yes, ALWAYS - better to avoid exploding when you can. If it's not your choice, if anger rises up like "the monster in the basement" climbing the stairs toward you, then you might want to get some help in understanding where it comes from and why it has such power that it can take you over even when you don't want it to.

    For most people, anger is a tricky emotion. It's even more so for you, because sometimes you seem in charge of it and sometimes it seems in charge of you. The more you understand your anger and the more you take control of it, the more successful you'll be in managing this tricky emotion and the more successful you'll be in every one of your relationships.

    This is Part X of a series. Part I is here and look for Part XI here.

    Comments are welcome- especially from those who know me IRL.


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