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November 5, 2013

Periodically, I get emails with the title,  “I need anger management help.” Once I  respond to the email with the assurance that I can help them with their issues of poor anger management, the response I get it almost always the same.  Where the person states that he or she has a problem and is about to lose an important relationship and is desperately looking for help.

In this post, I am going to specify three habits which fuel poor anger management.

#1
Poor communication

People who struggle with poor anger management are poor communicators. In this previous post I wrote about how people with poor anger management struggle with codependency issues, well poor communication is a continuity of that. Due to feelings of insecurity people who struggle with poor anger management seldom speak up for themselves, be it to state what they want, need or care about. This then leads to a predictable anger episode when they feel that they have taken too much abuse and that they are not going to take it any more. This is why people yell when they are angry, they feel  unheard and so desperately want to be heard.

Improving communication skills goes a long way towards managing feelings of poor anger management. Regardless of how you feel the person is going to respond, you want to get into the habit of stating what you are experiencing, and accepting that you have no control over the mood of others.

#2
Insensitive Companions

Insensitive companionship is relative, this means that if you form a companionship with someone who strongly relates to your beliefs and values, you will experience a sense of kinship with that person. On the other hand if you establish a relationship with someone whose beliefs and values are significantly different from yours, you will feel disconnected from that person, you will also feel that your companion is insensitive.

Due to their lack of effective communication skills, people with poor anger management usually end up with people they seldom relate to and often disagree with. This only leads to confirmation bias that their anger is justified, because they are surrounded by others who don’t understand them and are insensitive to their needs.

By practicing open and honest communication with others, you inevitably create distance between yourself and others you disagree with and pull those you agree with closer to your circle.

#3
Difficulty Practicing Forgiveness

People who struggle with poor anger management, are very rule based.  They adhere to a series of rules for  social interactions regarding for how others should and should not behave towards them. So when they find themselves having been wronged, they have a tendency to ruminate on the incidence, regardless of the status of their relationship with the person who wronged them.

Forgiveness is the practice of letting go of hurt and pain you have experienced as a result of someone else’s actions towards you. Forgiveness is not about denying the impact of the other person’s actions towards you, nor does forgiveness mean that you ever have to welcome that person into your life. Forgiveness is about your right to experience peace, and cease experiencing emotional turmoil over the actions of another.

Ugo is a psychotherapist and life coach.

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