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Anger Part 1
By Daneal Lanier
What is anger? Is it an instant impulse? A rapid reaction to something unwanted? A way at getting what we want? A prelude to rage? Some would say that anger is all of these things. I think the most important thing that I’ve learned while researching this topic is that it is a choice. Yes you do have the option and the ability to not express anger. I sat down with content providers Dr. David L Thomas, Ph.D.,LMHC of the Whitford - Thomas Group and John J Bosworth, M.A., LMHC of the Institute for Advanced Study RTMZ to get a better understanding of anger and how to deal with anger in relationships.
One of the things I’ve heard is you should express anger, that it is ok to express anger? I think that statement is a little confusing because yes you should express emotion and not keep all your emotions bottled up inside, but anger? First I think you need to ask yourself do you want to experience anger? No one really wants to be on the receiving side of anger. Dr. Thomas also adds that expressing anger usually produces poor results. Listen to my digital notesas Dr. David L Thomas talks about why you express anger.When we express anger it typically results in poor results, so what do I do with this building emotional tension? First, we need to understand that yes it’s ok to acknowledge anger. It’s perfectly fine to say “that made me angry, I didn’t like what just happen.” Then we must process the facts of what is really making us angry without reacting. John Bosworth M.A. talks about feeling the anger and tuning into your thinking to change the thought process. Listen to my digital notes.
Now I’m sure many of you are saying yeah easier said than done. Just change my thinking, ok I will get right on that. I agree so before we go to the thought process I think we need to go back. In learning to understand anger we have to look at how we learned to express our emotions and anger. This does not mean play the blame game and start pointing fingers. This is about you so point at a mirror and take a deep look. How we express emotions can manifest from two areas:
1. Genetics. Our genetic make up does define certain characteristics and expressions of our personalities. Yet carrying the genetic trait does not mean it will manifest itself 100% of the time.
2. Anger can also be a learned behavior that we pick up from the examples in our environments. But it is cultivated and learned over a period of time. Just like genetics our environment does not necessarily predetermine us to act in certain manner. John Bosworth M.A. talks about genetics and learned behavior. Listen to my digital notes.
It is ok to go back and say yes my parents were angry people or the people around me were angry. My environment was very explosive and full of outburst and rage. Dr. Thomas talks about understanding what you learned and using it to change your thinking, Listen to my digital notes. We have to separate ourselves from the emotions of seeing it and or having it done to us. When anger is expressed to you early in life, we tend to tell ourselves that this behavior is expected. So understand, first you have to take a step back and identify why am I really angry. Then decide was my response level appropriate for what just took place? We have to hold ourselves accountable for our actions and know that we have a choice. The key is understanding that your method of thinking must change, your mind holds the key to your freedom. Don’t let your circumstances or situation define you as a person. As you begin to change what you believe, you will begin to change how you think, as you change the way you think, so shall you change what you do. I have to thank Bishop Samuel L Philips Sr. or Word of His Grace Christian Fellowship for that one. This is just part 1 of this series on understanding anger.