More on Solving the Anger Issue (This is part 2 of a four part series)
As we begin this session of my anger message, I would like you to answer a few questions.
Rate them honestly as follows:
0 = I would feel very little or no annoyance.
1 = I would feel a little irritated.
2 = I would feel moderately upset.
3 = I would feel angry.
4 = I would feel very angry
1. You are struggling to carry four cups of coffee to your table in a cafeteria when someone bumps into you and you spill two of the coffees. The person say’s “I’m sorry. I didn’t see you.” How do you respond? _______
2. You need to get to a meeting and you are running late. The car in front of you is traveling at 30 MPH in a 40 MPH zone, and you can’t pass because there’s a double line in the center of the road. How do you feel? _______
3. Your car is stalled at a traffic light and the car behind you keeps honking for you to move. How do you feel at that point? _______
Scoring these questions is the next thing:
From 0 – 3 Normal
From 4 – 6 Slightly Angry
From 7 – 9 Angry
From 10 – 12 Very Angry
Did these things make you angry? Why? Take a minute and think about it before going on.
How did you do? Were you really honest? You’re the only one seeing these scores, so no one is going to be upset with you about them. What I want you to see is how you respond to the types of problems that happen or can happen each day. These questions are typical of things that occur in your life that can “trigger” an “anger response“.
A score of 0 to 3 is indicative of a person that really doesn’t get upset over small things or in this case “accidents,” or abnormalities. A score of 4 to 6 takes us up a notch, and shows that you are set off by these things and would consider speaking up rather than ignoring them. A score of 7 to 9 tells me you operate at a level that is above normal for most people. You would be willing to respond in an unhealthy manner. And finally if you get into the 10 t0 12 range, I think that you need to find a good counselor that can deal with that level of anger. I don’t want to be around you, for sure!
I gave a quasi-definition of what anger is in part 1 of this message. I said that “Anger is an emotion that is triggered by different sources and erupts sometimes into unwarranted actions that get us into trouble.” Let me give you a better or more clearly defined one.
Anger is an emotional reaction of hostility that brings personal displeasure to either ourselves or to someone else.
That said, let me go into a slightly different tack. An “angry” response to a situation can affect a lot of things in our daily lives. Look at the list below.
Areas that can be affected by our anger are:
1. Our Health
2. Our relation to our Family
3. Or our Friends
4. The Law
5. It can affect our Work and School
6. Even our Mood and Personality
7. How we deal with our Money
8. Our Values and Spirit.
Are you experiencing difficulties in any of these areas? Could it be the result of your normal reaction to a situation that might be causing it?
So, why do people get angry? (Dr. Ron Potter-Efron: “Angry all the time”
Some things that I found as I researched this topic were that:
1. Angry people come from angry families.
a. In angry families a lot of anger is normal and expected.
b. In angry families, nobody listens until someone gets angry.
c. Angry families try to solve problems with anger.
2. Angry people can be angry because of Physical or Sexual Abuse
6. Or, because of Physical or Emotional illness.
Let me share a story with you before I get to the next section. Guyla and I were married many years ago and after living together for a while, things got a little rocky. We would be doing things together and when they didn’t go well I would get “frustrated”. I didn’t get “angry”, I just wasn’t calm and nice. Guyla didn’t see it that way, though. She saw me as getting angry. The question is WHY? It took a while for me to realize that she grew up in a home that operated at a much lower level of “anger” or “tension” than I did. We’ll cover the levels that I am talking about in a minute, but my family operated normally at a level “3”, and her family operated at a level “1” or below. So if my level increased, I was into the “Screaming, swearing and yelling level,” or the “demanding and threats” level. My response to her when I was “Frustrated” (in my thinking), scared her. After reading and preparing for my speech on “Anger Management”, I finally understood what she was experiencing, and I had to change. Fortunately, with the information that I read, and a large portion of God’s help, I did change.
My hope is that through these Weekly Words, I can share some of the things that I learned, to change how I responded to things that happened to me, and that you will have tools you can use to help you respond to situations in a different way.
These are the levels that I mentioned above. Where are you on the Anger/Violence ladder?
8. Blind Rage
7. Partly Controlled Violence
6. Chasing and Holding
5. Demanding and Threats
4. Swearing, Screaming and Yelling
3. Blaming and Sharing (Where I grew up)
2. the Cold Shoulder
1. or finally the Sneaky Anger (really subtle anger)
0. God’s master plan for our lives. (This is where we should be)
The next thing we need to look at is: “Why people stay angry:”
1. They want Power and control,
2. They have Poor communication skills,
3. They don’t want to accept responsibilities,
4. They are Avoiding other feelings or people,
6. The Anger Rush.
Do these sound familiar? Or for that matter “look familiar”? Some of you may not have an anger problem, but know someone that does, and can now see or understand what’s behind their actions. I think the ones in red are the ones that I see most exhibited in others, and are the ones that I exhibited in the past.
Again, as you consider the reasons people get angry, the levels of anger, and the reasons for staying angry, be honest! To accomplish a change we need to have a beginning. A starting place, so we can see our progress as we make those changes.
I will close here and let you digest what I have said. The next time we meet we will begin learning about the tools that will help us on that road to change. Spend time praying for God’s input as we begin our journey to peaceful resolutions to incidents in our lives.