Anger Management part four:
I hope that if you are following these messages, and are putting the steps into action, that you are beginning to identify “triggers.” Triggers are the things that set anger off. Identifying them comes from our “Anger Notebook.” Remember we wrote in that book:
- When we got angry
- And what caused our anger
Those are what we are looking for here. Those are the “TRIGGERS.”
If we go back to the three questions that we started with, in the second article, for a minute, we can look at what the triggers were in those situations, and we can learn how to identify them. They are not what happened at the point we became angry, but the Root cause:
- 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.”
If you got angry, is the cause of your anger the fact that they bumped you and the coffee spilled, or would you be willing to admit that you were in a hurry to get to the table or your car and carried more than you should have at one time? We would have the tendency to blame the other person, but if you had carried what you should have, a simple “bump” probably wouldn’t have spilled the coffee. The root in this case was a lack of planning on your part.
- 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.
You won’t like this one either. Is the root cause in this one the fact that the person is driving at 30 miles per hour, or is it a lack of planning on your part? I am going to say that because you left later than you should have to reach a very important meeting is not the fault of the person driving at a lower rate of speed than what is posted. Sorry!
- Your car is stalled at a traffic light and the car behind you keeps honking for you to move.
Okay, this one can go the other way. I can allow this one to be put on the other person. in that they are being selfish, thinking that they are the important one and not being considerate of what is happening in front of them. That could have a tendency to anger us. But the other thing I see and I heard from others on this question was that they were embarrassed by what happened, and responded angrily out of that embarrassment. OOPs. The root here could be people being inconsiderate upsets you, or your embarrassment got the best of you.
The point of this is to help you determine the “Root cause” of your anger. You will find most times that the underlying issue is not what it appears to be on the surface.
I took the questions back to a simple “Root Cause”, but there are a number of really deep causes that you may be dealing with: Hurt, guilt, shame, feeling trapped, unmet expectations, low self-esteem, alcohol, disappointment, betrayal, exhaustion, worry. These are what we are trying to identify as we look for the “Triggers" that are causing our response to our situation with anger.
Onward we go……………….
Our goal at the end of the last article was
“I promise not to get angry for a whole day!”
The question for you now is, “Did you make it? Did you have several days where you didn’t get angry? If you did, over the course of the three weeks, “Praise the Lord!” You are on the right road and you can continue to win.
This week I’ll share some other things that will help to keep you on the road to success.
The first one that I used was this one:
STEPS TO HELP YOU KEEP YOUR “PROMISE”
- Tell somebody about your promise
This is called “accountability”. If you have a good friend, share what you are doing with them and ask them to hold you accountable.
- Ask for help
Don’t be afraid to ask a friend or another Christian (in confidence) for advice when facing a tough situation
- No “Only If’s” or “Yeah, but’s”
How many times do we resort to these statements? They are excuses that don’t help resolve the issue or take care of the anger.
- Remember the bad stuff
This is really a tough one, because we don’t want to look at what happened that was hurtful to us or to the one that received our anger.
- Plan Ahead
This one says that if you know you ae going to have to face someone, and you know there is a potential for getting angry through it, decide what you are going to do and stick to the plan.
- Set positive goals
IMPORTANT: always set positive goals as you face situations. If a problem comes up take a few minutes to think before you respond, or react to a situation.
- What is happening?
- Where is it happening
- When is it happening
- Why is it happening?
- How are things coming together
After answering these questions in your mind, then act or respond to the issue in a positive way.
The second one that I found helpful was this list:
TECHNIQUES TO HELP ACCOMPLISH THE GOAL
- Take time-outs to stop the violence
- Wipe that frown off your face and relax
- Quit trying to control others
- Accept difference
- Ask, don’t demand
- Reward, don’t punish
- Speak quietly and don’t swear
- Be responsible for everything you say
- Treat others with respect
- Tell others what bothers you.
- Be direct, specific and polite
- Use “I” statements.
ANGER IS A CHOICE! WHAT WILL YOU CHOOSE?
The last one for this session is this one:
Response Choice Rehearsal
- Express a specific need: Opening line: “I’m feeling ________________ (what’s bothering me). What I think I need (want, would like) in this situation is _____________________
- Negotiate: Opening line: “What would you propose to solve this problem?
- Self-care: Opening line: “If __________ (the problem) goes on, I’ll have to _______________
(Your self-care solution) in order to take care of myself.
- Get information: Opening line: “What do you need in this situation? “What concerns (worries) you in this situation?” “What’s hurting (bothering) you in this situation?
- Acknowledge: Opening Line:
“So what you want is _________________________________.”
“So what concerns (worries) you is ______________________”
“So what hurts (bothers) you is _________________________”
- Withdrawal: Opening line: “It feels like we’re starting to get upset. I want to stop and cool off for a while.
I hope that these techniques help you get your anger response to the lower level we are looking for and the type of responses that are honest and edifying to those around you. Anger is present in this world, but it does not have to continue in ours. As a Christian, we march to a different drummer. We should operate daily by different standards. Jesus got angry, yes, but He handled the anger in a different way than the world around Him did. He expects us to do the same.
I leave you with this admonition from James. James 1: 19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,