Anger Management: part 5:
I hope that some of the things that we talked about in these Weekly Word Articles may have helped folks that have experienced difficulties in handling anger on a personal level, or dealing with a loved one or a friend that has an anger issue.
One of the things that I did in the past was to do these sessions in person, where you and your significant other joined me in a group session and were able to ask questions about specific areas in your relationships and we hashed through them. Here, while you read the information, you may not be the one with the problem. You can, however, still help your partner or friend by using some of the techniques to change your approach, and in the end bring those levels down to where you are not struggling as much or hurting as much as you were before.
Takeaways from the sessions!
(Remember we are talking about “Unjustified Anger”!)
- Our long term goal in these sessions, was to take an “angry” situation and bring it down to a level where it was not dangerous or as stressful to you, your spouse, or your family.
- We did that by taking small steps. Goal one was NOT getting angry for one day. After we succeeded in that we tried it for two days and then….. onward. Did you get there? If not don’t give up! It’s worth the effort in the end.
- Were you able to identify any “triggers” that set you off? Remember, Anger is an emotion that’s like an Iceberg. What you see is what is above the water line. The “Spewing”, the “Stuffing”, and the “Leaking”. The triggers are what lie below the water line and can be any of a multitude of things. Session 2* mentioned several. The triggers are what we need to identify if we are going to bring the levels down.
- Session 3 introduced the Anger Notebook*. This is not an “I did, he did”, or an “I did, she did” workbook that brings back unwanted memories or tension. This is where you write down privately what happened, and then figure out what caused it. Remember, we are looking for the “Root Cause”. We want to find out what set the upward spiral in motion.
- In the last installment I covered things that help me bring my level down.
TECHNIQUES TO HELP ACCOMPLISH THE GOAL*
Take time-outs to stop any violence (to slow down the spiral)
Wipe that frown off your face and relax
Quit trying to control others (hard)
Ask, don’t demand (really tough one)
Reward, don’t punish (honey works better than vinegar to reach others)
Be responsible for everything you say.
Treat others with respect
Tell others what bothers you.
Be direct, specific and polite
Use “I” statements.
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.
1. 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?
2. Acknowledge: Opening Line:
“So what you want is ______________________________.”
“So what concerns (worries) you is ____________________”
“So what hurts (bothers) you is _______________________”
3. Withdrawal: Opening line: “It feels like we’re starting to get upset.
I want to stop and cool off for a while.
These techniques really do work. I used them to bring my level down and continue to put them into practice to keep the levels in our home where God wants us to operate.
When God made us, our partners, our family, or our friends, He made us in His image. He imparted His nature to us, and I believe, personally, that that was not with an angry spirit. God has many sides, but remember that “God is Love”.
In responding to the Pharisees, when asked about the Greatest Commandments, (Matthew 22:37, NIV), Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Expand the word “neighbor” into “those people that we are involved with each and every day” -- husbands, wives, family members, children, the person in line in the grocery store, or standing on the street corner with a sign. These are our neighbors.
God loves them, and He would ask them into His family, but He can’t ask you to help Him, if you radiate an angry spirit.
Have a blessed week.
- Dr. Ron Potter Effron, Angry all the Time
- Chip Ingram and Dr. Becca Johnson, Overcoming Emotions that Destroy