• Anger
  • Bitter and Resentment
  • Dealing With Angry People
  • Anger and Addictions
  • Resolving Your Anger

I look at how small that word is and to me, that is not anger. Anger is 0-90 in a heartbeat!!

You've been having a great day, the sun out, you've been laughing, joking; you walk through the door and the dishes aren't done and BOOM there it goes instant RAGE! I'm done, I'm out. There goes that beautiful day.

Want to learn knowledge about how not to go from 0-90?

What comes to mind when we think of anger? For most people, this brings up images of a loss of control and negative associations such as frustration, hurt, and fear. Anger can be either an emotion that brings our focus to something that needs our attention, or it can be a powerful force that influences us to act in irrational ways. Anger is a signal that we do not like what is happening at that moment in time.

Anger does not go away if we ignore it, deny its existence, or fail to resolve the source of the frustration. When we ignore angry feelings, the emotional energy goes "underground" where it makes "terrorist type sneak attacks" on our health and relationships. Buried anger in the form of rage often surfaces when a crisis presents itself, making the impact of the crisis much more intense.

Anger is an intense emotional response triggered by our subjective interpretation of events or circumstances which violate our boundaries. Personal boundaries are the invisible place where we end and the world around us begins. Boundaries are also the place where we can feel comfortable and protected within ourselves.

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When this sense of personal space is violated, we feel uncomfortable, as if we are having our feelings crowded. Anger serves to reinforce and protect this sense of where our boundaries exist by letting others know when they are stepping on our emotional toes or sensitive areas. Often, we fail to recognize annoyance, irritation, and displeasure as low-level responses of anger, which will build into full-blown rage, if left to accumulate over a period of time.

The roots of emotion, the things that anger us, and the way we express our emotions vary according to culture, age, sex, and relative power in a situation. Emotions are universal. When and how we respond to emotions—such as anger—will vary, depending on individual and learned patterns of coping responses. Anger usually begins with a loss, or the perceived threat of a loss, such as:

  • Loss of self-esteem. We become angry, often with ourselves, when we believe we have failed or let ourselves or others down.
  • Loss of face. Public exposure of failures or inadequacies can be humiliating and infuriating.
  • Threat of physical harm or violence. In this type of threat, anger helps us to activate our self-preservation instincts.
  • Loss of valued possessions, skills, abilities, or roles. Regardless of who is to blame, losing something that we are proud of or attached to can cause both hurt and anger.
  • Loss of a valued relationship. Anger is often a naturally occurring, though not always a healthy response to the loss of an important relationship.

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Every one of us, at some time or another, feels that he has been wronged by another person. At that point, we will either forgive or become bitter and resentful. Bitterness will steal our inner peace and even cause physical illness. It will destroy our fellowship with God and cause our closest human relationships to suffer.

Bitterness is often the overflow of resentments we have allowed to develop. Doubtless, bitterness can be the result of resentment. We should easily recognize a bitter and resentful spirit in ourselves.

What we often do:

  1. We hold on to resentments;
  2. then, we dwell on them until they become mountains in our minds;
  3. we meditate upon what others have done to us;
  4. and gradually produce a hateful, bitter spirit.

Bitterness involves judging and condemning.

The bitter person feels he has the right to judge. He may feel the seriousness of the hurt gives him the right to condemn. Rarely does such a person look at his own heart meditation, but rather at the hurts someone has caused. He sets himself up for a bitter spirit.

Communicating with an angry person can be very challenging at the best of times. In order to communicate easier and more effectively, you may wish to try the following:

  • Try to understand the other person's anger. Everyone has reasons for what they do, even if it does not seem to make sense at the time. By understanding motivation, you can often understand what is causing anger and assist in bringing resolution.
  • Stabilize the other person's emotional state using the "Feeling-Felt-Found" approach. An example of this is: "I understand how you feel about ...; I felt that way when...; I found that by doing...things worked out for me."
  • Under-react. Try to maintain a low, even tone of voice, and low-key body language; this approach will be likely to eventually "rub off" on the other person and help them calm down.
  • Go with the flow of the emotion instead of trying to resist it. If you become too involved with the resistance, you too are likely to become angry and add fuel to an already volatile situation. Instead, try maintaining your poise and calm while allowing the other person to vent their feelings.

Some people unwittingly use food or other addictive substances to pacify unexpressed anger or other emotions. Eating a lot of high carbohydrate foods will "calm" the nervous system by occupying the body with the pleasure of eating and digesting these foods.

For compulsive eaters, this becomes a socially acceptable type of addiction. Medicating emotions with food is no more effective than addiction. It only masks the problem instead of resolving it. The next time you are craving a substance such as food or addiction, you may wish to ask yourself, Am I hungry...or angry?

Timing is Important Choose the right time to express your anger. Do not try to resolve angry feelings when you or the other person is tired, hungry, in a bad mood, or in a hurry.

State Your Case Firmly and Calmly State how you feel using "I" messages. "Acc-you-sations" such as "You don't care" typically only wound the other person and inflame the already intense feelings of anger. If you are too angry to speak without attacking the other person, tell him or her that you need some time to cool off before you can discuss the situation.

Ask for Some Action After resolving your anger, discuss what you and the other person can do to prevent the problem from recurring.

Listen and Clarify Give the other person an opportunity to express his/her feelings about the situation and be certain that you understand their feelings before moving on. Paraphrasing and asking questions about what you have heard the other person say to ensure that you understood correctly.

Agree to Look for a win-win solution. The resolution of feelings or plans you develop must be acceptable to both parties in order for the resolution to be effective. A competitive win-lose approach where one person gives in to maintain a temporary sense of peace perpetuates the anger, which will resurface later.​

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