Understanding Anger and Why Anger Management Comes Up Short

Understanding Anger and Why Anger Management Comes Up Short

Understanding Anger and Why Anger Management Comes Up Short

The word anger brings to mind assorted out-of-control behaviors like acting out, physical brutality or aggression, shouting, and so on. These behaviors are generally undesired and not beneficial to the person acting in such ways or the people on the receiving end.

Most people would agree that violent actions, save rare circumstances of self-defense, are never ok. However, we understand the desire to manage these states of expression.

So what's the issue with anger management?

After acknowledging anger and agreeing that it is not necessarily always destructive, many anger management publications quickly move to suggesting ways to tame, evade, control, minimize, reduce, and even eliminate feelings of anger. But by not discerning emotions of anger and connected behaviors from those of anxiety, supporters of anger management communicate the message that anger is a bad thing, a miscreant, a secondary feeling embedded in dread and irrationality, and so on. Consequently, anger is depraved and earns a fearsome reputation.

No longer experiencing anger appears to be the purpose of anger management strategies. If only you were less inconsiderate, less prideful, and more rational. If only you could learn how to forgive and have more practical expectations (or, even better, no expectations). Perhaps then you wouldn't be angry. But, on the other hand, if anger was what people associate with anger—stress (a physical complement to anxiety), temper tantrums, violence, and acting out (often a way to express anxiety), then it would make perfect sense to have a purpose of getting rid of anger.

If anger isn't what we often presume it to be, what is it then?

Anger is a universal, natural human emotion. Brain scan images suggest a link between anger and the part of our brain that values stem from. When taken apart and encountered as separate from anxiety and invaluable ways of addressing that anxiety, anger lets us know when our boundaries and sense of justice are being disregarded and supplies the critical forceful reaction to assume defensive and decisive action. Anger lets us know when we are uncomfortable with what is occurring. Therefore, we need not manage anger but listen to, regard, and understand it.

For many, anger is not an emotion advocated or validated by their parents or caregivers during youth. For this cause, and many others, some parents lack the acceptable emotional literacy to distinguish between an angry emotion and angry behavior. "Don't get angry" is an often repeated statement expressed directly and indirectly. As a result, anger is pushed inward, which often contributes to feelings of depression, anxiety, psychosomatic issues, and the behaviors anger management attempts to restrain—the states of acting out so frequently correlated with the emotion of anger.

Whether repressed anger is communicated as inadequately controlled anxiety (maybe in the form of inadequate impulse control and regressive tantrums) or as a tolerant, blunted, or apathetic way of being, the repression of anger continually creates a sense of self that cannot successfully navigate a social and interpersonal existence.

We hope this helps you better understand the role of anger and why anger management is not focused on the best outcome possible. Contact us today if you need mental health therapy in Winter Park. We want to help you live your best life.

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Heather Oller

Heather Oller is the owner and founder of Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching, and Counseling. She is a licensed counselor and a family mediator who has over 23 years of dedicated work as a professional in the mental health field. Through her company's mission, she continues to pave the way for future therapists, and their clients, who want a higher quality of life....and who want to thrive, rather than just survive. You can contact Orlando Thrive Therapy at (407) 592-8997 for more information.