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The Price Of Anger

     Anger is a normal, human emotion, a certain amount of which is considered healthy. Unfortunately, anger can get out of control and like other emotional conditions can quickly escalate to a condition that bears physical and psychological side effects. Anger can contribute to irrational and unpredictable behavior that can take a toll on relationships, job performance and decision-making abilities.

Anger can be caused by either external or internal events and often is the result of stress, traumatic memories or aggravating circumstances. The physical effects of uncontrolled anger can be increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure and increased adrenaline or noradrenaline levels. Anger is known to cause severe and long-lasting emotional damage.

Typically, anger is expressed by aggressive behavior. In some situations, a certain amount of anger may enable our survival. This occasional need for anger makes striking a balance between healthy anger and unhealthy anger even more important in our everyday social and business activities.

Psychologists respect anger and to help us learn to manage our anger, anger management courses have been developed. The objective of anger management courses is to help clients learn to express anger in positive ways that allow for constructive release of the emotion. Anger management courses teach clients to reduce the emotional response and the physiological elements that cause anger.

Angry persons express their anger in conscious and unconscious manners. There are three basic manners in which people express their anger:

- Aggressively
- Passive Aggressively
- Assertively

Psychologists agree that the healthiest way to express anger is through an assertive, non-aggressive, manner. Expressing anger in an assertive fashion is a valuable technique that can be learned, ideally through an anger management course that takes a comprehensive approach covering a) managing ones physiological responses (i.e. calming exercise); b) understanding one's triggers and different ways to respond to them; c) thinking about situations in a different light and; d) using specialized communication techniques to make one's point in a powerful, yet respectful manner.

Passive Aggressive Behavior is the exact opposite of expressing anger in an overt, aggressive manner. There is no doubt when someone is being aggressive. People who express anger passive aggressively are masters at expressing their anger or need for control in ways that, while infuriating, make it impossible for you to confront them in a healthy or direct fashion. They always have a seemingly innocent alibi which allows them to protest their innocence.

Passive Aggression is a defense mechanism used to protect a very fragile sense of self. They often times grew up in a very rigid and controlling household in which expressing their true selves was discouraged and they learned the only way to express their feelings was through indirect means.

Aggression is the third way to express anger and usually involves a deliberate intent to harm, attack, injure, hurt or control the other. Aggressive ways to express anger include:

a) Actions that harm or hurt others (e.g. hitting, shoving, punching, using words to belittle) or oneself (e.g. punching the wall, destroying something important to you)
b) Starting fights or arguments
c) Being pushy
d) Bullying
e) Dangerous driving (aka road rage)
f) Making threats
g) Making insults

Psychologists agree that people have different levels of tolerance for anger. Some people boil over and behave angrily outwardly while others do not show their anger but go through deep emotional valleys before becoming extremely irritable.

When we become angry, we can say and do things we regret. Too often anger is counterproductive. Psychologists have developed several techniques that can help manage anger. Anger management strategies include utilization of several strategies and skills.

- Relaxation therapies
- Cognitive restructuring
- Problem solving
- Improved communication skills
- Implementing humor
- Changing environment
- Assertive training

Persons who feel their anger gets out of control or whose response to anger impacts important parts of their lives would benefit from anger management courses. When a candidate meets the prospective therapist, they should try to define the characteristics of anger that seem repetitive and troublesome.

Anger management course are taught by psychologists or other licensed mental health professionals. These professionals can teach persons to become assertive rather than aggressive. Events that cause anger will continue. However, the response will now be dealt with in a positive way. The individual's ability to successfully manage anger affects everyone around them.

Article Source:

Visit for anger management classes designed to make the most of your valuable time and money. What separates this course from others you may have taken is that we are going to cover anger from all angles - what I call "The Four Horsemen of Anger." Visit online today.

Posted on 2009-08-30, By: *

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Note: The content of this article solely conveys the opinion of its author.

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