Anger is a powerful emotion that can lead to violence in relationships. Anger is also an emotion that is often misunderstood. Here are five myths about anger.
1. Anger can’t be controlled.
Some people feel that anger is a feeling that can’t be controlled. You will regularly hear somebody say “I can’t control my anger.” You can likewise observe it in the media. For example, in The Incredible Hulk, Dr. Bruce Banner gets so furious that he transforms into the Hulk and takes his anger out on whatever or whoever is around him. I’m not saying that when individuals get angry they will transform into the Hulk; however, some people have a tendency to get violent because they feel that they can’t control their anger. In all actuality, we can control this emotion by utilizing relaxation techniques such as slow breathing or counting to ten. While everyone might have different techniques they use to unwind, we should all aim to have no less than 3 techniques we can use to help control anger.
2. Ignoring your anger makes it go away.
Denying that you are angry and ignoring frustration won’t make these feelings leave. Rather than disregarding your feelings, it is vital to acknowledge what makes you angry. Recognizing what makes you angry can help you not to associate with that situation in the future. However, it might be difficult to keep away from these circumstances, so effort is required. Focusing on what makes you angry can help you to think about the different relaxation techniques you can use in each situation to help overcome your anger.
3. Individuals make you angry.
It’s a common thought that it is an individual who makes you angry. You might hear someone say something like “My brother makes me mad!” Knowing that it’s not the individual, but rather what the individual does that makes you angry is important. Understanding this distinction can help wipe out your scorn towards them and distinguish that there are things that the individual does that you especially dislike, that you disagree with, or that get you upset. Making this distinction can enable you to communicate to the person what they do that makes you upset. For instance, if someone joking about your attire makes you angry, it might be helpful to be straightforward with that person as opposed to building up animosity towards them. Letting that person know what made you feel upset means they can avoid making the same joke again.
4. It is alright to take my anger out on things around me as long as it’s not a person.
Some people utilize strategies like punching a pillow or even a punching bag to take out their anger. To many, these techniques are viewed as harmless because this anger isn’t being taken out on others. However, these habits can be an unhealthy approach to managing anger. In general, a punching bag is not often readily available when you are angry. If punching things is all that you know when it comes to managing your anger, what happens when you don’t have that cushion, pillow, or punching bag? Would it be a good idea for us to punch the wall at our school or office? It is imperative to rehearse nonviolent strategies to assist in managing anger.
5. It is acceptable for men to show their anger but not their other emotions.
All men will experience anger at some points throughout their lives; however, that’s not to say that anger is the only emotion that men experience. Most men are taught from a young age to conceal their feelings and to only express anger. Men are often taught that other emotions like sadness, fear, or hurt are signs of weakness, and that showing these emotions makes them less “manly.” These learned habits show men that anger is the only feeling they are allowed to express, and that it’s okay to act out your anger in unhealthy ways. In reality, we all experience a wide range of emotions, and men ought to be permitted to express any other feelings that they experience without fear of being treated as less of a man because of it.
Relaxation Techniques that can help you deal with anger
The Katie Brown Educational Program teaches about anger and how to deal with anger in our 6th grade program and in professional development workshops. Here are some of the many techniques we teach that you can use to help control your anger:
- Meditate or practice deep breathing
- Listen to music that relaxes you
- Go for a jog
- Talk about your feelings to someone that you trust
- Walk away
- Count to 20