Sometimes feelings of anger or being mad is more than just emotions related to things people say or do that are really upsetting, but rather the ordinary and annoying things that occur all day every day. If you feel yourself, then there may be some underlying issues that has gone unchecked that is causing you to explode or lash out at others. Scenario Maggie is a busy mother of two, a wife, and a marketing associate for a large firm. Lately, she has been working late on an important account and getting home late into the evening. Her husband Joe has been great with picking up the kids from daycare, feeding them and getting them to bed. By the time Maggie gets home, the house is clean, kids are sleeping, and Joe is too. Maggie showers, get to bed and sets the alarm to get up and do it all over again the next day. This schedule had gone on for about two weeks when Maggie suddenly found herself snapping at Joe over little things. Maggie knew he had done nothing to deserve her ire, and she felt guilty over it, but every day there would always be something that would just cause her to let loose on him. When she snapped at her three-year-old, she realized she needed to get some help.
She did not know why she was acting this way. Home was perfect. It was perfect because Joe was perfect, and he was doing everything he could to make sure it stayed that way. Maggie went to talk to her employee resource officer who referred her to a counselor. After a few sessions, what Maggie found out was that she was actually angry with her partner on the project because of poor decisions and the inability for the two of them to agree on which way the ad campaign should go. Her partner was single with no kids and went out every night after they finished. Maggie was going home exhausted knowing that if she was working on the project by herself it would have been finished long ago. Maggie went to her supervisor, explained the situation, and was allowed to complete the project alone. She realized she should have done that from the beginning; but in a male dominated environment she did not wish to be perceived as not being a team player. She realized that especially if two women could not work together, it would only contribute the level of bias, which is already existing in the firm towards women.
Maggie was angry with herself and annoyed at the situation. With no clear target for her anger, she was striking out where she knew it was safest to strike, at home, where she knew Joe was there to make it all right again. Discussion When we take things out on those we love it is often because we know they cannot fire us, and that because they love us and know us it is safe to do. However, it is. It is not healthy to hold onto stress to the point it starts seeping out into angry outburst over the smallest of details. When we do not confront the big issues, it is like tiny holes that slowly leak out our frustration. It is best to confront issues head on, recognize possible obstacles and deal with them. Maggie recognized that is what she was expected to do when working on a campaign, but was afraid to apply that same principle when recognizing potential problems with a member of her team. Maggie is lucky that her firm has an employee resource officer to make the appropriate referral for help. Not everyone has someone to provide information or resources for help, but most everyone finds themselves in a situation from time to time where they are stressed and need.
Do not allow the big things to make you sweat the little things.
How can you spot an anger problem? БWhen it occurs too frequently, when the intensity is too strong, or when it endures too long,Б says Howard Kassinove, PhD, director of Hofstra University\’s Institute for the Study and Treatment of Anger and Aggression. He also co-wrote БAnger Management for Everyone: Seven Proven Ways to Control Anger and Live a Happier Life. Б Kassinove sees degrees of anger: annoyance, anger, and rage. Occasionally feeling annoyed or even angry is nothing to worry about. БMost people report that they get angry once or twice a week,Б Kassinove says, Бbut people who rate high for the anger trait become angry about once a day. Holding on to anger for too long is another sign of trouble. We see patients who are still angry at people who died years ago. Б Looking closely at yourself can help. БPeople may ask themselves, \’Am I alone? Have I lost jobs, lost friends, lost family because of my anger? \’Б Abrams says.
In most cases, though, people are usually blind to their own issues, he says. Denial is common, too. Usually, itБs someone else who persuades them to seek help. БMany people will say things like: \’There is nothing wrong with me. Somebody else or something else is causing me to be angry. \’Б Kassinove agrees. БThe first step is understanding that anger is caused by how you interpret an event. No one can force you to be angry,\” he says. \”Once you recognize that, you are in charge of your own anger. Б Instead of calling a situation Бawful or terrible,Б tell yourself, БThis is unpleasant. Б Avoid upsetting extremes like, БI can\’t take it. Б Instead, try the more realistic, БI really don\’t like it. Б Stay away from thinking someone БshouldБ or Бought toБ act differently. БI wish she would act differentlyБ is a better choice. Try not to use exaggerations like БalwaysБ or БneverБ to describe how often something upsetting happens. And judge the behavior — not the person. (БThat driver is a jerk. Б)