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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Rethink Your Anger

Rethink Your Anger

Anger is no more than emotional instability. Your behaviors reflect your emotions and their expressions. Depressed individuals are often at the mercy of their emotions: they cannot control their emotions, no more than they can restrain their expressions in anger and rage.

Anger, a common behavioral problem of individuals suffering from depression, is conducive to creating many inadvertently difficult and stressful situations for themselves, and thus precipitating their depressive episodes. Repeating such behaviors only perpetuates their depression recurrence.

What causes anger? 

Judging others

You may be judging the behavior of others: your judgment is based on a set of rules about how people should or should not act in a certain way.

When they do not act according to your rules, you become angry, resulting in your behavioral problems.

People you are angry with rarely agree with you. To think otherwise is asking for the impossible.

People rarely do what they should do. So, why bother to be angry if they don't?

If you demand people do according to your rules, you are ignoring reality, which is often a recipe for anger, and a cause of your own behavioral problems.

Remember the following:

People, too, have their own set of rules (you are not alone) that may not comply with yours.

People have their own rules, and they are also realities to them.
For example, a driver who cuts in front of you only sees the need to get to his or her destination on time, regardless of your safety. You have your reality, and so has the driver. Both are looking at different sides of the same coin. So what is the use of being angry? 

Anger control is simple: “Thou shalt not judge!”

Demanding your needs

You want something, and you think you should have it; and not getting it, you become angry. Your demand is based on: your expectation and your entitlement. For example, you expect your adult sons or daughters to call you regularly; you think you are entitled to it after spending years of bringing them up. But your needs are not their needs.

Rethink your need justifying your demand

If you let your need justify the demand, you will find it difficult to take a “NO” for an answer. You will respond with your behavioral problems.

Your imaginary need and deep pain from not having your need met must come first, and the function of any relationship is to serve you, that is, to meet your need. 

This fallacy in demanding your need not only damages a relationship but also causes deep anger within yourself, often manifested in your behavioral problems. This emotional need may be one of your underlying depression triggers.

Anger control is simple: stop demanding like a spoiled brat!

Rethink your emotional need. Rethink relationship functioning to serve your personal need.

Changing others’ behaviors

It is a myth that you can somehow change others’ behaviors through your coercionintimidation, and even threats; they are often manifested in your abusive language or sudden bursts of anger. 

Remember, people change only when they want to change, not because you want them to change. They change only when they see the need, but you cannot make them see the need. To impose on them to change only creates more behavioral problems 

Anger control is simple: stop attempting to change others when you cannot change yourself!

Rethink becoming angry over others’ reluctance to change into the way you want them to change.

Manipulating others

Manipulating others to meet you emotional needs often backfires. It is making others feel bad in order to make you feel good by meeting your own emotional needs. Instead of controlling others, you may find yourself being controlled, that is, at the mercy of others who have the power to make you unhappy by not meeting your emotional needs.

So, stop saying the following:

  • “If you loved me, you would . . . . .”
  • “If you really cared, you wouldn’t . . . . .”
  • “If you were a real friend, you could . . . . .”

They are only conditional assumptions aimed at manipulating others. Unfortunately, you rarely get what you want, except making yourself angry and alienating yourself from others. These manipulations are behavioral problems themselves.

Remember, no matter how much a person may love or care about you, that person has to take care of his or her own needs first. This is the reality and this has nothing to do with being uncaring or unloving.

Anger control is simple: stop manipulating in order not to be manipulated!

Rethink using manipulating strategies to meet your emotional needs.

Punishing others

If someone hurts you, punish that person verbally or using other means. Essentially, you are seeking revenge for perceived infliction of pain to you. You erroneously believe that punishing someone will make that person treat you better in future, or at least teaching him or her a good lesson. 

Rethink the "getting-even" syndrome.

But YOU are responsible for your hurt and pain. Remember, it is your experience, and nobody is responsible for how you feel, except yourself. You are responsible for your own experience, whether it is joyful or hurtful. Blaming others is merely shifting such responsibility to others. Blaming is punishing others for how you feel about yourself. This is one of the behavioral problems characteristic of depressed individuals.

Rethink playing the blaming game—you will always be the ultimate loser.

It is fallacy to believe that you can use your anger to control others’ future actions, thereby instrumental in controlling your own future experience of joy or pain. 

Anger control is simple: stop punishing in any relationship!

Rethink the crippling capability of anger on any relationship. 
Stephen Lau
Copyright© 2018 by Stephen Lau

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