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Anger, a warning to help us?

A person silhouetted against a purple and blue sunrise looks out across a lake.

Anger, a warning to help us?

The other day, as I sat in my car waiting for the light to turn green, I heard the loud squeal of car breaks and then the awful sound of metal hitting metal. As I turned my head towards the chilling sound, I saw a man jump out of his car and run over to the car that hit his. When he reached it, he started beating the window until it broke. The whole time yelling expletives and ranting ugly threats at the driver in the guilty car.

This is an example of what we know as “Road Rage” and it happens everyday and all around the world. The interesting thing is that the “rage” or “anger” that people experience during situations such as the one above is not the initial emotion, but the response.

Anger then is a reaction to an emotion of a personal violation or an act by someone else that they feel wronged them.

Anger in the above situation is not the problem, but a reaction to the real problem of being violated by the other driver. Anger can act as a “warning sign” that tells us something “bad” may have happened. But, when a person is in a “rage of anger” as their response, their logical thinking gets put to the side. Then the blurriness of what I call “rage logic” becomes the default mode for their behavior.

This then can have a detrimental effect in our life, especially if it is our go to life behavior.

Do I have It?

Getting angry is not a problem within itself. We all will experience anger, but what we do with that anger is the key. Anger is a natural emotion that every human being has and will need to learn to handle.

“Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.”     Aristotle

But, when an individual is “overcome” with anger as their response to a life situation. And their behavior then becomes violent, as we noted in the opening of this blog. This then can be a life behavior pattern that will hurt not only the “angry” person, but also those around them.

How do I treat it?

  • Self-help Book
    • The Cow in the Parking Lot: A Zen Approach to Overcoming Anger. By Susan Edmiston and Leonard Scheff
    • Anger: Taming a Powerful Emotion. By Gary Chapman
    • Anger is a Choice. By Tim LaHay and Bob Phillips
  • When should I seek out a counselor?

A person would benefit from seeing a counselor when they feel or even when their family and friends feel that their anger is a problem. I like to say, “We don’t know, what we don’t know.” So, if someone is telling you, that you may have a problem with handling anger. That may be a sign to start looking for help.

At Real Life Counseling, we specialize in empowering you. With 15 highly-trained counselors and a variety of specialties, we understand that there’s no one-size-fits-all counseling approach. If you need help dealing with anger, contact us today and discover how we can help you turn your anger into a positive force instead of a life debilitating behavior.