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Dismantling Anger:

Breaking Down the Walls

--Adam Maisen, LPC-S/TA

· Diffusing Stress,Anger Management

Have you ever lost control of your temper? What would you say if I told you that anger is not a stand-alone emotion? For real!

Think about the last time that you got really angry. I bet you felt sad, hurt, scared, embarrassed, disappointed, or any other number of negative emotions first. Anger is how we respond when we feel a loss of control. We want to regain that control so much that we often respond with more intensity than the activating event reasonably warranted.

The Anger House:

Think about anger like a house. A house has to be on a strong foundation if the house is to stand. So, what happens to the “anger house” when we start dealing with the other negative emotions we feel. If we can take control over our own emotions, we can weaken the foundation of our anger, and it can begin to crumble.

This can be easier said than done because, for some of us, we have been hurt over and over again. We have boarded up the windows and reinforced our house with anger so that no one can ever hurt us again. The walls of our mighty fortress are thick. Do we even want to let the walls down?

Pros and Cons:

Everything we do serves a purpose, or we probably would not keep doing it. Anger is no exception. So, lets take a look at the pros and cons of holding on to anger. You may have your own, but I want to list some that I frequently hear in my practice.

Believe it or not, I can understand why you want to hold on to your anger. However, anger turns in to resentment when you don’t deal with it. Resentment eats away at you. It steals the ability for healthy relationships and true joy. It creates bitterness and tints every aspect of your life in a negative way.

So, what do I do about it?

  1. Decide whether you are ready to begin dismantling the walls you have put up.  This difficult because it requires you to face the hurt in your life that you have been shoving down or avoiding.
  2. Recognize that the walls that we put up were not built in a day.  Likewise, dismantling the wall is a process.
  3. Get real with yourself about what you are actually feeling. Get to the foundation of the anger house so you can deal with the underlying issues.
  4. Step back from the issue for a bit when you feel your blood pressure rising. Give yourself a chance to get your head around what you are thinking and feeling before you react.
  5. Find healthy outlets for dealing with negative feelings.
  6. If you are still struggling, seek therapy.

Why would I want to do therapy?

That is a great question. Therapists are trained professionals that are ready and able to genuinely meet you right where you are without becoming personally emotionally involved. This is important, because when you are emotionally compromised by your circumstances, it becomes much harder to think straight and sort out what you are truly thinking and feeling. A therapist can bring insight to the situation and act as a guide or sidekick, depending on the need, to help you break down the walls of resentment and learn to reclaim your life.

If you have any questions or comments, or you would like to talk about the issues you are personally dealing with, give me a shout. I offer a free 15-minute phone consult and we can talk about whether therapy is right for you. You can contact me here.

If you have been held down by the chains of resentment and bitterness, there is hope. You can be free once again.

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