“It’s Happening Again!” A Potent Trigger for Intense Anger - Deepstash

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“It’s Happening Again!” A Potent Trigger for Intense Anger

https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/overcoming-destructive-anger/202009/it-s-happening-again-potent-trigger-intense-anger

psychologytoday.com

“It’s Happening Again!” A Potent Trigger for Intense Anger
This statement is often a response to an anger arousing event. It originates from feelings and thoughts linked to past hurt and only intensifies current anger.

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Anger is caused by impulsive judgment

Anger is caused by impulsive judgment

Getting angry is about facing some form of perceived threat. It also involves a knee-jerk reaction to negative feelings such as shame, guilt, anxiety, powerlessness, rejection, or feelings of inadequacy.

Anger is often caused by impulsive judgment about an event or behaviors.

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The “It’s happening again!” trigger for anger

Thinking, "I'm getting angry again" is a strong trigger for overly intense anger.

When this happens, the negative feelings that we associate with this thought make our emotional reactions worse. Common feelings include shame, guilt, feelings of inadequacy. If we know we have not made peace with our past hurts, we are more likely to experience this emotional reaction.

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Changing destructive anger into healthy anger

This process requires us to pause and reflect on our internal experiences.

  • A meaningful component is to identify the negative feelings behind it and the conclusions we make. We should realize that our reaction in the moment may not only be about the current event but also about previous hurts.
  • Meeting this challenge requires attention beyond only controlling anger. It takes self-observation about the moments when anger arise. This way, we can immediately recognize that our reaction to a situation incorporates reactions coming from previous hurts.

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Dealing with your anger

Anger leads us to poor decisions, regrettable behavior, or hurt feelings. However, some anger leads to more significant consequences, like strained relationships or legal trouble.

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Anger ≠ aggression

Anger is an emotion, while aggression is a behavior. They differ entirely in one central dimension - control.

  • You can't control your emotions directly. In the legal system, nobody gets sent to prison for how they felt, regardless of how angry they were. They get punished for what they do.
  • You can influence your emotions indirectly by how you think and behave. For example, when you focus on how terrible all the drivers in your town are, your anger will likely increase. But, if you listen to music and think about how grateful you are, your anger will probably subside.

Expressing anger

While you can't control your emotions of anger directly, you have control over your aggression, which is a decision to express your anger.

Aggression does not only involve acts of violence. Being overly-critical or judgmental of someone in your mind is an act of aggression, as is replying sarcastically or rolling your eyes at someone.

Anger and Aggression

  • Anger: An emotion felt when we believe we have been wronged.
  • Aggression: is an act of expression of the anger, by our words our actions. Aggressio...

Validation and Boundaries

  • We can try and validate the anger felt by an individual by making them know that their anger is maybe justified while putting firm but respectful boundaries on their aggression.
  • We then need to be clear about what type of aggression we are willing to tolerate, setting boundaries on the unacceptable.
  • We may have to put our foot down and be ready to leave the conversation or escalate the issue, without falling into the trap of guilt and emotion.
  • If possible, we need to restart the conversation when things have cooled down, and diffuse the issue in a calm way.

Avoiding Speculative Self-Talk

Unchecked self-talk can easily turn into self-delusion. The stories we create almost always make you look like the good guy and cannot be termed as objective.

  • The way to get out of this speculative self-delusion is to avoid any speculation about other people's anger, at least initially.
  • Make sure to note down the facts of the situation. This can make the story less according to your gut instinct, and more towards the objective reality.