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

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

“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

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Key Ideas

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.

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.

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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It helps a user read a set of blood-boiling scenarios and rates how likely they are to have each of six possible reactions. It enables you to recognize unhelpful thoughts that cause a knee-jerk reaction. For example: When you are driving through a residential area, and someone backs their car out of a driveway and nearly hits you. There are six possible reactions:

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  • 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.

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