WHAT AM I FEELING?
Anger? Hostility? Aggression?
Anger: An emotion that says “Something is wrong.” That it can be expressed to tell others about your personal limits, values, rules, and boundaries. The respectful expression of anger is an important way to educate others about how their behavior affects you. It can result in mutual respect between you and another person.
Hostility: An attitude that contributes to the violation of another person’s rights, values, rules, or boundaries. This attitude can include ruminating or brooding about another person’s real or perceived injustices toward you and ways that you can “get even” with him/her and this attitude leads to feelings of powerlessness. It can often lead to aggression our withdrawal as a way to punish others.
Aggression: A behavior, acted on with the intent to harm others, either physically or emotionally for real or imagined “wrongs” done to you. This behavior always results in disrespect for yourself or the other person. It creates distance between you rather that brings you closer.
Learning how to express anger respectfully.
1. Admit your anger. Accept that you are angry. Shouting “I am not angry!” at the other person only escalates you more. It can be safe and growth producing to acknowledge that you are angry.
2. Take a “timeout” to cool down if you need it. Learning to deal respectfully and constructively with your anger takes time and practice.
3. Identify the source of your anger (look for your primary feelings). Make sure you perceived what happened correctly. Ask yourself questions like: ” what is my negative self-talk?” “Am I dealing only with this issue at hand or are there other stressors that have already escalated me before this?” “Am I looking for a reason to blowup?”
4. Separate the energy of your anger (pent up feelings inside you seeking release) from the issue your anger is about (the condition, idea, event, or person you feel angry at).
5. Decide how and when you will express your anger.
6. Talk to the other person involved with your anger. Share your anger and any primary feelings you can identify in an open, direct, and respectful way.
7. Make “I” statements. Take responsibility for your own feelings. Resist the temptation to blame someone else for “making you” feel angry.
8. Listen closely to the others point of view. Recognize and accept that their view may be quite different from yours. Remember that they have a right to their perspective and feelings.
9. Get in touch with your expectations and your intentions in sharing your anger. The purpose is not to “win” the argument (or discussion) or to make the other person agree with you or your point of view. Rather, it is an opportunity to give both of you a time to express feelings. Also, explore alternatives such as compromising. Or you can “Agree to disagree” and table the discussion until another time.”
Source: The Depressed Anonymous Workbook. (2002). Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 34 to 35.
Please VIST THE STORE for more information on the Depressed Anonymous Workbook and the Depressed Anonymous Manual, both of which comprise the HOME STUDY KIT which can be purchased online.