Being Right or Being Happy: The Consequences of Mismanaged Anger
I was asked the following question, “Why do I always have to be the one to control my anger? Why is it always me? My wife gets to say her piece, but when I do, I am ‘out of control’”. I agree that there is some stereotyping that only men have anger problems and only men need to control their anger. There are women with anger problems, too. Some people really are more hotheaded than others; they get angry more easily and more intensely than the average person. There are also those who don’t show their anger in loud spectacular ways, but are chronically irritable and grumpy. People who are easily angered have a low tolerance for frustration, meaning simply that they feel they should not have to be subjected to frustration, inconvenience or annoyance. They can’t take things in their stride and they are particularly infuriated if the situation seems somehow unjust: for example, being corrected for a minor mistake.
Anger Has Consequences
There are consequences of becoming so angry that you lose control. I worked with a client who was physically violent towards his wives, divorced twice, fired twice, chased out of a store by a manager because of swearing at the salesperson, and deliberately ramming his car into the rear end of another car on the expressway in road rage. Things were not going his way. What to do?
The problem isn’t anger itself; it is expressing anger in an appropriate way. With anger, some people can tell others they are annoyed or even irate without totally losing control. Others are unable to even raise their voice without going over the top. Letting it rip actually escalates anger and aggression and does nothing to help you or the person with whom you are angry or to resolve the situation. Trying to gain control and change this behavior on your own and failing time and again becomes a shaming and depressing cycle. There are spouses and children who live in fear of being at home. It takes a long time for the victims of verbal abuse to get over the emotional pain. No matter how short the argument, it can leave a person damaged and even suicidal. Typically, people who are easily angered come from families that are disruptive, chaotic, and not skilled at emotional communications.
There is hope that you can calm the rage and stop the destruction before it overflows into the lives of those you love. If we can help you or someone you love, give us a call. Dr. Perry Weingart is experienced in anger management counseling which makes men accountable for their own actions, for controlling their own tempers, and understand that sometimes it is better to be happy than to be right.