Managing and Coping with Anger

Managing and Coping with Anger

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Anger happens to everybody, whether we openly express it or not. But in America, we have been "culturally" conditioned, from childhood, to deny our anger. We were constantly told that "good" people do not get angry! Only "bad" or "crazy" people experience rage; that something must be "wrong" with you.

We become convinced, at an early age that civilized human beings do not get angry. As a result of this cultural myth, millions and millions of Americans are in a deep state of denial when it comes to anger. We don't get angry.

We get annoyed, irritated, upset and under extreme circumstances, we occasionally get "pissed off" -- but never angry! That's too gross, too raw, too animalistic.

This suppressed anger then becomes the source of conflict in our relationships with other people. Both personally and professionally, most of us are emotionally out of touch with ourselves when it comes to anger. Anger is a natural, human emotion that is not racially, genetically. gender, or socio-economically based. And, like any other emotion such as joy, love, fear or hope, anger is a "subjective" interpretation of the human events and situations going on around us.

In terms of its dynamics, anger is an emotional, physical and mental response to the "perception" of an injustice, threat or attack on our personhood. The threat may be real or imaginary; past, present, or future. But if you "feel" you have been wronged; if you feel you have some how been treated unfairly, you will automatically become angry. Anger is rooted in our survival instincts and has a legitimate and vital function in human behavior. The problem is not anger, the problem is the mis-management of anger.