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Everybody gets angry. It is a basic human emotion. It is how we express our anger where it can become a problem. Most people identify and wrongly label all Men’s behavioural problems as ‘Anger Management issues’.
What is anger management?
Anger Management is the process of learning to recognize the signs that you are starting to become angry. It is at this point that people may have trouble calming themselves down and cannot deal with the situation in a calm, safe and productive way. It is not in any way saying that a person should not get angry, but it is how they deal and act upon these feelings of anger. They are essentially managing their feelings of anger hence the term anger management.
Learning behavioural skills is an essential part of anger management. Taking responsibility for your behaviour is key. Using a mindset such as ‘Why did she push my buttons, she knows what happens when I get angry’ is placing the blame onto another person. You are implying that your actions are actually their fault because they got you angry,. You may not realise it, but the way you react particularly if you use violence or control to express your anger is actually a choice. You may not be aware you have made this choice, but you make choices about how you act all the time. With people who may be friends or co-workers, you may be a lot nicer and express your anger differently around them than you do to your family or your partner. This is where you need to recognise that you are the one that makes the choice how you treat those that you care about.
The mistake most people make with managing Anger is they focus on blaming others for triggering their anger. The fact is; the only person responsible for their triggers is themselves. Therefore to manage our anger more effectively we need to look at ourselves first and identify what the underlying issue is. We need to understand what is driving our trigger. We need to determine why the trigger has caused such an emotionally charged response. ( we will discuss triggers in our next blog)
Once we identify our triggers, it is beneficial to look within ourselves and challenge our thinking. When we explore this further we often find our thoughts are coming from a base of being judgemental.
When you are focusing on the behaviours of others you are not judging the person. When you focus on the behaviours, you are judging the cause and effects of the behaviour. When you judge the person you are judging them to be good or bad. For a better outcome focus on judging the behaviour.
The way words are used are a perfect example and thinking how you would respond to a situation.
Someone says that you are a mean and nasty person – eg "You’re just mean and nasty" . How do you feel? You are most likely self talking something along the line of "I’m good for nothing; I’m hopeless; I’m worthless"
Someone says that something you did was a mean and nasty behaviour – eg "That was a mean and nasty thing to do"
You are most likely going to feel something along the lines of "Oops!!! How can I fix it; What can I do to say sorry; What could I do differently next time?"
Anger management VS behavioural change
One of the most important things I need to state is that “men’s behaviour change” is not the same as “anger management”.
One of the principles of the Heavy M.E.T.A.L program is about unravelling the myths and excuses passed on from earlier generations that men have adopted as being the “norm” to justify their anger. The word anger is used to disguise the behaviour which is in fact abuse. Anger is only a feeling, and it is ok to be angry, just like feeling sad, happy, insecure, jealous or excited etc. The problem is in how you express the feeling.
Often I have heard men state “I had enough”, “I lost it”, “I blew my stack”, “it was a knee-jerk reaction” and those on the receiving end of such behaviour also support this perception by describing the man as being bad tempered, or just like his father or brother and having a short fuse. These perceptions suggest the idea men cannot manage their anger, but fails to recognise that men’s behaviour can be violent and controlling when they are not angry or non-violent even when angry.
The Heavy M.E.T.A.L Program is for men who find themselves caught up in a cycle of behaviour that they and others see as anger and abusive. Men who want to change old behaviours that leave others feeling frightened, intimidated, walking on egg-shells or women/children who are fed up with carrying the responsibility for such destructive behaviour will find the services I provide beneficial.
Dave's tips for managing anger
- Its ok to be angry; the most important thing is how you express it. If you hurt others it is a form of abuse.
- Recognise the trigger for your anger. Do not react to the trigger. Your triggers are your responsibility
- Get in tune with your body signs. There will be lots of signals prewarning you are becoming angry.
- Monitor your Thoughts; Do not respond if you are in a “built-up” state.
- Take a Time out; if your thoughts are negative remove yourself from the situation.
- Refocus on yourself; if your thoughts are driven from judging the person. Focus on the cause and effect of the behaviour; not the person
- Ask yourself; has the way I have dealt with this before been helpful?
- Refocus on how to respond to the cause and affects rather than react to them.
Taking the first steps
It is not easy for someone to look within themselves to admit that they are using violence or control to express their anger. Quite often it is a partner or family member that actions, requests or even makes an ultimatum to get help. It takes a lot of strength and courage to admit that there is a problem. Contact us today to discuss the programs we have available.
Our men’s program is starting 18th July 2018 and our FREE women’s information night on the 19th July 2018 is coming up where you have an opportunity to meet and ask David and his team any questions you may have.
Contact us for more information.
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