There is More Than One Way To Get Angry

Anger Management Classes - There is More Than One Way To Get Angry

by James A. Baker



anger managementMy husband gets really mean when he is angry about something. I'm not saying he yells and shoves and breaks things. It's more like he has this way of jabbing me with a critical, sarcastic comment that really hurts. When I push back, he pretends he was just teasing and tells me I can't take a joke. Another thing he does is make fun of me in front of other people. That really hurts. Sometimes he can be nice, but I am really getting tired of his attitude. What is really weird is that he never exactly says he is angry, but he sure doesn't hide it.

Tortured in Tennessee


Anger Management Classes - There is More Than One Way To Get Angry


My wife gets taken advantage of a lot at work. People shove their work off on her, and her boss is very demanding and critical. Also, her parents still nag her about little, ridiculous things all the time. I know all of this hurts her, but instead of standing up for herself, she makes excuses for them and just keeps taking it. Last week she went to the emergency room with chest pain, but the doctor there said it was a panic attack. This can't be good. All this stress should be making her angry, but I think she is sitting on it, and I am worried about her. How do you do you help someone get angry?

Worried in Waco

In our Anger BustingTM program, one of the first things we deal with is the misconceptions most people have about anger. When we think of anger, we tend to think of someone like the Incredible Hulk, a person who erupts into rage in threatening and often destructive ways. However, anger has several other more subtle nuances. In both of the above letters, what Tennessee and Waco don't realize is that their spouses are actually very angry, but they are expressing it via anger styles that often go unnoticed or unchallenged. One of the best things we can do for people is help them to recognize there are actually FOUR anger styles, each one expressing a slightly different type of emotional/psychological perspective.

Anger Management Classes - There is More Than One Way To Get Angry

The type of anger recognized most easily by every one is Aggressive Anger, with its screaming, yelling, name-calling and sometimes physically threatening characteristics. Aggressive Anger is sending a clear message of “I count - you don't count.”

However, there is also Passive Anger, characterized by holding emotions and feelings inside, easily giving in to the demands of others to avoid conflict, and rarely asking for needs to be met. These people get angry, too, but they also believe the message of Passive Anger, which is, “You count - I don't count.” Passive Anger can lead eventually to a shocking rage explosion, but in the meantime, people just sit there and take it.

One of the most frustrating anger styles is Passive-Aggressive Anger, which makes use of sarcasm, cruel humor, interruptions, put-downs, and other thoughtless, disrespectful behaviors. These people are definitely upset about something, but they have bought into the message behind Passive Aggressive Anger, which is, “You don't count and neither do I.” Angry both with themselves and with others, folks in this category sink into a pattern of sniping at everyone and making people around them miserable in ways that are hard to hold them accountable for.

Anger Management Classes - There is More Than One Way To Get Angry

The last anger style - and the most constructive of the four - is Assertiveness, in which someone is able to separate the other person from the problem, focus on the issues that need to change, and firmly but respectfully address those issues in an open, constructive way. Assertiveness clearly says, “You count, but so I do!” Assertiveness is hard for most people to practice because of their fear of being rejected or taken advantage of if they are open about their needs and feelings.

In the cases above, Tennessee's husband seems to be showing tendencies toward Passive-Aggressive anger, and Waco's wife is showing symptoms of Passive anger. In both instances, these people are definitely angry; they simply lack the skills and confidence to say how they really feel or ask for what they really need from those around them who may also be part of the problem.

Anger Management Classes - There is More Than One Way To Get Angry

Even though people with these anger styles don't regularly erupt and create embarrassing scenes or problems with others, they are definitely building up a big balance in their anger banks, and things will eventually escalate to something worse. The good news is that people with anger styles that are either Passive or Passive Aggressive benefit greatly from anger management training courses, especially ones like ours that teach practical communication skills and assertiveness strategies.

My advice to Waco and Tennessee - and anyone in similar circumstances - is to carefully but honestly express concern for their spouse, and even accept responsibility for some of the problem (in marriages, resentments against the other spouse often produce these types of anger problems, and these resentments need to be aired and resolved.) Express a willingness to participate in anger management training or assertiveness training with their spouse. Even if their spouse doesn't agree at first, I would recommend attending the class alone, if necessary. This small but significant step will at least provide the worried spouse with tools to manage his or her feelings and needs, and it may lead to the angry spouse eventually seeking help, too.

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Welcome to the Anger Management Training Institute! We offer a variety of Court Certified Anger Management Classes which include our Anger Programs and Online Courses, Seminars, and our award winning Online Class to help people just like you overcome Anger Problems through the simple but effective Anger Management Techniques which are practiced and learned in James A. Baker’s Best Selling Book “The Anger Busting Workbook” by Bayou Publishing. Our fast and effective Anger Courses, Classes, Workshops, and Anger Management Seminars have helped over 60,000 individuals just like you resolve their anger management therapy issues and regain complete control of their lives. Get fast Anger Management Help.

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