Anger Management - No One Wins the Blame Game

Anger Management - No One Wins the Blame Game

by James A. Baker
Anger Management Programs - No One Wins the Blame Game


anger managementI am sick and tired of getting blamed for everything. My wife and I fight about everything, but she causes most of them. Then when she can't handle the heat, she runs out accusing me of all sorts of stuff. A couple of days ago we got into a fight because she spent too much money on school clothes for the kids. Now she went and got a lawyer and she is threatening me with divorce if I don't go to counseling. This is so stupid.

Fed up in Tampa

Anger Management Programs - How to Draw You A Johari Window

Dear Fed up:

Before you give yourself the Mother Teresa award for advancing world peace, you might consider the possibility that you have buried yourself in denial - big time. Denial is a way to avoid facing the truth about our behavior; we tell ourselves and others that it either didn't happen the way they say, or that it was no big deal. The problem is you eventually start believing you are not really responsible for your terrible, destructive behavior. Is it possible that you have been lying to yourself for so long that you have programmed yourself into really believing that your anger is not really about you; it is about everybody else? You tell yourself that other people pushed your buttons, that they somehow triggered you or shoved you over the edge; you make it sound like you didn't really have a choice. But you did. And for a long time you have been choosing to hurt people with your anger, hoping it would make you feel better. And now you actually BELIEVE IT. You won't even let yourself look at the truth anymore. Well, let us draw you a picture:

Known by self and known by others

Open, Free Area

Known by others, unknown by self

Blind Area

Known by self, hidden from others

Hidden Area

Unknown by others, unknown by self

Unknown area

This little diagram is called the Johari Window - developed in the 1950s by a couple of psychologists named Joe Luft and Harry Ingham. It is called a window because, obviously, it looks like a windowpane, but also because it helps us to "look in" on the way relationships work. The diagram helps to describe the way personal information is shared or understood between people. The top left pane tells us that I reveal certain information about myself to everyone. The bottom left pane indicates that there is some information about me that I hide from just about everyone. The bottom right pane shows that there is some information I don't understand, and nobody else does either. The top right pane reveals that there is information about me that practically everyone else around me can and does know, but I don't. This is called my blind spot. We all have them, and what we can't see really can hurt us.

It is just human nature to either ignore, excuse or reinterpret our actions in a way that puts us in the best possible light. People with anger problems usually have huge blind spots where their anger is concerned. People will say that you are shouting, when you think you are only putting extra emphasis in your voice to make a point. Others might accuse you of getting too physical when you get angry, when you know all you are trying to do is make someone stay in the room so you can talk through a misunderstanding until it is settled. Others may say you lose control when you get angry, when all you are trying to do is be firm but reasonable. How can so many people get things so confused?

Anger Management Programs - Help You Overcome Anger Problems

Does any of this sound familiar? That's because as an anger addict, you have a HUGE BLIND SPOT where anger is concerned. First, you deny that you even get angry; then, when your anger gets so out of control that it is obvious to everyone including you, you deny it is your fault, blaming someone else for causing the problem, instead.

Blaming someone else for your out of control anger is an old dodge called "scapegoating." Most anger addicts are really good at this. I bet you know the drill. You and your wife get in a huge fight. You yell a bunch of really nasty names at the top of your lungs. Then you reach out and grab her as she tries to leave the room. When she twists and shoves, trying to get loose, well, that really makes you mad. So you begin slapping and kicking. Finally, she gets away and runs out of the house.

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All the time you are telling yourself it is HER fault; she deserves whatever she gets. After all, if she hadn't spent so much money on clothes for the kids, you wouldn't have bounced that check. And if she would have just listened to you instead of mouthing off while you were trying to straighten her out about it, you wouldn't have used all of those names. And she hadn't tried to run away from you while you were talking, you wouldn't have had to grab her. And if she hadn't shoved you, you wouldn't have had to start slapping and kicking back. So the fact that she now has a black eye, a cut lip, and a sprained knee is because she spent too much money on school clothes! Are you kidding me? Or are you kidding yourself? You have just waded out into the middle of the De-Nial River up to your eyebrows. You are practically drowning in your own lame excuses, and EVERYBODY knows it except for you!

Take your wife - and her lawyer's - advice; get counseling, take anger management, start going to AA. DO something positive and quit blaming everyone else.

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