This post is about the Myths and Facts about Anger – Anger Management. Anger is one of the most powerful, yet misunderstood emotions. Unfortunately, our misconceptions about anger lead to a lot of dysfunctional behavior.
Here are some Myths and Facts about Anger
Myth: Anger is a negative emotion.
Fact: It’s not bad to feel angry. Anger is a normal, healthy emotion. In fact, a lot of really good things stem from anger, and angry feelings can lead to positive change. Many social injustices needed people who became angry. What if Martin Luther King, Jr. never felt angry?
Myth: Anger is the same thing as aggression.
Fact: A lot of people confuse angry feelings and aggressive behavior. While feeling angry is healthy, aggressive behavior isn’t. There are many healthy ways to deal with anger without resorting to threats or violence.
Myth: Anger management doesn’t work.
Fact: When people lack skills to manage their anger, their emotions can cause problems in all areas of their lives. Many relationship troubles, career issues, and legal problems resulting from unhealthy expressions of anger. Anger management classes and therapy can be powerful tools that help individuals reduce aggressive outbursts. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has proven to be an effective treatment for anger management issues.
Myth: I shouldn’t “hold in” my anger. It’s healthy to vent and let it out.
Fact: While it’s true that suppressing and ignoring anger is unhealthy, venting is no better. Anger is not something you have to “let out” in an aggressive way in order to avoid blowing up. In fact, outbursts and tirades only fuel the fire and reinforce your anger problem. Research shows that venting your anger in this way actually has the opposite effect: The more you vent, the worse you’ll feel.
Myth: Anger, aggression, and intimidation help me earn respect and get what I want.
Fact: Respect doesn’t come from bullying others. People may be afraid of you, but they won’t respect you if you can’t control yourself or handle opposing viewpoints. Others will be more willing to listen to you and accommodate your needs if you communicate in a respectful way.
Myth: I can’t help myself. Anger isn’t something you can control.
Fact: You can’t always control the situation you’re in or how it makes you feel, but you can control how you express your anger. And you can express your anger without being verbally or physically abusive. Even if someone is pushing your buttons, you always have a choice about how to respond.
Myth: Anger is all in your head.
Fact: Anger involves more than just your mind. Think about the last time you felt really angry. It’s likely that your heart rate increased, your face grew flushed, and your hands shook. That’s because anger evokes a physiological response, and it’s that response that often fuels angry thoughts and aggressive behavior. Learning how to relax your body—and your mind—is key to reducing aggressive outbursts.
Myth: Men are angrier than women.
Fact: Research consistently shows that men and women experience the same amount of anger. They just express it differently. While men are more likely to be aggressive and impulsive in their expressions of anger, women are more likely to use an indirect approach, like cutting someone out of their lives.
Myth: Ignoring your anger makes it go away.
Fact: Suppressing anger isn’t healthy, either. Smiling to cover up your frustration, denying your angry feelings, or allowing others to treat you poorly in an effort to keep the peace can cause your anger to turn inward. And suppressed anger has been linked to a variety of physical and mental-health issues, from hypertension to depression.