Find out what your anger style is by taking the questionnaire. • Evaluate how angry or tolerant you are in certain situations.
Anger Triggers • What are your anger triggers, both situations and people?
Expressions of Anger • How do you usually express your anger? • Are they healthy or unhealthy ways, in your opinion?
FOUR COMMON INAPPROPRIATE RESPONSES TO ANGER • AGGRESSIVE • Anything that violates the rights of others. • It can be direct verbal or physical assault. • Or it can be more subtle, such as the silent treatment, glaring, or talking behind someone’s back.
PASSIVE • Any response that doesn’t directly deal with the anger: • Like withdrawing and becoming depressed • Or using drugs and alcohol • Or cutting. • Avoiding confrontations and “peace at any price” is also passive. • In the most extreme case, suicide may be the result of anger turned inward.
DISPLACEMENT • This means you take your anger out on someone or something other than what is really making you angry. • Your target is usually less threatening than the person or situation that is making you angry.
DENIAL • Some people really don’t believe they are angry, because anger is too scary. • Or people may be angry but pretend not to be, saying things like anger is not worth it, unproductive, or beneath them. • These strategies allow them to avoid confronting the reality of their anger.
Which less healthy ways do you find yourself using most often when you are angry? • Give examples.
IDENTIFYING INAPPROPRIATE RESPONSES TO ANGER • 1. Jake is furious at this mom for not keeping a promise. He says nothing to her, but walks outside and kicks the dog.
2. A friend makes Juan angry by making jokes all day about a play he missed on the field. Juan knows he is angry, but smiles and says nothing.
3. Jane’s best friend decides at the last minute to go to the senior prom with someone else. Jane says, “Sure, I understand…No, no, it’s not a problem; I hope you have a great time.” Jane then convinces herself that it is their last prom and everyone is entitled to go with whomever he or she chooses.
4. Timmy grabs Susie’s doll. Susie grabs it back and hits him over the head with it.
5. Ling hates swimming lessons. She never mentions this to her parents or coach. She simply shows up later and later for her lessons.
6. Heather’s teacher embarrassed her in class today. Heather meets her friend at her locker and yells at her for not getting her books out fast enough.
7. Rosa has had it with Frank’s mean comments. She tells him, “You are an idiot! You’re ugly and boring, and I can’t stand to be around you anymore.”
8. Everyone watches as Michael’s dad reprimands him in front of his friends. His dad seems out of line. Michael shrugs and rolls his eyes when his dad leaves. One of his friends says, “Hey, aren’t you angry with your dad?” Michael says, “No, it’s not worth it.”
Next class you will learn about healthier, more appropriate ways to manage your anger.