Misconceptions about anger prevail. Below are some common myths about how to deal with anger.
Actively Expressing Anger Reduces it.
Letting your anger out directly and indirectly tends to reinforce it. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't let others know how you feel, but doing so in a calm, rational manner is the key. Learning positive communication skills so that you can talk about your feelings is important.
Outside Events Make you Angry
When people get angry they often fail to take responsibility for their own feelings. In most cases, your beliefs about the situation are what made you angry. Accepting responsibility for your feelings and reactions is the first step in dealing with anger effectively.
REBT and the ABC's of Anger
REBT, or Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, is an approach to understanding and changing anger patterns. The first step is looking at the Activating Event - the "A" of the ABC's. What event occurred that triggered the anger? For example, your partner forgot to stop at the store for milk. The next step is the Belief - the "B" of the ABC's - that you have about the event. For example, "He did that on purpose because he's too lazy to shop." The final step is the Consequence - the "C" of the ABC's - this refers to the consequences of your behavior. For example, Did you yell at your partner or get into an argument and spend the rest of the evening upset?
So, you ask, how does this help me change my behavior? That's a great question! IT starts with changing the beliefs that you have about a situation. Instead of thinking that the other person acted on purpose to upset you or because he or she is lazy, you might instead think that maybe they were tired and forgot.
This is just the beginning of changing your thoughts to change your feelings and behavior. Check back for another installment coming soon.