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The Anger Notes

Expert Knowledge on Anger Management

Struggling for weeks on how best to serve readers with “borrowed expertise”, I had my epiphany. Instead of weaving an article from intelligence scoured from books and other publications, to help them improve their life and chances for good fortune, by tweaking out the destructive behaviors and tweaking in the constructive behaviors, it could be better if they read the experts themselves.

My position as an enabler with this project is, then, to do the heavy lifting, helping my readers access the salient points, the keystone information without the struggle of sourcing for the material.

This will allow readers the capacity to apply the experts’ finding to their current situation. In other words, this approach frees my readers from having to consume the material, editorialized by me, nuanced to my situation and experience with life.

In other words, this is efficacy in response to “just give me the facts,” the common dictate of this speeding and distractive world.

So, here are “The Anger Notes” …

From the book, “The Upside of Your Dark Side” by Todd Kashdan, Ph. D and Robert Biswas-Diener, Dr. Philos. (pages: ix, x, 12, 29,53, 63-79, 94, 132, 201, 214 and 218).

Anger is a good example. Research shows that rarely does anger turn into the kind of overwhelming rage that leads to violence.

Instead, it tends to bubble up when you perceive an encroachment on your rights as a person.

Anger stirs you to defend yourself and those you care about, and to maintain healthy boundaries.

{note to self: also on the same page, important distinction between embarrassment and guilt. Also, the concept of disqualifying the positive.}

Note the two types of avoidance. Avoiding pleasure and avoiding pain.

The other form of avoidance, by far the more common, is turning away from the so called negative psychological states, such as anger and anxiety. This sentiment reflects the philosophy of the Hedonists of the ancient Greece-the intellectual crosstown rivals of the Stoics-who held the view that the best life is to be found in pleasure.

{Anger is a corrective psychological tool. It helps progress and improvement.}

Can you imagine the historic fights for racial equality or gender rights without a touch of anger?

Can you imagine living in a world in which no one felt remorse?

{note to self: Trump?}

The problem with hedonistic philosophy is that people become overly skeptical with anything negative.

[Using the incident when at half time during a Laker’s game, coach Pat Riley was so angry with their first half performance, that in a fit, he upended a tray of paper cups with water on their star player, Kareem Abdul- Jabbar.]

Does anyone think the team would have played better if Riley had gone to the locker room at half time intending to create an atmosphere of joy, love or contentment?

Expressing anger in this instance was exactly what the problem called for. As we see from the reactions of the players, negative emotion can be highly motivational.

Unless you open yourself up to unwelcome negative feelings, you will miss out on important opportunities to wield some of life’s most useful tools.

[…having a pleasant day did not influence the quality of the following day. Having a crappy day, on the other hand, did spill over on how people felt when they woke up (groggy) ate breakfast (the oatmeal is prison food), and went to work tailgating and cutting off cars to shave off two minutes on the highway. The same pattern emerges time and again in psychological research.]

…people are typically afraid even if they do not often articulate this concern that their moods may lead them to lose control and od things they otherwise wouldn’t.

Expert Knowledge on Anger Management
Photo by Sunyu on Unsplash

The most obvious case of this is anger.

{…element of truth: justice system’s stance that second degree murder in the heat of the moment is less serious than planned first degree murder.}

Anger is unlikely to make you criminal but it can affect you in surprising ways.

Researchers were interested in the term “hotheaded” and wondered whether anger is somehow associated in people’s mind with heat.

-researchers presented some participants with words related to anger such as scornful, hostile and irritated; then they were asked to guess the temperature of 30 unfamiliar cities.  They found that those who were primed with angry words were far more likely to guess that a place was hot.

Our negative moods have power over others.

Thomas Joiner (academic psychologist, suicide expert, Florida State University), found; if one of the roommates was depressed at the initial assessment, it increased the likelihood that the others would develop depression over the subsequent three weeks.

{Caveat: The depressed roommate is more likely to affect the others negatively than the happier roommates is to turn the depressed roommates’ mood around.}

[Emotions-all emotions are information. Your emotions act like a GPS monitor on your dashboard, giving you metaphorical information on your location, the terrain in front of and behind you, and your rate of progress.]

You want to feel the thrust of your anger when you need to stick up for your children.

Immediately trying to tamp down the {“bad”} emotion of anger or any other feeling, does little to shed light on why the anger arisen and what course of action it might be pointing to.

Without such so called negative feelings, we would be living in a world devoid of fully functioning humans.

Drawing on one of his personal maxims-always offer two kind interactions before taking a more aggressive tone. (ref: to Matthew Jacobs, a carpenter who stood up to a raging aggressor in Vietnam.)

Negative emotions, anger in Jacob’s case, often surface as a result of external circumstances (as opposed to “coming from nowhere.”)

Anger is itself neither good nor bad; it’s what you do with it that matters.

Research suggest that only 10% of angry episodes actually lead to some form of violence, which is evidence that anger does not exactly equal to aggression.

Anger usually arises because we believe we’ve been treated unfairly or that something is blocking our ability to accomplish meaningful goals.

-63.3% of anger were blamed on other people than things e.g. a computer keyboard

-Anger is typically caused by what other people did, didn’t do or might possibly do.

Positivity alone is insufficient to the task of helping us navigate social interactions and relationships.

Research overwhelmingly indicates that feeling angry increases optimism, creativity and effective performance, and that expressing anger leads to more successful negotiations and a fast track for mobilizing people into agents of change.

…research found that people who had been induced to feel mildly angry took bigger risks. Anger led them to feel more inclined to explore the boundaries of possibility.

…commonly athletes psyche themselves up by “getting mad.”

…when people get angry they’re likely to feel control (effect) over the outcomes, believed a positive outcome was highly probable, and were confident that risks would pay off.

…feels courage, forget fear, otherwise you won’t get angry. Angry links to action. {context is important.}

…researchers found that anger can provide an advantage in negotiations…By the third round of negotiations, the person trying to sell phones to an angry buyer relented giving a steep 20% discount and by the 6th round, 33% (discount).

The researchers suggest that angry people are viewed as powerful and of high status in the moment {the anger must not be faked.}

Martin Luther King Jr. said, “the supreme task is to organize and unite people so that their anger becomes a transforming force.”

Content Credit: Patrick Goodness

{Anger creates activists.}

When anger arises, we feel called upon to prevent or terminate threats to our welfare, or to the wellbeing of those we care about.

…altruism is often born from anger. When it comes to mobilizing other people and creating support for a cause, no emotion is stronger.

Anger is best wielded with an attitude of respect-for the perspective- of the particular person or persons who violated your wellbeing.

Prepare for the fallout {prepare to get angry} and it becomes easier to tailor the most effective expression of (the) anger.

The right way to get angry.

Discomfort caveat. Let other people know explicitly that you are experiencing intense emotions and because of this, it is more difficult than usual for you to communicate clearly.

{To be angry effectively is to reduce the likelihood that the opposing party gets angry.}

Apologize in advance for the potential lack of clarity (not for your emotions or actions.)

Lead in with the statement such as, “I want you to know that I am feeling uncomfortable right now, which means that it’s not the best time for me to be expressing myself. But under the circumstances it’s important of me to say….”

The aim of the discomfort caveat is to disarm the person, to keep them from becoming defensive.

{explain why the anger emerged…}

Dr. Ernest Harburg (University of Michigan School of Public Health; Research Scientist Emeritus, Epidemiology and Psychology) and his research team spent several decades tracking the same adults in a longitudinal study of anger. They found that men and women who hid the anger they felt in response to an unjust attack subsequently found themselves more likely to get bronchitis and heart attacks and were more likely to die earlier than peers who let their anger be known when the other person were annoying.

…recognize the difference between events that you can change and those that are beyond your ability to control. E.g. no point expressing anger when you lose something due to carelessness.

…how do you appropriately communicate annoyance or anger in a way that leads to a healthy outcome?

…the key is to use appropriate tone without demeaning the other person.

… slow down the situation…give yourself permission to pause for a moment, even if someone is standing there awaiting a response.

…make good decisions than fast ones.

…the motive of slowing down is not to make you get less angry than about giving yourself a wider range of options to choose from an emotionally charged situation.

Think like a chess player. Before deciding on a course of action, imagine how the other player will counter and how the situation might look two moves from now.

…if it looks bad, consider alternative behavior, imagine how they will counter that, and evaluate the scenario.

…keep checking with yourself. “is my anger helping or hurting the situation?”

Psychologist John Riskind, (George Mason University) an expert in helping people with uncontrollable emotions {has an important advice},

“Don’t pile on-believing the sequence of events triggering the anger is accelerating, the danger is escalating and the available window for taking action is quickly disappearing” {Don’t create that pressure mentally.}

{Look for alternative, milder, kinder words to use.}

{Learn to work with your anger.}

{Angry at what? The person or the action?}

Expert Knowledge on Anger Management
Photo by Javardh on Unsplash

From “The Happiness Track” by Emma Seppala, Ph. D. (pages: 8,9,29,56,62,71, 145-146)

Tapping into Natural Resilience.


…if you can bring greater relaxation and ease into your body, your mind will naturally be at its best and have chance to reset from stress.

So what is the fastest way to achieve well-being?

…your breath-a rapid and reliable pathway to your nervous system dedicate to helping you regain your optimal state.

…revealing study by Pierre Philippot (a Belgian Psychologist) shows that your emotions change with your breathing.

…when they took deep, slow breaths, the participants felt calm and when they took rapid breaths, they felt anxious and angry.

From the book, “Your Survival Instinct is Killing You” by Marc Scheon, Ph.D.

(pages: 28, 30,45,60, 143-144)

…consider having anger free days, in which you depend less or not at all on anger; focus on openness, tolerance and acceptance, and even agree to smile when you don’t feel like it.

Participate in charitable acts that you might not typically perform, such as volunteering or helping someone else. (These) have proven to help abate unrelenting anger in people.

From the book, “Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman, Ph. D.

(pages: 6,7,48, 59-65, 63-64,144,169-172,191, 255)

Expert Knowledge on Anger Management
Photo by Rakower on Unsplash

To be continued…










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