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That was the first time in my life I actually admitted to myself that I WAS angry and always had been. I honestly feel like my parents always despised me. I suppose there is a small chance I'm wrong, but I doubt that very much. I know they had me only to "start over" after one of my older sisters died, more than 5 years before I was born. I've felt pushed to be something I wasn't from a young age. I heard a lot of comparisons to my older sister who was always 1st in her class, and very ambitious.

I heard a lot of criticisms about everything I did, ranging from being "clumsy", "stupid", a "loser" etc to being told I'm not worthy of the family name. They really never showed me any kind of undrerstanding or acceptance. I could tell from some of the things they told me about my dead sister that they obviously thought, at some point, that I didn't deserve to be alive, or as healthy as I was.

My father once commented that my sister read short stories at age 3, drawing a parallel to myself, because I rarely read at all. Nowadays, despite being told I'm beautiful despite being overweight , I still feel completely worthless and rarely enjoy anything. I don't know if I'm depressed, really, but I just don't care about anything. Hi mate, I have a lot of trouble with my own anger, this article and comments has been amazing.

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I saw that you posted this in ,I guess I just wondered how has your life been in the last few years? I hope things have improved. Excellent article. I have found distancing comes easily when anger is the tool, for if you get angry enough, quick enough you can deflate any conversation or attempt at adult communication into silence, and "win.

He was married twice, had multiple relationships, and I am his third wife. He started building his dream home in and here it is and the home is not completed! I married him in and attempted to help him and he would get angry over anything, everything, anytime, and anywhere. It could be driving to get materials. In the store if I dared to question him on why he was doing it this way or that. I often wanted to just walk home to avoid the sulking, pouting, or raging I had to endure. If he couldn't get his way he would demand that I stop the vehicle and let him out.

Right now it's been 10 weeks and our oven has not been hooked up to use. It's his way of showing me that I'm being punished. His favorite quote is "we learn through pain and pleasure" that's it. I believe he has NPD full-blown. He uses anger as a tool to get his way, put guilt on me, create distance, create lack of communication, and countless other pain and pleasure scenarios.

I am truly sorry that I married this man boy-child and that I'm having to now try to remove myself from his mess and disorganization. On the other hand, he couldn't be nicer to women he works with creating metal art, welding for his men friends and their hobby cars, and telling me that he has to make money to finish his house! This guy is a walking therapist's dream patient.

He has threated suicide and tried to threaten me with same. He calls me an idiot, clueless, and "I talk a good talk," but says I do nothing to help him, which is far from the truth. His anger is a weapon and I am the target. I feel much better reading an excellent article at delving into the mind of a maniac who's fix is anger. God Bless and Thanks! Your article was thought-provoking. I understand that the triggers for rage e. Childhood experiences of being ignored or treated as unimportant can equate to 'you are worth so little, it doesn't matter whether you are here or not'.

I have tried to reign in my own anger from a sometimes difficult and overpowering relationship with my mother and not let it pollute relationships with others not always successfully. However I would really like help with knowing how to grow that part of me that feels completely stunted by not being allowed a voice, or feelings or opinions within childhood. Even now, at 58, I feel my role is like a bit-player in other people's movies.

Other people's opinions seem so much more valid than mine. I am fed-up feeling like I take up an unnecessary amount of space, that I should apologise for my presence or that my life is of less value than anyone else's. If you have any advice about how to move past this frozen, disconnected place, I would be very grateful to hear it.

Many thanks, Maggs. You don't say anything about being in counseling for this, or on seeking counseling in the future.

Boiling Point: The Workbook: Dealing with the Anger in Our Lives

But beyond bibliotherapy which has its limits , the best way of changing the behaviors and beliefs that you describe is through professional counseling. That works best because you were wounded in the context of a relationship and so could potentially benefit greatly from getting into an "inverse" relationship that's specifically designed to heal such wounds. The human element in all this can hardly be overstated. So that would be my first recommendation to you. Hi Staff, Many thanks for such a swift response. No, I am not in counselling but what you say sounds sensible and actually quite obvious in the way you put it.

Reading is helpful and I can certainly analyse the problems, but theoretical learning doesn't seem to alter my response which can be quite negative. Thanks for the suggestion - it seems pretty clear what I should do! Kind regards,Maggie. Yes, I get so mad over the stupidest little things, and can't control my anger. If someone starts running their mouth, it makes it even worse. I hate it. Marijuana helps, and so does alcohol.

Thee alcohol I want to cut down on. I don't like therapy, and the girl I talk to daily makes it bad too. Just wants to talk shit when I am so mad, I'm like flipping out. And she just wants to get louder and louder, making it much worse. I don't know what to do, and it seems like it gets worse the older I get. Sounds like you've got some unresolved anger issues from your past, since, as you describe it, your angry responses today seem to be overreactions to minor present-day irritations.

Which suggests that these provocations are bringing to the surface even though it's not conscious to you earlier anger-related memories probably from childhood. Unless there is something organic going on, you'd need to be in therapy to get these deep-seated, dysfunctional reactions taken care of once and for all.

I can always remember getting really mad as a young child also, and it's spontaneous. Sometimes I don't know what I'm going to do, and I have broken many, many things over the years in fits of rage, and when I am drunk, and it is provoked, it's even worse, and it's very bad. There has to be something other than therapy.

As I have interacted with many other combat veterans with PTSD, anger is a constant theme and a large issue to deal with. I have no education in psychology, no Ph. I do not think that anger is a primary emotion. I think it comes after other things have happened. The need for self-preservation is self-evident and anger serves the purpose of preparing us both chemically and emotionally to deal with the potential fear of loss.

This loss can take many forms, loss of life, and loss of a sexual mate, loss of self-esteem and on and on. I think that one of the most basic primary needs is the need for acceptance and one of the primary fears is the fear of rejection. None of what I have just stated gives much of an idea of the complexity of the process. I will refrain from a long winded discussion of that subject. My point is simple. Anger is not a cause it is an effect. The cause of anger is fear. The fear may or may not be based in reality.

Fear often is not logical. I have a fear of snakes that I intellectually know cannot harm me. The experiences of my childhood affect the things I fear and effect how I display anger and to what degree anger is present in my life. How does one get better control over anger? Get better control of your fears. Put on a pair of gloves and pick up the damn harmless snake.

Yes I know…change sucks…lol. Is anger something learned? My parents divorced when I was a little child.


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My father was heart-broken because my mom had met someone else who later became my step-father. My father took to alcohol and I've only known him as an alcoholic. My siblings and I were going back and forth between households. We were all under the age of ten. My father was quick to anger, he had a loud bark, and was threatening at times. He disciplined with a belt and once with a knife. Once, I soiled myself and he took my dirty underwear and smashed it onto my face and into my mouth. I knew in time he would always feel bad for how he disciplined [us].

Yet, we loved him still the same and as I grew into my young adult years I've felt sadness for him for loosing his wife and having his family torn apart. He has since passed away. I forgave him for how he raised [us] and what he had done personally to me but now I find myself somewhat like him. I, too, find myself quick to anger and with a loud bark. Once I owned a dog which had pooped on my carpet.


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In anger I took his head and put it near not on where it pooped, yelled at it, and spanked it for having to clean up it's mess. Like my father, I felt bad for how I handled the situation since I realized it wasn't potty trained and the fact it was just a puppy. But I saw myself in him. This was many years ago and the dog was given to a loving family that would care for it better than I could ever have. I see myself with two different personalities - on the one hand; fun, loving, and kind. But on the other - angry inside. My counselor said that fear is the core of my anger.

I just don't know what I'm fearing. I'd say rather that the core of your anger is a sense of powerlessness or loss of control or the threat of same--as it probably was with your father's anger as well. I hope your therapist is able and willing to do trauma resolution work as it relates to not-yet-discharged anger toward your emotionally abusive father.

For right now your innter child is probably still afflicted with this frustration, resentment, and anger, and you can't HELP but act it or IT can't help but leak out at regular intervals now with your own family. Seltzer: I use anger to distance myself from people. I've been in therapy since I was 13 and am now My mother was alcoholic, full of rage, unpredictable, out of control. My father left when I was eleven. I have a disconnect; I struggle being consistent; I lack intimacy skills; I tend to be a loner. I neglect myself and others. I'm in a group going on several years that sometimes uses psychodrama.

This has been helpful. I have a long way to go and this is a life-long journey. Your article gave me an a-ha moment, about using anger to distance others. Thank you for your work in this field, I think it is very important. I have always seen anger as 'involving' and therefore coupled 'angry people' with a preoccupied style of engagement. This is partly because my desire to 'not get involved' when people are angry is my particular way of keeping a safe distance.

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I feel that I am being 'sucked in' by angry people and that their anger serves to try and suck me in, so I use indifference and a calm demeanour to stay outside of that. I'm confused about anger also. A lot of therapists have wanted me to be angry because I show anger so infrequently and this does its own damage. But when alone I do seem to find myself getting myself angry and feeling uncomfortably angry.

Just not at anyone or anything in particular, but rather feeling stuck in an anger that makes no sense is not about anyone or anything, just is. Sir, this piece is brilliant. I've spent hours reading this psychology portal and I found a lot of fascinating reads. But your writing or analysis of anger and conflict is tailored for me.

I relate very immensely to your analysis. Having struggled with anger myself for much of my adult life, your insights are right on. Recognizing the core issues and having a well thought approach Before anger takes control is the best way to handle this persistent and potentially dangerous emotion. Because of my desire to help others who have had to or are still dealing with anger issues, I have started a coaching website www.

I still wonder why Buddhist psychology is not mandatory curriculum in psychology studies. Almost all of the findings of modern science based psychology so non-Freudian is actually mostly finding again what the Buddhist did long time ago. I just had a burst up with a colleague in the office over a word he used only to apologize a moment after.


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I reflected how I have reacted to certain words lately and I wanted to know what the issue was and whether my anger was in relation to a feeling of being mistreated, at the receiving end in the work environment; a feeling of being helpless? I also recalled my belief that when you know you have options in life; a general feeling of well being and in control, you probably won't fall into this kind of outburst.

Boiling point: dealing with the anger in our lives by codinalifantis - Issuu

I therefore goggled "anger and helplessness. I have also decided to work on working out options in situations and react less to "you" words so as to avoid burst ups. I had a fight with my roommate today and upon doing some self reflection, I realise its my anger than enrages the whole situation and can turn a small heated discussion into some series and friendship threatening.

Everything you are saying is me to a tee. I had a very poor childhood as I was abused physical and mentally by my parents, and although I've tried numerous times to address this it still has been a daily struggle. I believe that this has overflown into anger as I identified the feeling of control in my life keeps me sane. So I can understand how the emotion of anger takes over. I can understand how the rush of chemicals can become addictive. I'm sure you find it difficult to respond to every contact but I really want your help.

I've struggled with anger and fouled many relationships with it. I've Tried books, clinical therapy, anger management courses, church counsel and attempted suicide a few years ago. For the first time in my life after reading your blog I want to be at peace and we'll. I don't have to attend a requires session but instead desire with all of my heart to have help. Can you help me? I appreciate your reaching out to solicit some practical advice from me.

All I can suggest is that you find another therapist locally to consult with on your difficult situation and see what they might recommend to you. Hey Dr Leon. Really appreciate your article. I learnt alot, will help me with my work with clients. I thank you. Ten years after the article was written. I am searching for answers to my anger problems. This article hit home. Now to find someone that can help me.

I struggle with relationships and find it difficult to maintain a healthy one. My insecurities control me in the midst of a relationship. Thank you for your article I will be researching others. Sounds interesting--and curious. Let me know if you ever want to consider doing Skype or phone sessions on this enduring problem for you. And if you do, contact me on my PT website page. Lee Seltzer. I don't have trouble 'managing' anger. I think I'm so used to being in this state that it is only occasionally when I stop for a minute and realize how angry I really am all the time.

It's painful and it is killing me. Leon F. Seltzer, Ph. Do you ever torment yourself with self-anger, guilt, regret, or remorse? Back Psychology Today. Back Find a Therapist. Back Get Help. Back Magazine. Subscribe Issue Archive. Back Today. Educating for the Future. Inflammation and the 3 Paths of Depression in Older Adults. Leon F Seltzer Ph. Follow me on Twitter. Friend me on Faceook. Great article Submitted by Anon on January 22, - pm.

Anger Submitted by Mick on July 16, - am. Seltzer: This is an excellent article. Good work. Thank you Mick. Look into this Anonymous wrote:. Im a student at tracy high Submitted by Nicholas on September 18, - pm. Anger Submitted by John Bean on November 7, - pm. Thanks for your article. John Bean. Anger Submitted by Queen Bee on November 11, - pm.

Seltzer, I much Submitted by Jack on October 20, - am. Seltzer, I much appreciate your insights about anger in relationaships. I know we love each other and want to stay together. Any suggestions? Thank you so much. Submitted by Buffy on July 25, - pm. A very wise description of Submitted by Craig on November 22, - am.

Wow, Finally!! Submitted by Eastlion on February 6, - pm. Great article Submitted by Elizabeth on May 31, - pm. Anger as a distancing mechanism Submitted by Sherry on June 9, - pm. Thank you. Submitted by Anonymous on December 3, - pm. It's a start for me. I realized this relationship Submitted by EJ on July 28, - pm. How is life now? Submitted by David b on August 7, - am. I hope things have improved David. Anger and more anger Submitted by Debra on May 22, - am.

What your anger may be hiding Submitted by Maggs on April 1, - pm. I get so mad I could kill someone. Submitted by Gerp on June 1, - pm. What should I do? Sounds like you've got some Submitted by Leon F. Everyone standing around us was looking at me in disgust. I had to keep apologizing. Tears were streaming down my face because I had obviously hurt him so much.

A University of New Hampshire study found that 90 percent of parents admitted to having hollered at their children, ages 2 to 12, within the course of a year the other 10 percent must have either been angels or had selective memories. To avoid a scream-fest, try this trick: In that white-hot moment of anger, visualize your child as a baby, says Sandra P. Thomas, Ph. So can taking a break. Petracek, Ph. The key here is getting some literal distance from the situation and recovering your sense of calm.

If your anger has already boiled over, the most important thing now is to own up to what you've done wrong. Don't give in to the temptation to blame your child for triggering your outburst. It was wrong for me to lose it in that way, and I'm very sorry,' " advises Thomas. Tip: Don't overdo the apology — if you dwell on it, it can make a kid feel as if he's truly been victimized.

Be a Calm(er) Mom

Then promise that you will try your best not to do it again, comfort your child as needed, and move on. We eventually made up and tried to assure her that Mommy and Daddy still loved each other, but I don't know if she bought it. It can be devastating for a child to see her parents get furious with each other, warns Charles Spielberger, Ph. It's important to circle back quickly and do damage control. Don't try to explain the situation away by reciting a laundry list of ways in which your spouse provoked you — this will only further embroil your children in the drama and stress.

We've talked about it, and we're working it out. People who live together get angry sometimes. We're sorry for yelling. We still love each other,' " Thomas recommends. Even if you still want to throttle your spouse, telling your kids you are smoothing things over will help ease their fears and make them feel more secure. If you can, emphasize what you'll do differently next time, says Jerry Deffenbacher, Ph.

For instance: "I was mad that your dad burned the garlic bread, but I apologize; I shouldn't have shouted at him like that. I was frazzled from a really hard day. Next time, we'll remember to set the kitchen timer when we use the oven. Keep further comments to a minimum. Overexplain yourself, and you could wind up turning your kid into a mediator or therapist, cautions Puff. There's no need to drag her even deeper into your drama.

Your first instinct might be to apologize to your kids for having gotten mad — but don't. Everyone gets angry, so you shouldn't be sorry for having experienced this emotion. This is especially important if you have daughters — girls from a young age are told they shouldn't show anger, says Puff, encouraging them to bottle up their feelings.

Instead, tell the kids what set you off. Explains McKay: "You might say, 'That man said something that really hurt my feelings, and I got very upset. Let's face it — it probably did. Explain that you let your emotions get the best of you, and that you'll handle it better next time. And then comes the real challenge: making sure that you do.

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Could you be past "hot-tempered" and into the realm of needing professional help?