Unmanageable anger can get you in a lot of trouble. I can help with conflict resolution and communication skills, relaxation techniques, cognitive restructuring and problem solving skills. This may help you control your behavior but possibly you would just be an angry person who isn't exploding. You know yourself best. Un-expressed anger may cause heart attacks and depression. It's my hope to help you not only manage angry emotions and behavior, but rather, that your anger be healed instead of controlled. Instead of learning how to manage and control 100 units of anger, it would be great if the 100 units would become 50, 20, 10 units. If you are more inclined to be healed, read Ephesians 4:26, 4:31; and Colossians 3:8-10 and consider giving me a call.
Some mental health professionals say that anger is neither good or bad, that it's simply an emotion. They are completely wrong! It's one of the seven deadly sins, proverbs and the New Testament. I think Cain murdered his bother Able in anger or rage.
Some people become so angry at God that they don’t want to have anything to do with Him. They think, “I am done with you!” “What good are you anyway?” Or “You didn’t help when I needed you, so I don’t need you anymore.” “Why did you allow this to happen God?” “Why didn’t you help me decide better?” “I got into this problem without you and I can get out of it myself.” They hold a grudge against Him and believe He wronged them. They evict God from their hearts and tell Him to leave them alone. Logically this does not make sense, nevertheless they find it easier to blame God than take responsibility for their actions. As Christians we invite God into our hearts, not throw him out.
For those who do get angry at God, it is very important that they do not withdraw but instead pray to God. They should be encouraged to communicate, express, and process that anger to God. Best practice would be to teach them how to pour their hearts out to the Lord, using the gift of tears. In this way they can express their hearts pain to God instead of bottling it up.
Some stop praying because they think it’s a sin to pray in an angry state. This may be because as is written, “When bringing a gift to the alter and you notice you are angry at your brother, put the gift down, first make amends with your brother, then go back and present the gift ( ).
How can someone be mad at God, but they are. Suppose a person is really angry at someone, does that mean they have committed murder in their hearts? (Chapter & verse)
The only way out of this trap is to let God know how angry you are at Him. People mad at God think that telling Him is wrong, bad, or dangerous. It’s not breaking news to God when a person verbalizes how mad they are at Him. God knows our hearts before they were conceived. When Jesus was asked how to pray he did not say prayer was unnecessary. He actually gave excellent guidelines through the “Our Father...” prayer. Since God already knows our hearts before any prayer, yet He tasks us to pray anyway, wisdom prescribes our prayers are good for our healing. Besides, the psychological cathartic value of prayer, cleans out toxicity in the soul.
Since uncontrolled anger can place a soul in hell, logic insists that uncontrolled anger is a very serious sin. Man's sinful anger includes screaming, cursing and raging. This unrestrained venting of anger is a sin so it never solves any problem, but only creates new ones. The New Testament puts those who manifest unrestrained anger in the same category as sorcerers, fornicators, homosexuals, drunkards, who will not inherit the kingdom of God ( ). The Holy Bible in Proverbs says that the person who gives full vent to their anger is a fool.
Unrestrained anger is detrimental to those around the angry person.
It is like lighting the fuse to a stick of dynamite and not running away. Anger spins inside their soul like a turbine and generates very negative self talk. Their negative self talk is as gasoline being thrown on fire. It’s problematic because they don’t have the skill set to process it through good communication.
Anger snowballs and gets bigger and bigger so in order to prevent this cycle anger is behaviorally acted out.
People can become angry for real and for imagined reasons. When getting angry for real reasons, so long as they don’t lose control or express it sinfully, it is a good thing. When getting angry for imagined reasons they enter the realm of psychopathology and there is never a good reason. They treat their imaginary reasons as if they were real reasons.
The angry person is living in a make-believe world that's trapped inside their head. Some express it with their mouths, others with mind games, and some resort to physical violence. Their anger is justified because they imagine the other person made them do it. After the abuser beats his wife he'll say something like this, "If only you didn't burn dinner, I wouldn't have gotten so upset." The angry person projects their anger onto others. They do not realize that they alone are responsible for their anger. Frustration triggers anger and while they might be the immediate source of frustration, they are never responsible for someone’s anger.
Either exploding it outward or imploding it inward are dysfunctional ways to process anger. Anger turned inward doesn’t always turn into depression. It can also cause self-destructive behaviors. When a person suppresses their anger they are a ticking time bomb and often turn into an exploding volcano. It is like lighting the fuse to a stick of dynamite and not running away. Anger spins inside their soul like a turbine and generates very negative self talk. Their negative self talk is as gasoline being thrown on fire. It’s problematic because they don’t have the skill set to process it through good communication.
Dysfunctional reasons to feel anger:
Best practice is to resolve anger before going to sleep. It prevents being in a perpetual state of anger. Without this caution, anger accumulates and the person transforms from being angry into an angry person. If they don’t process anger well they often become bitter.
They don't only get angry, they become anger personified. Their anger is who they are.
Rage is to anger as a panic attack is to anxiety. The person filled with rage has internalized anger very deeply. Rage is another example of self-destructive anger because after they finally calm down they usually feel guilt, shameful, and remorse.
Catharsis is a good thing, but out of control unrestrained abusive anger has no healing value. It may appear that letting off steam is a good thing but what does it profit a soul to blow off steam at their own souls expense. It generally escalates any situation into World War III.
Ephesians 4:31 – “get rid of openness, rage and anger.
The angry person has to make a decision to let go of their anger. Then they have to ask God to help them let it go. If they try through self-sufficiency they can only manage it but they cannot heal it. This can clean the soul. We may not be able to control our anger’s physiological reactions, cognitions, or emotions but we can control our behavior. Until God heals the anger they must manage their anger in a way which gives glory to God.
If tempted to anger, the task would be to transform the temptation into a trigger to pray.
Some people choose to go numb instead of experiencing anger. This is another dysfunctional way to handle anger. This is different than the wife who is in an emotionally abusive relationship who goes numb. She has entered into an emotional divorce, where she is closing her heart.
There are several dysfunctional ways to process anger:
The passive aggressive type of angry person is often very sarcastic. Sarcasm is a cowardly way to express anger. The sarcastic person says something which has two meanings. There is a text and sub text. The text is ambiguous but the sub text is always a zinger. When the sarcastic attack is challenged the perpetrator typically responds with, “I was just joking.” This is an excuse or more accurately, a rationalization, used by sarcastic people to shift the blame from themselves being rude to their victim’s misunderstanding. Best practice is to say, “Bad joke.” When anger is acted out in passive aggressive ways, the angry person hurts others under the guise of humor and innocence.
There is a surge of adrenaline and excitement attached to anger. Some pathologically use their anger as a pseudo-intimacy. These people become dependent on fighting to feel close. This is profound psychopathology, called by laymen, “Fight Junkies.”
Their shame-based low self image is subjectively mitigated by their anger. This is because it is easier for them to feel anger than feel shame. Anger allows the post abortive to emotionally disconnect from their pain. Their anger changes the shame generating conversation into something else - an argument. Like a child’s temper tantrum adults use anger to control others. Proof is as soon as they get what they want their anger disappears. When allowed to control others by their anger they are encouraged to repeat their manipulative anger ploys. When someone is being irrationally angry it is OK to stop them. At the same time it's prudent not to do things to escalate their anger.
When people have anger because their beliefs and values are challenged, this is called moral or righteous anger. Sometimes moral anger is used as a polite way of being judgmental. This angry person feels justified because they think they have certitude about a moral issue. When an important moral value is encroached, this anger is not a sin, but is justly called for. Jesus demonstrated non sinful moral anger in the temple when he chased out the money changers.
When very young, if your parents punished you for being angry, children learn to suppress angry feelings in front of their parents. When this becomes deeply ingrained and internalized these feelings are inserted into the forming personality leading them to believe that they, not their behavior, are unacceptable.
Anger Management in Sobriety
One of the issues many recovering alcoholics and drug dependent persons have is difficulty coping with is anger. Many attribute relapses to an inability to constructively handle anger. Mismanaged anger can pose a threat to sobriety; it can also lead to problems in relationships with others.
Problems with anger may occur for several reasons. In some instances, much of the difficulty with anger is related to self-anger. This may occur as a result of problems the addiction has caused in life. What may happen is that the addict directs their anger at others or blames them for their feelings. Or, they may have learned ways to handle anger which just aren't healthy. For example, the addict may impulsively express their anger to others in verbally or physically violent ways; or, may keep all of their anger inside, letting it slowly build up. In other instances their anger is caused by their distorted view of situations. This is usually the case with people who are easily provoked into feeling angry and find many things or people at which to feel anger.
The following steps may help the addict learn to understand, recognize and deal with anger in constructive ways:
Recognize angry feelings. Be aware of when the addict is angry. How does the anger show? Look for anger clues. Physical signs may include such things as headaches, tension in your stomach, or rapid speech. Psychological signs may include revenge fantasies, increased thoughts of using alcohol or drugs, or feeling depressed. Behavioral signs may include increased argumentativeness with others, intentionally avoiding others, or showing aggressive behaviors in your interactions with others.
Identify possible causes of the anger. Examine all the contributing factors related to the anger by identifying the situation which triggered the anger, who else is involved, and why the addict feels anger at this particular time. List the causes of the anger.
Identify effects of the anger on self and others. Examine the usual responses to the angry feelings. For example, does the addict do nothing and allow anger to build up inside; does the addict lash out at others and get into arguments or fights; does the addict try to ignore the situation or the angry feelings; does the addict talk about the anger? List how the addict usually handles angry feelings.
Decide on the best method of handling anger.
Decide first if the anger is really justified. It may be an overreaction to a situation or a result of self-anger which is misplaced on others. If the anger doesn't seem justified, have the addict try to talk himself out of it.
Talk directly to the person towards whom the addict feels angry.
Talk to a third party in order to release feelings and gain a better understanding of the situation.
Direct angry feelings towards constructive activities. For example, jogging, working around the home, or other physical activities.
Change thoughts. for example, from "I'm angry at you because..." to "it's unfortunate this happened but I don't have to feel angry."
Do not allow anger to build up. complete an "anger check" at the end of each day to insure the addict is not allowing anger or resentments to build up.
Anticipate the outcome of the chosen method to handle the anger. Of the alternatives available at this time, which seems the most appropriate for the current situation? What is likely to happen if this particular choice is implemented? What will be the result if this does not work in helping resolve the anger?
Pray against anger or pray for peace. It is either pushing or pulling. Both ways are a fine Christians choice. That is why this retreat is the exact prescription to be healed from their abortion trauma.