How did you develop your anger habits?
Childhood Emotional Lessons:
The next step to understanding your anger is realizing how you developed your anger habits. Most of our anger tendencies were developed in childhood. These reactions then became deeply embedded responses due to years of practicing. Children tend to react on impulse. They do not reason out the long-term implications of their actions. Your immediate reaction to angry feelings probably came from three main sources. Check out this eye-opening background into your anger.
Your Natural Personality:
The first source of your anger expression came from your natural personality. We are all born with a unique disposition or temperament. This is why some people yell when they are angry, and others may run away or shrug it off. There was an interesting experiment done many years ago with toddlers. The children chosen had never seen a jack-in-the-box. They were put in a room with the toy. Someone wound the handle until the clown popped up. Some toddlers laughed, others cried, some were surprised, and still others were scared. It was an instant and natural reaction to the surprise of the pop-up clown. Hence, several of our anger traits can be traced back to our inborn personality.
Watching Another Person Convey their Temper:
Second, as a child you learned by example i.e.: watching others. Therefore as kids, we notice how the people around us expressed their anger (Mom, Dad, siblings, etc.) and chose to either follow their example or do something totally different. If you don’t identify with the person who you are watching, you often chose to go in the opposite way. Think about how your anger habits are like or different from the people who influenced you the most as a child.
Expressions of anger can give us a sense of Relief:
Finally, we tried different methods of releasing our anger and found out which ways felt the most natural and gave us the greatest relief. My top three negative anger responses are yelling, pouting or over-eating. These are ingrained habits that are hard to break. It is what I will feel most like doing when someone makes me angry. I have to make a very conscious effort to release my anger in a different way from those top three. You will probably experience the same frustration as you are learning your anger management skills. What are your unfavorable expressions of anger? How do they negatively impact your life? Do you want to change them?
If you want to change your negative anger habits but are having trouble changing; a competent professional counselor can be helpful, or you can book a conversation with Vicki at www.supportivetalk.com or read the rest of my 8 part series.