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Watch those triggers (hindu)

Learning to manage anger begins with understanding our own personality


What causes road rage?

Why does one get angry?

What is behind domestic violence?

Can it be controlled?

Why do people make a public display of their emotions?

These are the questions that run through my mind when I see street fights or a badly bruised child in the classroom or my maid with a black eye or simply a duo having a verbal spat in the middle of the road!

Recently when both print and electronic media bombarded us with the visual of Sena MP Gaikwad, face contorted with anger hitting an Air India employee, what I found more shocking was that he showed no remorse on his action. He actually believed that he had done the right thing! I am sure, like me, most people wondered what makes people behave this way. People who get angry have a low threshold for tolerance. But apart from that, one cause may be genetic or psychological.

Mental health professionals talk about the evidence that some children are born irritable, touchy and easily angered. These signs are present from infancy. And if, unfortunately, they grow up in disruptive and chaotic families, where family members are not adept at managing emotions, it creates havoc with their emotional communications and the ability to control anger.

Anger, a very strong emotion, can arise due to any reasons, one lesser known reason is fear of inadequacy or helplessness at not being in control of the situation or of everyone’s behaviour around you . The perception of being denied what you want or expect, can bring about unreasonable anger. Individuals in such a situation do not focus or channel their anger. They act it out without regard to consequences.

Angry people tend to demand things, appreciation, conformity, and willingness to do things their way. When that does not happen, they act with aggression to break the perceived barrier that is stopping them from meeting their goal. It is human trait that everyone wants to do things their way and we do get disappointed when we do not get them. But are we at liberty to really lash out at every person or object that irritates or annoys us? Law, social norms and common sense place limits on how far our anger can takes us.

Anger is dangerous, ugly and unhealthy. It clouds our judgement. It can permanently harm relationships, especially those whom we love. If you have persistent problem with anger then either you have important underlying issues that you have not yet resolved, or you are using emotional coping methods that are ineffective.

There are plenty of online articles and a number of books on anger management, but a simple way to cope with it is to identify what causes one to become unreasonably angry. Figure out in all honesty, what might have been the hidden emotion behind the anger. Taking the time to identify our own underlying emotions, help us express with words than action. We need to be aware of our own triggers – I mean, a type of behaviour which always seem to get under our skin, it quickly provokes us into a reactive behaviour rather than proactive and thoughtful one. If we take time to notice and understand our feelings, we are likely to think more productively about the situation.

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