Anger Management Part 3: When to Seek Help
When to Seek Help
In my last two articles (click on links below to read first two articles), I provided some tips and techniques for managing your emotions – specifically your anger.
If you give these tips and techniques a fair chance and anger is still a significant issue, you might require more support. Your community is likely to have helping professionals (like me) and classes to provide help with anger management challenges.
Asking for help is not synonymous with weakness. It’s a sign of great strength.
Consider professional help if any of these apply to you:
- You always seem to feel angry or frustrated no matter how hard you try to control yourself. If you’ve given it your best shot to control your anger on your own and you just can't, it’s time to get additional assistance. You would benefit from understanding the root cause of your anger. It's rarely effective to deal with a surface-level behavior to make lasting change. Attacking the issue at the root is usually an essential ingredient in the change process.
- Your anger negatively affects your relationships or work. Destroying your personal relationships or threatening your livelihood is a good reason to seek outside help.
- You avoid important events because you don’t feel you can control your anger. It’s okay to avoid others who trigger your anger. However, if you’re skipping your child’s baseball game because you can’t control yourself, it’s time to get professional support.
- You have legal issues because of your inability to control your anger. There are many individuals spending a lifetime in prison because of one uncontrolled outburst of anger. To avoid legal issues because of your angry behavior, get help before it’s too late.
- Your anger has resulted in violence. Anger is never justification to get physical with someone else. Violence is assault and has legal ramifications.
Anger management therapy can be great for determining why you are so angry. It’s difficult to control what you don’t understand. A therapeutic environment can be a good, safe place to explore your anger. It’s also a great place to practice strategies to control your anger.
Anger management classes and groups will let you see others with the same challenge. You can learn many tips and techniques that are being used successfully by those in the same situation.
Individual and group therapy can be invaluable tools to aid you in managing your anger more effectively. If you’ve been unable to reach a suitable level of success on your own, consider these other options.
“There are two things a person should never be angry at, what they can help, and what they cannot.”
What You Can Do for a Loved One with Anger Issues
If you have someone in your life with anger management issues, you’re probably uncomfortable in your day-to-day living. Nobody likes the feeling of walking around on eggshells all the time. Always remember you are not the cause of the anger directed at you.
You have the right to be treated with care and respect. You also have the right to live without the stress of unreasonable angry outbursts.
Try these tips to help a loved one with anger management challenges:
- Be clear about what you are willing and unwilling to tolerate. It’s human nature to push until we get what we want. If you allow your loved one to keep pushing without limits, they’re less likely to stop before things get inappropriate.
- Stand up for yourself and be clear about what is acceptable to you and what is not.
- Wait for the right time. The right time to discuss your loved one’s anger management issue is when they’re not angry. It’s also not a good time when you are angry. Wait until you are both calm and relaxed. If you think that discussing your loved one’s anger issues will result in uncontrolled anger, arrange to have the discussion in a public place or in the presence of a third party.
- Walk away. There’s a time to simply walk away when an argument gets out of hand. It takes two to argue. You don’t have to participate.
- Consider the services of a helping professional for yourself. If you find it difficult to stand up for yourself, you might require the services of an expert to learn how.
- It’s not easy to change the dynamics of a relationship once they’ve been established.
- There’s nothing wrong with admitting you need assistance in dealing with a loved one with anger issues. There are support groups for this exact purpose.
- Be safe. This is one time when trusting your gut is smart. If you feel unsafe, leave. Simply go somewhere else. It’s a good idea to develop a “safety plan” prior to an angry incident. A helping professional can assist you in developing a plan for how to handle unsafe situations.
Helping a loved one with an anger management issue is challenging. As you can imagine, the issue is likely to make them angry, which is what you’ve been trying to avoid in the first place.
Some things get even more challenging before they get better. Be strong and take the step to confront your loved one about their issue.
Lack of anger management skills is a serious challenge for many individuals. Anger is often a result of deep-rooted issues from childhood, which makes it a challenge with a long and potentially complicated history.
To function in everyday life, it’s vital to get your anger under control. Your anger negatively affects everyone around you, particularly your loved ones.
Children suffer tremendously by being around angry people. In turn, they learn poor habits for dealing with their own anger. They can also grow up in an unstable and frightening environment. The negative impact can be tremendous.
Practicing the tips and tools you’ve learned here will give you a real chance at getting your anger under control.
Many people can successfully manage their anger if they’re willing to put forth some real effort and possibly seek professional help. Nothing is a greater show of strength than the ability to control your emotions.
"Confronting our feelings and giving them appropriate expression always takes strength, not weakness. It takes strength to acknowledge our anger, and sometimes more strength yet to curb the aggressive urges anger may bring and to channel them into nonviolent outlets..."
- Fred Rogers