Anger attacks: why they arise and how we can manage them.
Several key ideas to understand how anger attacks arise and how we can manage them.
Human beings are highly emotional animalswith our moments of positive and negative emotions, necessary to adapt to the world around us.
Sadness, joy, anger, disgust and other emotions and feelings are necessary to be able to adapt to the demands of our social environment and cope with everyday life.
Anger is an emotion as necessary as any other, but sometimes, when it occurs uncontrollably and too often is when we should consider the need to seek help and think about the consequences in our immediate environment.
Here we are going to approach what are the attacks of rageWhat are the common causes and we will explain some useful techniques to control them.
What are anger attacks?
They are episodes of anger in which the person reacts of sudden and violent form before something that has annoyed him/hersuch as an injustice, a personal offense or an uncomfortable situation. The difference that occurs with a normal and adaptive anger is the fact that the person can lose control of himself, throwing objects, shouting and hitting both furniture and people.
Given the severity and violence manifested by the person possessed by the attack, this behavior is clearly a socially undesirable behavior. In addition, the environment itself can feed back into this behaviorThe environment itself can feed back into the attack, since people nearby can contribute to more tension and may even catch the rage attack.
Behind domestic incidents, domestic quarrels and other tense situations it is common to find that the fuse was lit by an angry outburst of one of the persons involved, which incited the rest to behave in a similarly violent manner.
In addition to family life and relationships with friends, people who suffer frequent bouts of anger may find that their work life is ruined. can have their work life ruined when they suffer one of these episodes at the workplace.. Problems can also occur with the authorities, when fighting with a policeman or trying to assault someone on the street.
A common characteristic of people who suffer anger attacks is that, after experiencing one of these episodes, they deeply regret what they have done, but the damage has already been done.
There are many different causes that can produce an attack of rage. Some situations that can produce these episodes are when someone's patience has been exhausted by a serious negligence or a personal offense that cannot be allowed to pass.
It can also occur when the coexistence with loved ones such as parents, siblings and the couple is not being given properly, not fulfilling household chores, having overprotection and abusive control over the lives of family members, among other aspects that can generate tension and initiate an incident at home.
It is of special mention some disorders in which anger attacks can occur: bipolar disorder, depression, Alzheimer's disease, alcoholism.... in addition to diseases that apparently may seem unrelated to emotional instability, such as Diabetes mellitus, cirrhosis, hepatitis, epilepsy, abuse of benzodiazepines, hormones, steroids, anabolic and cholesterol-lowering drugs.
It is worth mentioning substance abuse, since it is common in all of them to have episodes of excessive anger, since they directly affect brain chemistry.
Techniques to control our anger
Here are some useful techniques to keep anger attacks at bay and avoid their detrimental effects on our lives, personal relationships and health.
1. Learn to express yourself emotionally
One key to preventing anger from taking hold of us is to try to name what is happening to us. It may be that we have experienced a situation that we find unpleasant, but we have not said how it made us feel. we have not said how it has made us feel.
It is very important to talk to the person who is involved in the bad thing that has happened to us, whether he or she is the cause of the evil or a person who may have lived through the problematic situation with us.
Expressing ourselves helps us to understand the problem more deeply, since it forces us to reflect on it. It also encourages the person listening to us to show a little empathy towards us and to be more sympathetic to our feelings.
In this way, the potential anger attack is transformed into self-reflection, into understanding of what is happening to us.In this way, the potential anger attack is transformed into self-reflection, into understanding of what is happening to us, into empathy and, eventually, into a better self-knowledge that will bring us joy and satisfaction.
2. Change your emotional language
In many occasions, at the beginning of what will later become an anger attack, the angry person says things like "you always say bad things to me", "you treat me like I am garbage", "you never listen to me" .....
Instead of saying it in these words, and using a hostile tone, let's try to translate it into more positive language, let's try to translate it into more positive language..
Lowering the tone, and trying to avoid increasing the tension, we can express the same ideas in the following way: "I think the way you treat me makes me feel in a way I don't want to", "I have become angry because I feel that you never listen to me, or at least not in the way I would like"....
These sentences say, in essence, the same thing as the first ones, only that the tone in them changes in a way that makes them softer, as well as detailing how we feel.They also detail how we feel without resorting to swear words or generating tension.
3. Be empathetic
This maxim, which may seem obvious, is, in practice, rarely used. Being empathetic implies putting yourself in the other person's shoes and trying to understand why they have said something that has upset us.
It may be that the person is going through a bad time, and has found it necessary to say something somewhat unpleasant in order to release some of his or her emotional discomfort. We should try to make an effort to understand what he or she is going through.
If you can, ask the other person how they feel, if they need help, and if they would prefer that you put aside the issue you are arguing about to address their problem. In this way, in addition to defusing the situation, you will encourage positive feelings to emerge..
4. It's not a battle
Whether it's your partner, your friend, your boss or anyone else, the fact that they feel and think differently from you and perceive the situation differently does not mean that they are attacking you.
Human beings are very diverse and we almost never agree on the same thing.. There are as many opinions as there are people in the world, and that is why we must make an effort to prevent a misunderstanding from turning into a full-fledged war.
Sharing your thoughts and reflections can be a really positive thing, as it helps us to have a richer vision of the world around us.
5. Encourage active listening
How many times have we spoken to someone and what went in one ear came out the other? When this happens to us it is very frustrating, because we feel undervalued. we feel underappreciated and that we are not taken seriously.
It is very important that, in case someone is telling us about their problems, we listen to them in an active way, that is, trying to understand and remember what they are telling us, ask them about how they feel and, if possible, explain something of our lives that is related to what they are sharing with us.
If we listen to her, she will listen to us when we share our feelings.. Many conflicts are the result of people not knowing how to talk and not listening to each other, leading to terrible misunderstandings.
6. Be aware of the consequences
Stop in your tracks before you say something unkind. Take a breath. Think about what this could lead to. What happened? How did it end? Do you feel satisfied with the situation at that moment?
It is very important to be aware of how the escalation of tension is going to unfold.. If you have experienced it before and therefore have experience of previous anger attacks, it is very important to reflect on how it ended.
It may seem obvious, but remembering what happened in the previous anger attack can be a useful technique to stop the current attack in its tracks. This way we avoid going further.
(Updated at Mar 28 / 2023)