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Opinions Mon, 11 May 2020

My anger could be what drives people away from me

People frequently ask me why they are not able to keep healthy friendships, relationships or jobs.

How we express our emotions can have an effect on us.

We may unconsciously drive people away from us by the way we express ourselves or how we manage our emotions.

Emotions are natural and can be very strong. They are meant to contribute to forming our personality and development.

Anger is a natural emotion, and every person at some point in their life have had anger outbursts at something that might have triggered such an emotion. Being angry is not bad. In fact, is healthy to be angry when need be.

Anger becomes a problem when the outbursts are too frequent and it starts to affect you and the people around you. This can also have an effect on your health both physically and mentally.

Your anger can affect not only you but the people in your life as well. It casts a negative feeling on those around you.

At the very least, your anger can cause people to feel put off, upset, intimidated, afraid, or a handful of other unpleasant emotions. You’re also running the risk of pushing loved ones out of your life for good or losing your job.

Anger may contribute to the development of a host of unhealthy patterns in relationships. If allowed to continue unchecked, angry outbursts and behaviours tend to escalate.

In relationships where calm, open dialogue is overshadowed by rage-filled words and deeds, loving bonds may be replaced with heavy layers of resentment.

Unfortunately, too many people come to accept their angry outbursts as an unchangeable part of who they are. In fact, they may feel hopeless to change. So they end up leaving it to cause long term chaos in their lives.

Most of these anger may have underlining reasons. Some of these factors may include:

• Suppressed Trauma

• Past tormenting secrets

• Health problems

• Problems in relationships

• Childhood problems unaddressed

• Stress

How to reorganize your own thought patterns so that anger-producing thoughts and feelings are greatly reduced:

When you feel anger rising, ask yourself, “Why am I choosing to be angry right now? I have other choices. What choice would be more useful at the moment?”

Before allowing hurt feelings to flourish, say, “I am going to choose not to be offended”.

• Pause for 10 seconds. Choose an attitude of calm that will allow you to respond respectfully.

• Walk away from the situation or person causing the anger.

• Start counting down from 10 to 1 whiles breathing in and out to slow down your reaction.

• Establish firm boundaries. Reduce the amount of time spent with those whose anger is expressed in unhealthy ways.

• Cultivate and nourish relationships with people who treat you with respect.

• Arrange to meet with a therapist when you need help establishing healthy patterns in your relationships with others.

• Establish your own calming method of reminding yourself when anger is building up or you feel a trigger.

• Have someone you can trust who is good at helping you to calm down.

• Address the stressful situation or environment that is causing you stress/anger.

Persistent Anger can cause both Mental and physical health problems.

By: Dr. Annie Gaisie, Psychologist - Addictive Behaviour.

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Columnist: Dr. Annie Gaisie