Dr. Susan Saxe-Clifford

  General Principles Regarding Anger

1. Anger is a common emotion.

2. Anger needs to be expressed for healthy adjustment.

Understanding Your Experience Of Anger

1. Were you socialized to believe that anger is wrong?

2. Did you know that anger is associated with anxiety?

3. At times anger is used to control and intimidate others.

4. Fear of anger is normal.

a) Fear of your own anger.

b) Fear of the anger of others.

5. Anger is a normal reaction to certain stimuli.

6. Do you believe that you are unable to control anger?

7. There are physiological responses with anger (survival emotion).

8. Pretending that you don't get angry can make you sick.

9. Blocked and unexpressed anger does not go away.

10. When not expressed assertively and appropriately, anger tends to pop up at inappropriate times and in destructive ways, such as resentment and hostility.

Barriers To Expressing Anger

1. Fear of disapproval.

2. Fear of the power of your anger.

3. Denial of the fact of your anger. Excuses that you are only:

a) Stressed out.

b) Tired.

c) Sick.

4. Allowing others to deny your right to be angry.

5. Avoidance of all feelings.

a) Out of touch with emotional experience.

b) Not aware of what it feels like to be angry.

c) Never feeling sad or happy.

Avoid Inappropriate Expression Of Anger: Violence And Rage

1. Take responsibility for your emotional experience.

2. Acknowledge that inappropriate expression of anger is not acceptable.

3. Learn anger management.

4. Identify how your behavior has affected and harmed others.

Penalties For Not Expressing Anger

1. Depression -- experienced as feeling incompetent.

2. Anxiety -- often experienced with fear.

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