Anger Management Class: Anger and Aggression
Anger Management Class: Anger vs. Aggression
An anger management class could probably more accurately called aggression management class. This is because anger and aggression are not the same thing. Rage may lead to aggression, but it is something entirely different.
If you ask most people what the goal of an anger management class is they will more than likely say something along the lines of ” to get rid of anger”. Anger is an emotion and while its effects can be lessened through an anger management class, its not something that’s going to go away. You simply can’t go through life without getting upset anymore than you eliminate any other emotion be it happiness, sadness or fear. Its part of being human.
What most of us think of as anger management problems – getting a certain look on your face, yelling, throwing things, losing control, becoming violent, etc…are actually acts of aggression.
An anger management class will show you that you can be mad without being aggressive. You will probably be able to think of times where you got mad at someone, say a policeman who pulled you over, but didn’t show that anger in an aggressive way because you knew that the price of becoming aggressive (i.e. going to jail) was much greater than the satisfaction you might get from acting out. So you use some anger management techniques, force some sort of reasonably polite response out and go off on your way.
A rising temper is a warning signal that something is wrong. Use that signal the right way and it can be your friend. Use it the wrong way and…well you may end up in an anger management class.
It takes an enormous amount of energy to hold rage inside and it could eventually lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, gastric reflux, heart disease, cancer and a whole bunch of other things you probably don’t want to have. So, its good to find some way to release your fury, just not in an aggressive way.
Believe it or not, if you use anger the right way, you may find that you have happier and healthier relationships. Positive use of anger can also build self-esteem. If you are able to tell someone your feelings instead of keeping them inside (notice – I said “tell” not “yell”), you are saying to them and to yourself, “I am a valuable person and I expect to be treated as such.”
An example of a positive expression of frustration might be that you have a friend that is constantly late. This is very upsetting to you, but you do saying anything? If you don’t one of two things will probably happen. You will either stuff and stuff and stuff until you blow up at her or you will start to get passive aggressive and begin to make excuses to avoid her. Either way you may lose a friend.
On the other hand, If you are able to tell your friend that being late is difficult for you and makes you feel unimportant, she may actually listen, apologize, and begin to arrive on time. You may actually end up closer than you were to start with.
Now its true that she may also may get mad at you or ignore you, but I will cover that in a separate article. Right now I just want you to remember that a rising temper is a warning sign that something is wrong and that there are other ways to deal with it besides acting out.
The problem for most people in need of an anger management class is that they get mad and instead of using it as a warning sign to slow down, use it as a way to floor it and drive right off the cliff into the aggression land.
The choice of how you react to people or situations lies within you (remember my earlier example about staying cool with your boss). If your fury truly was effective people or situations would change and we wouldn’t keep getting pissed off at them. You can’t control other people, the only thing that you can control is how you deal with and express your rage.
The Difference between Anger and Aggression
Now these things may seem obvious to you, but lets take a second and look at what I mean when I am talking about aggressive behavior.
1) Deliberate intent to harm, attack, injure, hurt or control
2) Actions that harm or hurt others (e.g. hitting, shoving, punching, using words to belittle) or oneself (e.g. punching the wall, destroying something important to you).
3) Starting fights or arguments
4) Being pushy
6) Dangerous driving (aka road rage)
7) Making threats
To find out more about what you can learn in an anger management class click right here.