Chapter 7: Confrontation and Managing Anger
“I’m so angry!!!”
Confrontation and anger are paradoxical emotions: of most any emotions in the human spectrum, I believe they are the most vulnerable to misunderstanding and misinterpretation. Think about it: have you ever had a time when you were mildly upset about something, offered feedback, and the person overreacted to your dissension. Or, have you ever been REALLY upset about something, and then the person treated you like your concern was no big deal? Either way it can be very frustrating! Indeed, it can be hard to be understood when we are frustrated.
So what triggers anger in most of us? Is it impatience? Frustration? Here is a nice video on sources that I like:
Now, lets do an exercise to see if we can put these tasks at action.
Communication Exercise: Identifying Triggers for Anger
What are some of your triggers for anger? Is it things like the way things are organized? People? Things? Partner up with someone and talk about the following questions.
- A big trigger of anger for me is……
- When it comes to other people, I hate it when they…..
- A thing I do myself that I think can trigger people unintentionally at times is….
- When I do feel triggered, the thing I do that HURTS the situation is….
- When I do feel triggered, the thing I do that HELPS the situation is…..
Did you find you and your partner had some similar triggers? Or different ones? Did you learn something from them that could help you?
Controlling Your Anger
What about anger management? How are you at this? How do you manage it? Dr. Christian Conte has 5 specific suggestions on how to manage it I enjoy. Watch his video:
Communication Exercise: Identifying Bad Communication Behaviors
Lets review Dr. Conte’s 5 keys. They are:
- Don’t be attached
- Don’t take things personally
- Learning when to let things go
- Be aware of what’s going on in your body
- Learning how to say what’s really going on with you
Your instructors will role play two people getting upset (if there is only one instructor, this can be a classmate and an instructor), watch their interaction and then afterwards identify different ways the upset people could approach each of these steps. Discuss in a large group.
Email Question #7:
When it comes to your anger, how do you think it is the hardest to control? Why do you think its so hard to control it during these types of situations?
Lets take Dr. Contes 5 steps and apply them to yourself. Think of a time you handled your anger poorly–what did you do wrong? How might you have handled it differently? Write a time you can think of and summarize it below:
Now, apply his 5 principles. How could you use each of them to create a different way to address the issue in the future? Take each step and write your thoughts.
–Don’t be attached
–Don’t take things personally
–Learn when to let things go
–Be aware of what’s going on in your body
–Learn how to say what’s really going on with you