In moments of intense upset or high anxiety you may feel overwhelmed, feeling your emotions are or could be “out of control” or as if anxiety is driving your behavior. I provide an alternative in real time to lashing out or bottling up and shutting down and other reactive, automatic behaviors.
This process is called “ANGER TRIGGERS: A Self-Soothing, D-Escalation and Assertiveness Approach.” In this process, you become aware of and acknowledge when something “gets to you,” soothe yourself and put the situation in perspective in the moment through a three-minute structured process. You address what occurred later or another day… most people know from experience that the outcome is usually disappointing or worse if they are reactive in the hot moment or soon after, when still upset.
You may not think that you have an anger management problem because you don’t lose your temper. If you automatically bottle up feelings, withdraw and or replay what happened, again and again, you may want to reconsider. Like lashing out, withdrawing interferes with the flow of a relationship. Over time these unresolved feelings build and lead to an outburst or depression or both.
Both those who internalize or externalize their anger share a common link. Neither knows how to express themselves coherently and effectively about the triggering situation. You will acquire tools to decide if, when and how to address it afterwards. Once you digest what happened you could reframe a possible confrontation into conversation and be true to yourself at the same time with my “Template for Transformation.” Being able to regulate strong emotions and spikes in anxiety makes success in all types of relationships more likely.
Through this Approach you will break self-defeating automatic patterns, replacing them with a problem-solving, forward looking mind-set in the process of finding your own style of assertiveness. Click on "Candor or Confrontation?" toward the bottom of the tabs on the left for more thoughts on this topic. Also, you may find, "But, I Just Don't feel the Spark," interesting if you are in an unsatisfying relationship where you feel your expectations aren’t being met.
You may not like what another person says or does but how you react is your decision. You decide how to react and cannot blame your decision on another person. But when it FEELS as if the other person caused your feeling, the impulse to want to change the other person or being fed up with them for not changing may lie behind the way we express our anger. However, you cannot change others. You can only change yourself and by changing your attitudes and behaviors, the people around you often change theirs.
I can offer you a new view of anger. I can show you techniques that will allow you to end being at the mercy of your emotionally driven behavior that could lead to obsessing or ruminating about what occurred, amplifying your upset or increasing your anxiety. Most important, I can give you the tools to make yourself heard on your terms and in your own style. Ultimately, we all want to be heard and to be effective, and these reactive patterns do not allow for that to happen.