Anger And Fear – Comprehensive Article
Yesterday I was taking a friend of mine to the bus that will take her back home in another city that is four hours away. Since she was going to spend 4 hours without food I had to go and buy her some things to eat while being in the bus but a lady who works there suddenly shouted at me and told me “Its not allowed to bring these things into the bus and if you are going to give them to your friend I will let her leave the bus in the middle of the road”
Suddenly I became very angry and I shouted at her, I told her “Give me your name and the bus number, I will call your boss and show you the consequences of talking to customers like that”
The lady then came and apologized and told me that we she was just kidding and since my friend is an expert in lying detection she told me that the lady was honest.
I was angry because I was afraid
Behind anger always lies fear, Even if the angry person appears to be strong and in control fear will always be the reason behind his anger.
I was afraid that the lady does what she said which is leaving my friend in the middle of the highway alone. My fear that my friend gets treated badly made me angry and so anger was there to protect me from my fears.
If I knew that she was kidding (even though she didn’t) I would have just said “what a weird way to joke” but since I was afraid my anger exploded.
The relationship between anger and fear
Whenever you find yourself angry just ask yourself one question, what am I afraid of?
If you found yourself shouting at another driver then you might find that you were afraid of the damage that was going to happen to your car.
If you found that you are angry at a lazy employee then most probably you will find that you were afraid that your company performs bad or that your own manager evaluates you poorly.
If you were angry at someone who made fun of you then you might find that you were afraid of what people might say about you if you didn’t take strong actions.
Anger and depression
One of the main causes for depression is suppressed anger. If your rights were constantly violated and if you didn’t manage to channel the resulting anger correctly you will end up depressed. In my book,The ultimate guide to getting over depression i explained how suppressed emotions can be one of the main reasons causing depression. People who manage to channel their suppressed emotions in a timely manner are less likely to get depressed.
Anger management is deeper than controlling your breath or counting from one to ten because unless you have a deep understanding of your fears you might be wasting your time on techniques that will never work. One of the vital steps for controlling anger is learning how to control your fears.
If you found a person angry and shouting then try to understand the reasons that are behind his anger so that you can comfort him. For example If your boss told you “you are always late” never tell him “I understand that you are afraid that people might say that you are a weak manager but instead say “I am sorry, I know this might affect my scorecard and I will be on time starting tomorrow”. Instead of shouting at him and saying that he is bossy just understand his fears and comfort him and he will become calm again in minutes.
Threats and the fight or flight response
Normally when a human being faces a threat a self defense mechanism called the fight or flight response is activated to help him to either run from that situation or fight what’s threatening him.
However, in our modern world most of the threats that we face cannot be solved by either of these two choices. For example the threat of making your boss angry when arriving late or the threat of losing your job cannot be solved by fighting your boss or running from him!!
The problem with triggering the fight or flight response
The problem with triggering the fight and flight response when its not needed is that it exhausts your body on the long term.
Because many changes take place in your body during the fight or flight response problems might arise if it was triggered often.
A countless number of diseases can result from these false alarms including cancer, heart attacks, strokes and even suicidal behavior!!.
The different types of stress
There are different types of stress that a person might experience throughout his life, these types are:
- Episodic Acute Stress: Where you get stressed because you are in a rush because you have many things to do in a short period of time. Usually type A personalities suffer from this type of stress.
- Chronic stress: Where a person is stressed as a result of a problem that doesn’t seem to have a solution in the time being or at least in the near future. Poverty or living with someone that you don’t love or even living in a country with economic problems like unemployment or inflation can result in chronic stress. The problem with chronic stress is that sometimes people get used to it to the extent that they becomes totally unaware of its presence
- Acute stress: is the normal stress you experience when facing a threat. Your fight and flight response is activated when facing acute stress
What can cause stress?
Stress can be caused by either internal factors, external factors or both. Examples of external factors are:
- Noise (If the television was turned on you can simply turn it off)
- Bad lighting (Bad lighting may increase your stress because it makes concentration harder)
- People who talk beside you or even talk to you
- Interruption by any means
- Being in an untidy place and having difficulties finding your stuff. This increases stress
All the previous were external factors but the real causes of the stress are internal. After all, if you weren’t stressed in the first place hearing some noise is very unlikely to make you stressed. Below are some of the reasons that could lead to stress:
- You are a type A personality
- You are loaded with work but limited in time
- You are being pressured or pushed to complete your work
- You have to choose between alternatives and time is short
- Your decisions will have a big impact and so you must not make mistakes
- You have some problems and can’t find solutions to them
Some people think that smoking can help them reduce their stress and as a result they smoke whenever they find themselves stressed.
Anger management is not suppressing your emotions
Contrary to common beliefs, anger management is not suppressing your anger but it’s rather controlling the flow of it and directing it to the right people instead of projecting it on others who have done nothing bad to you.
For example, if someone bothered you and then you became angry you might incorrectly do any of the following:
- Shout at your kids when you go home when they do the slightest mistake
- Shout at the drivers in the street
- Start a fight with anyone who does anything even if he was just kidding
Directing your anger towards innocent people is wrong however directing it to the people who originally bothered you is a healthy action that must be done in order to prevent suppressed emotions from turning into depression.
Anger management strategies
When someone gives you a punch in your face, give him a punch too, then apply anger management to :
- Not give him another one
- To not shout at innocent people like your wife, kids or friends who have done nothing bad to you
Lots of the people you see shouting all the time are actually angry at other things but they don’t know how to control their anger nor do they understand that directing it to the right place will make them become calmer. The man who always shouts at everyone has something that is bothering him in his life that he can’t deal with it.
So should you forgive people instead of punching them? Yes but only if you can punch them. For example if the world’s wrestling champion bullied you and then you decided to control your anger you will be actually fooling yourself and surely you will get depressed.
Your subconscious mind will understand that you are deceiving it, the trust you have for yourself will decrease, you will lose self respect and your self esteem will be affected.
On the other hand if one of your friends annoyed you while you had the power to force him to apologize then forgiving him would then be an option.
Anger management means protecting innocent people and punching bad ones in the face. Once someone told me why you are shouting at me while you are teaching anger management, I told him, shouting at you now is anger management my friend.