Anger Articles

Anger Detection and the Brain

Saturday, October 11th, 2014

angry woman screaming man 2When Greta gets angry, Dave has noticed that she tends to be quiet, almost stoic. Greta can detect slight changes in Dave’s tone of voice that signal to her he is angry. Couples like us can learn to be extremely sensitive to signs of anger in their partners, because understanding your partner’s emotional state helps you decide how to respond.

It’s also important to be able to detect anger in strangers — in some cases, your very life might depend on it! Over the years, lots of research on anger has focused on facial expressions. While “anger” does have a characteristic facial expression that is readily detected, there’s plenty of other evidence we can use to decide if someone is angry, like Dave’s tone of voice and Greta’s silence. Until the past decade, however, very little research had been conducted on another important component of anger detection: Body position and movements.

Silence: The Secret Communication Tool

Monday, October 6th, 2014

The Secret Communication ToolWhat if I told you silence is good for communication? Would you believe me?

You wouldn’t be alone if you said no. Most people probably would disagree with me. In fact, many would argue that silence isn’t even communication at all.

In reality, though, silence can be a very effective communication tool. Communication is simply about conveying a message, and sometimes silence can do that better than any words.

3 Ways Breaking Up Can Actually Improve Your Life

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

Breaking Up

Learn about some of the positive things that can come out of a difficult breakup.

Breaking up is a horribly painful experience, whether it’s with someone you’ve only been dating for a little while or with a spouse you’ve been married to for years. I rank it up there in terms of stress with those other biggies — losing your job, moving, and so on. You’re likely to lose sleep, eat more or less, feel angry and sad (maybe at the same time), and wonder why this had to happen to you.

Childhood PTSD: Spanking Is Not ‘About Love,’ It’s About Rage

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

early-start-for-kids-with-autismMy first memory is of being spanked. I was 3 years old, and I didn’t know what I had done wrong. All I know is that it made me terrified of my father and forever doubtful of my safety in my home.

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was recently suspended after he was charged with reckless or negligent injury of a child after allegedly spanking his 4-year-old son with a switch. Peterson’s mother Bonita Jackson told the Houston Chronicle that spanking “is not about abuse”:

Managing Anger

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Managing AngerRegulating emotions is one of the best things that you can do for yourself and others in your environment.

Emotional regulation is really about the ability to bring yourself back on even keel, to calm yourself down when you are distressed, to lift yourself up when you are feeling dejected, and to help yourself feel better. It is about being able to restrain yourself from destructive actions and point yourself in the direction of constructing, value-creating actions.

Emotions provide us with information, and by acknowledging them and redirecting them as needed, we become less a victim of our thoughts and feelings and more of a responsible steward of them.

How to Be Real Without Being Mean

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

What is Anger?The mantra to “get real” has become popular nowadays — and for good reason. We live in a society where images rule and authenticity is reserved for blue jeans and ethnic recipes. We’re trained to polish and parade a false self that we think will garner acceptance and accolades.

The isolation and disconnection that’s rampant in our society is based on a disconnection from our own genuine feelings and longings. We’re afraid to show what’s real, including our fears, insecurities, and yearning for love and intimacy. Instead, we may try to project a confident, self-assured, unruffled self that we think will win us friends and gain success. For example, we might conceal our hurt or sadness when our partner is late. Our built-up disappointment or resentment might leak out later over something trivial, which leaves our partner confused.

Are You Fighting Fair? 5 Ways NOT to Fight With Your Partner

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Why Fighting With Your Spouse Might Save Your Marriage

There’s a reason you aren’t getting along.

Are you finding it difficult to communicate with an ex or with your partner? If so, then this article will shed some light on why you keep having challenging and aggressive conversations.

Below are five critical mistakes I see my clients (and myself!) making to create arguments, spur hatred and disable relationships.

Subtle Signs It Might Be Time to See a Therapist

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Getting to the Good PartOften it’s not glaringly obvious that we need to seek professional help. So we wait until we’re experiencing crippling anxiety, a deep depression, full-blown insomnia or seething self-loathing to finally contact a therapist.

In fact, many people do. According to some research, people wait years or even decades before seeking help.

However, going to therapy early — before problems become deeply entrenched — means we can feel better faster, and start the process of healing sooner.

The Sad Truth about Your Smile

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

The Sad Truth about Your SmileIf you’re subscribing to the old adage of “grin and bear it” “keeping smiling” or “chin up” to mask unwanted negative emotions, you’re not doing yourself any favors, or fooling anyone else for that matter — science shows us homo sapiens are not that easily fooled.

Researchers say that over time, putting on a fake smile can actually cause people to associate smiling with feeling unhappy, an internal cognitive dissonance, causing not only temporary confusion, but a sense of  uneasiness. The better option that is recommended is that people should instead forgo a smile until whatever negative emotion they’re feeling is resolved or subsided.

Powerful Parenting: Anger Management Tips for Children

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

Powerful Parenting: Anger Management Tips for ChildrenAnger occurs when a person of any age is feeling overwhelmed and overpowered. It is our way to say “No, stop it! I don’t like it. It is unfair. I can’t handle it,” and so on. Since children have many rules to learn and follow daily, they are likely to feel challenged and frustrated often. Therefore, parents should not be surprised that children question and challenge boundaries.

Anger is natural. It is about our sense of feeling wronged and attempts at boundary setting. It does not have to be toxic and abusive, but it might escalate to that level. It happens when people don’t know how to express and handle it appropriately. It is important to allow children to express their anger and teach them how to go about it.

It’s the Little Things That Lead to Happiness

Friday, September 5th, 2014

let it go butterfly freeWhat’s the best part of your day?

For me, it’s waking up early and having coffee on my porch as I watch the sun rise. There’s just something calming about this little morning ritual. I never miss it, it’s truly one of the highlights of my day.

Of course there are other things that can brighten your mood during the course of your day that you might not think so much about.

Reactivity and Its Impact

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Reactivity and Its ImpactI recently presented to a large group of Direct Support Professionals, people who support individuals with behavioral challenges. I have conducted similar workshops for family members of those with serious mental illness.

We talk about stress management, self-protection, and the limits of compassion. We meditate together. But the topic that always garners the most interest is how the supporters’ own reactivity, or fight or flight response, can precipitate negative behaviors in the individuals they support.

Recent Comments
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  • annie_taco: yep, I could relate this to my self. I am a very super introvert person. I get so often be in social...
  • Betheny: What you said about people sensing there is something different about you and not wanting to be around is...
  • K: Great article! I have found this to be so true…and wish I’d realized it years ago. Love the canoe...
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