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If you’ve ever found yourself repressing your anger and behaving in other ways to get your point across, you may be someone who is adept at engaging in passive-aggressive behavior. Although passive-aggressive behavior is recognized as a psychological disorder, it also describes the behavior that many people use to cope with confrontational situations. Such behavior has the outward appearance of being peaceful, yet it is really an attempt to express oneself in seemingly passive ways—usually without accepting responsibility for doing so. For example, someone who doesn’t want to attend an event with a partner might engage in behavior that causes them to be late or miss the event without ever admitting to their partner that they never wanted to go to the function at all. Procrastination, inefficiency, stubbornness, and sullenness are some of the many ways that anger can be expressed indirectly.
It is important not to judge ourselves when we engage in passive-aggressive behavior. You may want to consider that you are not owning your feelings or your expression by indirectly expressing yourself. Perhaps you are judging your feelings and needs as wrong—which is why you are expressing yourself indirectly. You also may be worried that others will judge you for feeling the way that you do. Remember that anger and every other emotion are never good or bad. They can, however, become toxic of you don’t express them in healthy and proactive ways. When we express ourselves directly, we are more likely to be heard by the other person. It also becomes easier for us to ask for and get what we want.
Once we learn to be honest with ourselves about our feelings, we can begin to directly express ourselves to others. By learning to express ourselves directly, we prevent misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and resentment from cropping up in our relationships. We also learn to communicate with others in healthy and productive ways. It is never too late to start working on ourselves and our behaviors, just take it one day at a time.
Anger is the emotion that seems to get people into the most trouble with teachers, parents, family, friends and police. Too much anger fuels huge problems. Ever see someone having “road rage?” It’s scary to watch or experience and it’s very dangerous. Someone who gets that angry is out of control, is showing terrible judgment and is placing his own and other’s lives in great jeopardy.
Anger occurs when frustration is high. In moderation it is fine. It warns us that something is wrong and needs to be addressed. It often arises from a sense of injustice, a feeling that something is very unfair. It is a great motivator: sometimes for the good, as when a person uses anger to take constructive action and does not lose control; and sometimes it’s bad, as when a driver loses control and acts with reckless hostility.
We all live in a frustrating world. We all need to learn how to control or direct the frustration, which can quickly turn into anger. Temper tantrums are only for very young children. When you feel yourself becoming too angry, or on the brink of acting on your anger, you might: 1. Try the old “count to ten” technique: it often works by delaying action.
2. Think about the fear or frustration that caused the other person to act in a way that upset you.
3 Try to feel empathy for the person rather than anger. Sometimes compassion calms hostility.
4. If you or someone (or something) you care about is being treated unfairly, try to offer a solution that makes the situation more fair.
Sometimes simply walking away is a great alternative to acting out your anger. That takes a lot of poise and maturity—and it shows a lot of poise and maturity, too.
Anger doesnâ€™t have to be a bad emotion. When kept in check, anger can inspire great writing, great athletic performance or great social progress. But restraint and good sense are the keys to having anger be constructive rather than destructive. It can be either.