Emotional Immaturity

Anger Management

In the past, ‘blowing off steam’ was considered a healthy form of anger management, because it was believed to be unhealthy to keep anger bottled up inside. (“March | 2009 | Zambian Chronicle | Page 3”) Unfortunately, despite evidence that blowing up does not solve problems (and causes trauma for the others involved) some people still believe in so-called “Healthy” expressions of anger, that often leave those at whom the anger is directed, devastated in its wake.

People who cannot stand feeling helpless get angry instead. Anger and adrenaline give the illusion of being more in control of the situation when nothing could be less true. Getting angry instead of feeling ashamed or anxious, allows people to avoid having to deal with the real problem, but that does not make the problem go away, so the anger just continues to spiral out of control, until it manifests itself in the most negative aspects of poor anger management.

“Some people with poor anger management skills believe they have the right to vent their frustrations on others verbally, physically, or by breaking things.” (“sorach.com”)

“Angry outbursts do not alleviate the feeling of being threatened, the fear, or the sense of betrayal that hides underneath the anger.” (“08 | March | 2009 | Zambian Chronicle”)

Angry people tend to block vulnerable feelings of hurt, sadness, guilt, and vulnerability, but the emotions often surface as anger, and become a substitute emotion for the other emotions they keep buried. A person who believes they have a right to vent anger on others never quite matures or grows up emotionally.

They remain stuck in a child-like reactive state when they feel frustrated, instead of responding with positive anger management methods, respond with temper tantrums, screaming, name calling, and responses that increase anger, by causing the body to produce even more adrenaline. (“March | 2009 | Zambian Chronicle | Page 3”)

Screaming may give a temporary relief from anger, but yelling, name calling, and swearing never solves problems. In fact, the habit of yelling breaks down natural inhibitions that most people have about not acting out their harmful impulses. (“08 | March | 2009 | Zambian Chronicle”)

Habitual reactions, like yelling, create pathways in the brain making it easier for the pattern to be repeated, and gradually encroaches in every aspect of life. Hostility breeds hostility, and open expressions of hostility harm not only everyone in the path of the rage, but they also harm the person who has failed to attain a level of maturity to learn effective anger management skills most of all, by alienating those who absolutely love them.

Anger Management and The Bad Seed

The increased instances of poor anger management or a lack of impulse control, which is a direct cause of poor anger management, and children committing horrendous crimes such as murdering other children, committing school shootings, and killing their parents, have led some people to wonder if some children just born bad. Are there bad seeds, or are these children a product of nurture or nature, or a combination of both?

There is some evidence that excessive stress during the pregnancy can cause a higher level of testosterone in hormonal bathing that leads to a child who is chemically more prone to anger and hostility, there may be organic brain dysfunctional causes that precipitate children toward such aggressive, angry, and destructive behavior.

Another likely reason for these tendencies could be severe physical abuse leading to damage of the frontal lobes of the child’s developing brain, which is the area helping control impulses and reactions. Children, who experience family aggression, or those whose needs are neglected by their parents, grow up angry, thinking that no one cares about them. (“Anger Management Strategies – Anger In Children, Is It …”)

Excessive stress in their early lives may cause changes in brain their chemistry. (“Anger Management Strategies – Anger In Children, Is It …”) These neglected and abused children grow up seeing others as objects to be used. “Their lack of early socialization skills and bonding make them into uncaring adults who feel justified in hurting others.” (“Anger Management Strategies – Anger In Children, Is It …”) They see the aggressor in the home as holding all the power and they crave that power for themselves, so they become aggressive and feel no remorse over forcing their will on others.

Children and teenagers can be violent, and even deadly. “Some young people turn to violence, because they do not see other ways to endure what they are feeling at that moment.” (“Helping a Child Express Anger”) They may not understand the consequences of violent behavior.

“These tips may help when you recognize a child who is withdrawing or exploding over everyday frustrations:” (“Tips for Helping the Child Who Expresses Anger – At Health”)

  • Show confidence in his or her ability to develop good anger management skills, and model positive behaviors. (“Anger Management Strategies – Anger in Children, Is It …”)
  • Tell your child that everyone experiences anger, talk about the last time you felt angry, and share the positive ways of managing their anger. (“Welcome to SUCCESSTRICK Blog| Your Future Success: Anger …”)
  • Encourage the child to walk away from their stressors, and spend some time doing things he or she really likes to do, like sports, walking the dog, reading a book, etc. A change of scenery or activity can provide distraction from the source of the anger.
  • Teach basic critical thinking skills and anger management. When upsetting things happen, the child who has practiced these skills will be more likely to think through the consequences and be better able to make choices other than violence. (“Anger Management Strategies – Anger in Children, Is It …”)
  • Look at your own anger management skills. Are you teaching good skills for children to model?

If none of these approaches work, seek help. Talk to a doctor or pediatrician. (“Anger Management Strategies – Anger in Children, Is It …”) You may decide that your child and family need help from someone with more mental health training to learn positive to deal with anger management issues.

Best Wishes, Coyalita

Behavioral Health Rehab Specialist

See Tomorrow: “Anger Management and Causes of Anger”

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