Identifying your ‘anger language’

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So what is your anger language?

Your anger language is which emotion typically triggers your anger.

Most people believe that their anger “just happens” in one of two ways:

Either they can’t help themselves or someone or something makes them angry.

The reality is…

The reality is you can help yourself and no one makes you angry, because anger is a choice. The reason anger is a choice is because anger is a secondary emotion. In other words, before you feel anger, you have felt something else first.

There are three primary emotions or feelings that typically come before anger. The top three are:

• Frustration – Something has not gone your way, gotten in your way, or frustrated you in some other way.

• Fear – You have gotten scared by something or you are extremely worried about something.

• Hurt – You got your feelings hurt.

Here is what you can practice – the next time you get angry, pay attention to what you were feeling before you got angry. Was it frustration, fear, or hurt?

As you get good at identifying which feeling usually comes first for you, you will be able to identify this as your primary anger language. Whatever your primary anger language is, deal with that emotion first and then the need for the anger diminishes or disappears.

Jeff Herring, MS, LMFT, is a marriage and family therapist. E-mail him at jeff@jeffherring.com or visit his Web site at www.jeffherring.com.

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