I’ve just finished reading, The Anger Habit by Carl Semmelroth, Ph.D. The author explodes a long-held myth about this troubling emotion. Many of us believe that we must “express” our anger or “let it out,” or else the anger will “build up” and we’ll “explode.”
Almost everyone believes this myth, including most therapists. But it isn’t true. Research shows that people who do things in anger don’t become less angry. They become angrier!
The feeling of anger is a signal that we are preparing to attack someone. It’s usually not physical. More often we attack with criticism, sarcasm, martyrdom, ignoring, or just judgmental thoughts.
Whatever we do when we’re angry, it’s probably going to be stupid. Anger clouds our judgement and keeps us from seeing all of the possible solutions to a problem.
The key to handling anger is to first acknowledge it. Then wait until it passes. Only then you can make a rational decision about how to deal with the problem.
Remember, when anger goes up, the IQ comes down. If you’re angry, let it pass and then decide what do to.