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Help Others to Ease Their Rage

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Rage is not an emotion; it is a defensive reaction to a perceived threat. When threatened, our intrinsic reaction is to protect ourselves lest something bad happens to us.

Know The Basics

When we think of anger, we think of external actions we see such as your body tensing, shouting, throwing things, or getting violent. This is more rage than anger.

Anger and rage are not identical. You can be angry without being enraged. When you examine your experiences, you will without doubt discover times when you got angry and dealt with it in a non-aggressive way, for example refraining from hitting your boss when you lose your job.

Anger is an ordinary emotion. It is a warning that something is wrong. Use your anger in an appropriate way and it may be your friend. Use it in an inappropriate way and it will get you into trouble. It is good to release anger as it takes a tremendous amount of energy to hold rage inside and may lead to hypertension, diabetes, gastric reflux, heart condition, and a cluster of issues you do not wish to have.

When you express anger properly, you will have more fulfilling relationships. Positive use of anger may build self-respect. If you can tell somebody your feelings rather than holding them inside, you are saying, “I'm a valuable individual and I expect to be treated as such.”

Your goal is not to make anger vanish, but to learn to deal with rage in a way that will leave you feeling empowered rather than with the temporary illusion of power that hostility might give you.

You have the power to choose how you respond to individuals or situations. You cannot control others, but you can control how you express your anger.

Different categories.

Different categories.

The Eight Types of Rage

Incensed individuals commonly fall into one of the following eight distinct styles.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are usually relaxed individuals until something goes wrong. They have zero frustration tolerance and will take out their exasperation on whomever or whatever is perceived to be causing trouble in their lives.

When they calm down and realize that they went overboard, they will apologize. This might work the first couple of times, but individuals often become alienated when the offensive behavior keeps occurring.

They often are aware they have a rage issue but feel unable to change.

The Hider

Hiders suppress their rage and seethe in silence. Frequently, they will replay a scene in their minds imagining what they would do differently if given the opportunity. They might speak to a friend or their spouse, but it is uncommon for them to have a real outward expression of rage. When they do convey their anger, it is often to the extreme as the repressed frustration comes bursting out of them.

The Chooser

Choosers do not express their rage toward the individual or the situation that caused them to be upset. Rather, they become mad at somebody else, usually someone who does not make them feel threatened.

For instance, they might get irked by their boss, but head home and scream at the youngsters for any petty reason.

The Cactus

The Cactus is perpetually grumpy. They are good at complaining about issues, but not at trying to correct them. They complaint all the time about everything.

The Cactus is the most understood of the rage personalities as they frequently suffer from depression or an anxiety disorder. They are uncomfortable in their own skin and feel unvalued and unloved.

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The Prosecutor

Prosecutors will question any point that might disagree with theirs. Prosecutors will simply wear their "adversaries" down until they are exhausted. Prosecutors believe they are attempting to make a rational decision, but it may not feel like that to those on the receiving end. They can be sarcastic, cutting, arbitrary and arrogant.

The Frightener

Frighteners are individuals who express their rage through physical or emotional abuse. Anger or rage is deemed an effective tool in acquiring what they wish. They might not hit, but they scream, shout, throw things, hit walls, or slam doors all to threaten and control others. They will often ignore the needs or wishes of their victims as they assume that their beliefs and decisions are more crucial than their victims.

The Turtle

The Turtle is an example of somebody whose response pattern is to stop dead or submit. Turtles respond to troublesome situations by closing. You have made a statement or asked a question to a Turtle and expect a fair and relevant reaction. What you get is a yep, a nah, a grunt, or even nothing. Unresponsiveness is a guarded way of addressing potentially painful interpersonal situations. Others use unresponsiveness as a sort of calculated hostility to punish the victim.

The Sniper

Snipers come out of nowhere and leave little room for the other to react. They hide behind dubious strategies such as crude comments, sarcastic humor, or a roll of the eyes. They may employ confusion as a weapon by making irrelevant comments that leave individuals looking dimwitted. This is often done in a flippant way to get others to go along with the insults and join in on the abusive behavior.

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Advise Someone Who is Angry to:

Practice empathy

Try to understand the situation from the other person’s perspective. When you tell the story or relive the events as they saw it, you may gain a new understanding and become less angry.

Take a breather

Your breathing becomes shallow and quick as you grow angry. Reverse that trend (and your anger) by taking slow, deep breaths from your nose and exhaling out of your mouth for several moments.

Exercise, Stretch, or Go for a walk

Exercise can help calm your nerves and reduce anger. Anything that gets moving is good for your mind and body. Neck and shoulder rolls can help you control your body and harness your emotions.

Play music

Let music carry you away from your feelings and hum or dance your anger away.

Timeout

Take a break. Sit away from others. In this quiet time, you can process events and return your emotions to neutral.

Take action

Harness your angry energy. Sign a petition. Write a note to an official. Do something good for someone else. Pour your energy and emotions into something that is healthy and productive.

Write in your journal

Jot down what you are feeling and how you want to respond. Processing emotions this way can help you calm down and reassess the events that gave rise to your feelings.

Laugh

Nothing overthrows a bad mood like a good one. Diffuse your anger by looking for ways to laugh like watching comedies.

Practice gratitude

Focus on what is right when everything feels wrong. Appreciating how many good things you have in your life can help you nullify anger.

Be Creative

Take up a creative activity such as painting, gardening, or writing poetry to ease anger. Emotions are powerful muses for creative individuals.

You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.

— the Buddha

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2023 Liliane Najm

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