By Rosalind Sedacca, CLC
We all get angry when we believe we are being wronged, misunderstood or unjustly accused. It’s a natural reaction to circumstances that put us on the defensive. But when we cannot identify or manage our anger, it can take over our lives and affect the wellbeing of those close to us. When our anger is focused on our relationship partners or a divorcing spouse, it can reach dangerous levels – especially when there are children involved.
If managing anger has been a challenge for you, it is important to recognize signs to watch out for in your behavior. By identifying “red flag” warnings in advance, before you explode out of control, you can learn healthier ways of expressing anger, frustration and other difficult feelings, which will make for more peaceful and rewarding life experiences.
Anger management issues need to be addressed before they destroy your life and hurt others. Fortunately there are tools, skills and strategies you can use to change your state of mind, perceive circumstances differently, catch yourself before your anger explodes, harness your anger in more productive directions and give you more inner peace. Learning these skills will not only make your life more satisfying, it will improve your relationships with everyone in your world – especially your children and co-parent following a divorce.
Controlling your anger will transform life for the better – and give you the tools to respond more effectively to a multitude of challenging situations – at home and at work. You can still get your needs met, but without the struggle, turmoil and negative consequences.
I’ve co-created two ANGER MANAGEMENT FOR CO-PARENTS programs targeting parents coping separation or divorce. Choose either the 8-hour or 12-hour online course. Both can be taken in the comfort of your own home over a period of days to get the most value from the content. They are court-approved in many municipalities throughout the United States and can be voluntarily taken by anyone.
We also offer another Anger Management program covering a broad range of other life challenges: getting along with co-workers and supervisors, dealing with difficult family, neighbors and friends, coping with road range and unexpected issues that come along. Knowing how to manage anger can help you set limits and determine comfortable boundaries in your relationships and interactions with others, including strangers.
This 8-hour ANGER MANAGEMENT TO COPE WITH LIFE CHALLENGES course provides signs to watch for in your own behavior, warnings about problem behavior worth your attention, and a variety of tools and strategies for reducing conflict and taking control of your feelings. With intention and practice, you can create a better world within you and around you.
Frequently clients tell me they are not clear about whether they have a problem with handling anger. Here are several questions you can ask yourself which will identify whether anger and conflict management are viable issues in your life:
- Do I lose my temper easily and quickly? Do small things set me off such as getting stuck in traffic, children running around the house or spilling my coffee? Do I have a low tolerance for frustration? Is it difficult for me to take things in stride?
- Do I show inconsistent behavior that is intimidating to others? Is my behavior so unpredictable that one minute I’m feeling good — and the next I become explosive?
- Are family and friends afraid of me? Do they often tell me to calm down? Do people say they “walk on egg shells” around me? Do they avoid giving me bad news for fear of my reaction?
- Have I hurt people close to me because of my anger? Have I lost friends, family or even my job as a consequence of my outbursts? Do people distance themselves from being close to me?
- Have I tried to control my anger, but failed? Am I unable to control how I react to things, even though I have tried several different approaches?
- Do I find myself explaining or justifying my aggressive behavior to others? Do I usually blame others for enticing or provoking me to anger?
- Is it difficult to express myself without cursing, swearing and blaming? Is my communication with others often offensive and vulgar? Am I defensive and usually believe the problem “isn’t me — it’s them”?
- Does anger cause me to become destructive? Do I frequently break things or become violent towards others? Do I pound on the table, punch a door or throw things to make a point? Have I hit, bit, pushed or forcibly held my partner because of my rage?
- Does my anger spiral out of control? Once I get angry, is it difficult for me to de-escalate? Does it seem to take over and take a while before I am able to settle down?
- Do I have difficulties with authority figures? Do I dislike people telling me what to do and often get into confrontations? Do I purposefully refuse to complete assignments or follow directions, as a sign of rebellion?
- Do I frequently argue at home? Is it difficult for me to have a conversation without getting angry? Do I get upset when others disagree with me? Do I believe others have the power to make me feel stupid or inadequate?
- Is my body language intense? Do I communicate with clenched fists, a tightened jaw and a glaring stare?
If you answered yes to several of these questions, it makes sense to take a simple on-line course that provides advice, tips, strategies and tools for coping with anger and frustration without letting it destroy your well-being.
These skills will serve you for a lifetime. You’ll never regret learning how to manage your feelings in a more constructive, and effective way.
To learn more about managing anger as a co-parent or for other life challenges, visit my special website: www.angerconflictprograms.com.
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Rosalind Sedacca CLC is recognized as The Voice of Child-Centered Divorce and is founder of the Child-Centered Divorce Network. She is a Divorce and Parenting Coach and author of How Do I Tell the Kids about the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook Guide to Preparing Your Children – with Love! For her free ebook on Post-Divorce Parenting and other valuable resources on divorce and parenting issues, visit //www.ChildCenteredDivorce.com. For information about personal Coaching contact her at [email protected].