There are many people in my life who I greatly despise, whenever someone ticks me off, I normally threaten to suffocate them with my scarf. The few friends that I do have think I am a tad bit violent so, you do have any advice for me?
--Gray The Mincinno
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Your tendencies toward anger and violence are not healthy. Anger is a natural emotion, but some people do not handle it as well as others, and you sound like one of those people.
Anger is a reaction to one of two things: something that happens to you externally, such as a negative event (e.g., getting fired from a job) or irritating person, or something that is internal, such as problems in your past that you have not dealt with emotionally in a healthy way.
All people face situations that make them angry, but some people react more violently than others when they get angry. Why is that? Well, one reason might be due to genetic or physiological causes. Studies have shown that some people are born more “hot-headed” than others; it is just their nature. On the extreme end of the scale are those who are suffering from a psychological disorder (anger is a side effect of a number of ailments). Another reason is environment: some angry people are that way because they grew up in chaotic environments with poor parenting and little or no social support. They therefore never learn how to deal with their anger in appropriate ways.
And there are ways to deal with anger: 1) by trying to calm oneself through meditation, philosophical reflection, even biofeedback techniques to manage how one physically reacts to stress; 2) by expressing one’s anger in an assertive, non-aggressive way; you do this by making known your needs and desires in a way that does not manipulate or control others but simply communicates effectively and persuasively your needs; and 3) by redirecting your anger in another way, such as rigorous outdoor activity. Whatever you do, though, do not suppress or deny your anger because if it has no safe outlet it can burst open into violence, as you suspected.
Here is an online brochure published by the American Psychological Association that offers a good overview of anger’s causes and some anger management techniques: http://www.apa.org/topics/anger/control.aspx#.
This is one of those letters where Papabear can only point out the first steps to resolving your problem, Gray. What you have said in your brief letter is a bit scary, and I would not want your anger issues to cause anyone any harm. If at all possible, try and seek out a counselor who specializes in anger management. You can start by asking your family doctor for a referral.
Good luck, Gray. I hope you can get further help.
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