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Causes of anger, anger management, anger management classes, anger management courses, anger management training, rational thinking, realistic thinking, irrational beliefs Causes of anger, anger management, anger management classes, anger management courses, anger management training, rational thinking, realistic thinking, irrational beliefs
 
 

The main causes of anger


According to the Cognitive Behavior Theory, anger is a consequence of many causes such as cognitive, social/or behavioral models that we have learned from others, the lack of social skills and problem solving strategies, and several biological factors. The main cause of anger is represented by our irrational perceptions and evaluations of situations when our rights and goals are apparently broken. Put in simpler terms, thoughts are the underlying factor of anger.

According to the Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), introduced in 1955 by Albert Ellis, irrational evaluative beliefs such as "Things must be the way I want”, or "Others must do what I tell them to do”, combined with a low-frustration tolerance (LFT) (e.g. "if they don’t do it I can't stand it”) cause anger and lead to aggressive behavior. To describe a belief as self-defeating or irrational is to say that:
• It distorts reality (it is a misinterpretation of the reality) or it involves some illogical ways of evaluating yourself, others, and the world around you: awfulising, can’t-stand-it-itis, demanding and people-rating;
• It prevents you from achieving your goals and purposes;
• It creates extreme emotions which persist, cause distress, and immobilize;
• It leads to behaviors that may harm yourself, others, and your life in general.

On the other hand, by disputing these irrational beliefs we can forcefully replace them with rational but irritating beliefs. Such rational opinions are signaled by behaviors indicating preferences for certain outcomes (I prefer others to do what I tell them to do but they do not have to comply to my request) and high tolerance to frustration (I can tolerate these situations or this state). A belief is rational when:
• It is based on reality;
• It emphasizes taking things as they really are, keeping their badness in perspective, tolerating frustration and discomfort, preferring rather than demanding, and self-acceptance;
• It usually leads to goal achievement and personal satisfaction;
• It creates emotions you can handle;
• It helps you behave in ways that fit your goals and ensure survival.
 
We are not talking about the so-called "positive thinking". Rational thinking is realistic. It is concerned with facts - the real world - rather than subjective opinions or wishful thinking. Realistic thinking leads to realistic emotions. Negative feelings are not always bad for you. Neither are all positive feelings beneficial. Feeling happy when someone you love has died, for example, may hinder you from grieving properly. On the other hand, to be unconcerned in the face of real danger could put your survival at risk. Realistic thinking avoids exaggerations of both kinds - negative and positive.

People with anger problems often have simple explanations for their problems - they believe that other people cause their emotional upsets. However, this approach raises two questions:
• How can an external event create an internal reaction?
• Why is it that one person can be disappointed but calm in the face of a circumstance to which another reacts with rage?

Events and circumstances alone do not trigger anger. This feeling is a direct consequence of how people perceive reality. Experts have identified four types of thinking that typically lead to dysfunctional anger:

1. Inferential distortions such as mind-reading, fortune-telling, filtering, and emotional reasoning lead people into misinterpreting the facts and thereby classifying normal events as goal-threatening. People affected by such distortions are more prone than others to interpret events or other people's actions as threats to their goal achievement or as attacks to their dignity, rules or property. Such distortions result in increased levels of irritation and/or frustration and ultimately lead to dysfunctional anger. Misinterpretations are followed by self-defeating evaluations.

2. Awfulising and discomfort-intolerance (often called 'cant-stand-it-itis’).
Anger frequently results from anxiety and violence often represents an attempt to ward off perceived threats. REBT suggests that such threats may be of two types:
• perceived threats to well-being (discomfort anxiety);
• perceived threats to self-image (ego anxiety).

3. Expectations held as demands.
Demands typically lead to low-frustration tolerance - a key cause of dysfunctional anger. This kind of behavior can manifest itself in different ways, such as:
• a tendency to moralize people on how they 'should’ or 'should not’ behave;
• the presence of a deeply rooted belief that the world or one’s circumstances 'have’ to or 'need’ to be exactly as expected.

4. Global rating of other people.
Labeling a person as a 'bitch’, 'bastard’, or applying her/him some other all-encompassing makes it easier to be angry with that person.

Anger management books

 
     
Causes of anger, anger management, anger management classes, anger management courses, anger management training, rational thinking, realistic thinking, irrational beliefs