Psychological Self-Help

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Use your anger to scare someone else
Talk others into being your buddy and supporting you
Give up and cry
Try not to think about it
Run away—get out of this situation
Have a drink, take a drug, eat dessert
Watch a game on TV and forget about it
Blame someone
Rationalize your feelings and actions to yourself
Throw yourself into solving someone else’s troubles
Let the other person have their way
Your preferred modes of defense in this exercise are probably a lot like the defense
mechanisms you use against stress when conflicts occur in your relationships. For
example, if in this exercise you chose to do a Feeling Check on anger and found in
steps 3 and 4 that you mostly thought about criticizing and blaming the person or
situation you felt mad about in step 1, then your favorite defense mechanism may be
to aggressively attack the person you imagine to be responsible for your anger.
Observe your feelings about this feeling (#1) over and over—study them and try to
discover the defense mechanisms you use. Then do the same exercise with many
other feelings that make you uncomfortable. You probably learned as a young child
the ways you still use to cope with frustrations that come along. You may need to
learn new and more adult ways of handling life problems.
Step 5. Take time to relax. When calm, think what you could do to deal with the
distressing feelings you face. Above all, get professional help, talk with friends, or
read to find ways of dealing with anger problems. Learn to cope with your feelings—
that takes time but when you are able to do that, then you will not have to be afraid
of your feelings, you will not have to run, you can watch your troublesome feelings
more closely, detect the onset of a problem, and cope with difficulties quickly.
Lynne Namka credits Virginia Satir and Scott Peck with some of the basic steps in
this exercise.
Anger is fear announced. When we step away from expectations…and reduce our choices to
simple preferences rather than addictions, then we take a giant step away from anger and
toward mastery. The cycle and the pattern of anger are ended when we see the perfection in
every moment and reduce our expectations to zero.
David Neale Walsh
A short article about controlling traffic rage is here
(
suggests using cognitive methods, such as questioning your critical or cynical
attitude about drivers, trying to imagine the troubles and anxieties of the people
ahead slowing you down, trying to focus on relaxing, listening to music, and trying to
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