Psychological Self-Help

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City bus drivers are taught that riders repeating questions over and over, e.g.
"how far is 49th street?" may be bothered by high anxiety or by language or
hearing problems. Also, they are taught that apparent drunkenness may be
caused by cerebral palsy, epileptic seizures, mental illness, medication, etc.
Now, rather than getting mad, the bus driver is more likely to think "hey, this
person may be sick." You can become more open-minded by yourself and,
thus, less addicted to anger-generating thoughts about the other person's
behavior or situation. 
Viewing your anger as a resource. Andrew Roffman (2004) suggests that
a therapist (or maybe a helper) ask the angry person to think of anger as a
resource—a mental jumping off place to feeling differently—rather than a
terrible internal beast you must restrain. The first step is to Unpack which
means the angry person will review in great detail the connections between
feeling angry and describing the experiences that seem to be causing the
upset or irritated feelings. The helper urges the helpee to tell him or her
more, including how do you know you are angry? Or what do you feel and
where when you are mad? What do you feel like you should do when you are
pissed off? What do you think others do in this situation? What should they
do? Where is all these ideas you have come from? How do you think others
see you when you get mad?
The second step is Looking for metaphors. This is because metaphors can
be basic symbolic building blocks in our mental life. So, pay attention and
focus more on metaphors. Examples: “that makes my blood boil,” “she just
keeps adding fuel to the fire,” “he knows how to push my buttons,” etc. These
comments can lead to a discussion of a person’s sensitive buttons and to the
urges to both control the anger and to express the anger. There is almost
always this conflict inside the angry person. There may also be several tugs-
of-war going on inside. 
Feeling anger can be a signal to stop automatic impulsive responses. When
those choice points are identified, the angry person can engage his/her
brain and ask his or herself: “What are my choices here?” and “Aren’t there
other choices than to either explode…or to meekly run away? And what are
my choices? What is my philosophy of life? My values?” When the person
struggling with anger answers these questions, they find that anger becomes
a true resource that helps them find much more meaningful and fruitful life
To Roffman anger is not a dreaded trait to be managed but a force one can
encourage to lead him or her to make better decisions. He gives these
examples: a father who was feeling furious with his 11-year-old son who had
just drug a heavy sweeper down his beautiful wood stair case. A few minutes
of thought reminded him of his sincere hope to be a good father and close to
his son. He found a way to hold back the insulting name-calling and the urge
to beat up on the kid. Likewise, a person feeling a moment of hatred towards
a boss or spouse may take a few seconds to remind him or herself of the
hopes they have about having a good job and a loving spouse for a long time.
Anger becomes a reminder of smarter, kinder, more fruitful ways of acting.
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