By Lou Kraus
Posted December 31st, 2017
Anger – Ellis and Twerski
Anger We all know how we get when we become angry. And anger, just like communication, is actually not so simple. There's more to it than just the feeling of being angry.
Albert Ellis, in his classic “ANGER, HOW TO LIVE WITH AND WITHOUT IT”, states that anger “is a special combination of your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, when you are (or think you are) severely frustrated by unfortunately conditions and by people’s “unfair” behavior. (p. 1)
He then points out that “when you feel angry, you have “a negative internal feeling state, accompanied by thinking and perceptual distortions and deficiencies (especially misappraisals and attributions of other people's injustice)”. Your angry thoughts and feelings lead you to physiological arousal and tendencies to act against your “aggressors.” (p 1-2)
At the same time, anger is often self-protective, is a very normal human response, and has helped preserve the human race. (p. 2)
Abraham Twerski, MD, a renowned Psychiatrist explains how it works.
“Phase 1 is the feeling of anger when provoked. If someone offends or hurts me, I feel angry. This is essentially an instinctive or reflex emotion, over which one has little control.” The 1st phase is the old brain’s emotional reaction.
Phase 2 is the reaction to anger. When offended, I may bite my lips and say nothing, I may make a remark, I may hurl an expletive, or I may push or strike out. Although I may have no control over the feeling of anger, I have much control over my reaction.” The 2nd is when our Executive Control, the new part of our brain can take over and keep us from doing something we will regret.
Phase 3 is the retention of anger. Granted that I have no control over the initial feeling when provoked, but how long do I hang onto it? Minutes? A month? Fifteen years?” (Twerski, Addictive Thinking, p. 79)
We've had enough, it's time to take a stand!