Life Skills Unlimited

Lisa H. Lang, Ph.D.

110 Red Oak Lane
Flower Mound, TX 75028

Thoughts lead to
Feelings lead to

“I think, therefore I feel.”

Blog > Anger Management

Licensed Professional Counselor
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist
Certified Cognitive Behavioral Therapist
Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist

Many Sides of Anger

“People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself.  But the self is not something that one finds, it is something that one creates.”  Thomas Szasz

Anger is an interesting emotion. It is often described as “anger issues” that come along with anxiety. We are supposed to manage anger versus explore or simply experience it. People have done horrible things when angry, so we typically associate anger with danger.

People create problems not because they feel angry. They behave harmfully because they do not stop and think clearly about how they are viewing the situation. Remember: thoughts lead to feelings that lead to behaviors. Anger is a feeling/emotion that is controlled by what a person thinks. Stop and think clearly before heading into an argument/fight that could have been resolved by using effective communication versus arguing and attempting to prove you are right.

Anger is often expressed as a means of protecting self or loved ones. Consider the different words we use for anger: rage, livid, fury, irate. Those words pull down images of dangerous behavior that create fear that leads to a perceived need to protect. We tend to forget that just because anger has the potential to become dangerous behavior – doesn’t mean that it always will if we stop and listen to ourselves and others. Listening versus blaming/accusing. Let the other person know you have heard their side of the story and then ask that they hear what you have to say about the situation. Listen with the intent to solve a problem rather than create a bigger problem.

Sometimes angry behavior is used to ward off offenders. If the other person is being a bully, you may use angry behavior/words to attempt to ward off their aggressive/abusive behaviors. Research shows that adult bullying is common and often affects many people. Adult bullying is often covert. It can still have a violent effect on the target. The negative impact of bullying can have a long-lasting effect on the victim. It can disturb the self-esteem of the person being bullied and ruin a close relationship or a work relationship.

Anger turned to bullying is destructive for the offender and the offended. Learn to use Skills of effective communication and problem-solving. Learn to discuss and solve issues by using these Skills and staying in the present.

The CHOICE is yours…Keep your Power in your pocket or give it away.

Learn Cognitive Behavioral Skills to:
Communicate Effectively
Problem Solve
Team Play/Work

The Power of Passivity

When we think of passivity we often think of nonparticipation, indifference, apathy, unresponsiveness, inactiveness. When we take a new look at passivity, we may consider that passivity is a major part of passive-aggressive behaviors. If a person responds aggressive toward us, we know how to respond. We move away or attempt to defend ourselves in some way. However, if a person behaves in a passive way, we are often caught off-guard.

So, what is a helpful way to respond to the passive behavior? Remain calm and Reflect and Ask. You are summarizing/reflecting the situation or behavior and then you are “asking” to clarify that in fact this is the comments or behaviors the person intended.

Now, if the person is being passive-aggressive— do you really believe they are going to be honest with you about their intent. Perhaps not—however, you will remain calm and be protective of yourself. You have done your part of the event or conversation in a constructive way and that is the only part of the event that belongs to you. The other person has control of how they behave.

Often times we think that if we behave kindly– then the other person is obligated to respond kindly—not so. They can be as mean and obnoxious as they choose. That is their choice. Your choice is to respond in a mature way by Reflecting and Asking.

Ask yourself—if I respond in the Passive-Aggressive (hateful) way they are behaving, how will I feel about myself when this event is completed. You have a choice to respond factually in the current moment or go whizzing back to the past and treat yourself hateful—remember, you can do this to yourself—or, you can use your effective communication skills, problem solve and attempt to team play.

The CHOICE is yours…

Keep your Power in your pocket or give it away.

You get to DECIDE….

Learn Cognitive Behavioral Skills to:
Communicate Effectively
Problem Solve
Team Play/Work

use anger carefully

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” Buddha

Anger is a helpful emotion if used in a healthy way. Anger alerts me that something is amiss. Ask yourself, “What am I telling myself that is creating this feeling of anger?” No one can make you angry. We know that thoughts come before feelings and anger is a feeling.

Take a deep breath – step back – look at the situation with a clearer view of the events. Ask: “What part did I play in this event? What can I do that might be helpful in this situation? What am I thinking my gain may be in behaving rudely and blaming? What might my gain be if I change my behavior and acknowledge my part of the event?” Knowing that everything I think is based on my interpretation of the event.

Are you willing to do something to create a more problem-solving situation vs arguing and blaming? Show me the level of your anger and I can tell you the depth of your fear. What is you fear?

Do you know how to “problem solve” effectively? That is a skill that all humans need to live healthier and happier. Are you willing to learn skills to stop creating so much chaos in your life? When are you willing to begin the process of changing yourself – knowing you can change only you – no one else.

The key is to learn the Skills to interpret any event with logical thinking as you stay in the present moment and problem solve. Learning how to Communicate Effectively, Problem Solve, and Team Play are all Skills that are needed in everyday life to be calm, confident and peaceful.

Learn Cognitive Behavioral Skills and use them daily to make the changes that will create the life you want. A life of calmness, confidence and peace. Changing is a Choice.

Remember: You get to decide how you Think – feel – Behave.

Learn Cognitive Behavioral Skills to:
Communicate Effectively
Problem Solve
Team Play/Work

anger and food = fear

ANGRY Eating vs Using Food as Fuel

Weight gain is a common problem for many of us. Let’s take a look at the various reasons we allow ourselves to eat too much food and things that are so unhealthy.

Common excuses we use are: it was party time, everyone else was eating so much, it was a holiday, I did not want to hurt their feelings by eating so little, I’ve worked so hard and I deserve to have this, I’m bored, etc…. Rarely do we hear anyone saying they are eating because they are angry.

Anger eating is an attempt to hide other emotions or to compensate for something painful in our lives. Anger eating is very common. Pay Attention and ask yourself: am I eating faster and faster; am I eating foods that I know are harmful for me and then I go away feeling guilty; am I eating so much that I feel miserable when I leave the table? These are all questions that involve Anger eating.

Now, let’s consider this reality: Show me the level of your anger and I will tell you the depth of your fear. Sandwiched in between is guilt. Think about that for a moment. Anger is very powerful.

What am I telling myself that is creating this anger?
Think about: WHO do you eat with? WHAT do you eat? WHEN do you eat? WHERE do you eat? HOW do you eat?

REMEMBER: Cognitive Behavioral = My Thoughts – lead to my feeling – lead to my outward Behaviors. Thoughts are behaviors/actions; therefore, you have the power to change your thoughts and use them to problem solve vs making excuses. And, then your outward behaviors/actions will be different and healthier.

Remember: You get to make this CHOICE. THOUGHTS lead to feeling lead to BEHAVIORS. YOU DECIDE…

Learn Cognitive Behavioral Skills to:
Communicate Effectively
Problem Solve
Team Play/Work

anger used effectively

“It is wise to direct your anger towards problems – not people, to focus your energies on answers- not excuses.”
William Arthur Ward

Do you know how to problem solve vs blaming and making excuses?
Cognitive Behavioral therapy teaches you to problem solve using questions that will get you factual answers and a direction that helps you move forward.

Questions such as:

Who do you want in your life?
What do you want for your life?
When do you want to begin?
Where will you look for help?
How will you go about accomplishing your goals;
And your plans to move forward.

Anger is a positive emotion if you use it to propel you forward and search for answers. Use anger as an alert that something is amiss in your life. And, then use your Cognitive Behavioral skills to resolve the problem/the issue.

Remember: Anger and fear are closely related. Work to solve problems vs creating problems.

Use Skills.

Change your life to be what you say you want it to be.
You decide.

Learn Cognitive Behavioral Skills to:
Communicate Effectively
Problem Solve
Team Play/Work

appreciate self & life

Immaturity breeds insecurity and fears.
That’s living in the past.
Learn Skills and deal with life
in the Present – in a mature way.

Transform yourself from a
blaming to a claiming person.
Claim life and appreciate all your blessings.

Transform from a fearful controlling life
to a skillful and giving person (to self and others).

Transform your life.
Use your Skills— Thank God
Thank the Universe-—-for all your Blessings.

The pinnacle of maturity is acceptance
of responsibility for one’s own actions —
covert actions (thoughts) and
overt actions (outward behaviors).

You get to decide your thoughts, feelings and behaviors.

Choose living and problem solving in the Present.

Learn Cognitive Behavioral Skills to:
Communicate Effectively
Problem Solve
Team Play/Work

For more counseling information:

Life Skills Unlimited
110 Red Oak Lane
Flower Mound, TX 75028
© 2024 Life Skills Unlimited & Dr. Lisa H. Lang, PhD. All Rights Reserved.

Lisa H. Lang Ph.D. is a licensed professional counselor (LPC) & marriage and family therapist (LMFT) located in Flower Mound, TX with over 30 years experience. She is a Certified Cognitive Behavioral Therapist and life coach offering psychotherapy, hypnosis, and other solutions to those seeking counseling. Dr. Lang is conveniently located to residents of Flower Mound, Lewisville, Carrollton, Southlake, Grapevine, Coppell, and the Dallas/Fort Worth area.