Do you know someone with a “short fuse?” or do they have a “hot temper?”
Living with someone who has an anger management problem can feel like you are stuck on a roller coaster you can’t get off. When a loved one explodes in anger, it is hard to protect yourself from the flying debris that inevitably follow.
“Anybody can become angry, Aristotle said, “that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy”.
It may seem impossible to approach and get help for a loved one when they are constantly upset, angry, or irritable. Suggesting they need help may only send them over the edge in a fit of rage.
Here are a few tips to help you help yourself and your loved one to move past the anger and get the anger management help they need.
Understand Anger Differences:
It is crucial to understand why your loved one is angry. They may be able to spit out a dozen reasons why they are mad, but try to read between the lines. Is it situational, or chronic?
Situational: A certain time of day, subject, place, or situation that makes him regularly upset.
Chronic: Does she appear irritable about anything and everything, it is something new or different every day, and nothing seems to help.
If your loved one has an anger management problem, chances are you become a punching bag for venting sessions. If they cannot stop or if their venting escalates over more than 15 minutes and is directed towards you (even if you’re not the involved with the problem). It may be time to seek additional support and help.
Recognizing a Serious Issue
Only a trained professional can make an official diagnosis of an anger management problem, but warning signs may be very clear to those living with a chronically angry person. Anger management is much like any other addiction, and the issue is often seen in the consequences. What damage has their anger done? Lost job? Strained relationships? Damage to the home? Trouble with law enforcement? When anger triggers problems like these, it is a clear sign that something is seriously wrong and that your loved one might be in need of professional treatment.
If at any point you feel seriously threatened or are afraid for your physical safety you must get help immediately. Have a friend, counselor, or professional help to protect yourself and always have an emergency plan in place in case you need to get away quickly.
Anger itself is not the problem—it is what you do with it that makes a difference. Learning to control anger takes time and patience. With professional help, the skills necessary to handle anger and express it appropriately can help your loved ones to rebuild their lives, have better relationships, achieve their goals, and lead a healthier, more satisfying life.