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Understand the root of your anger. Some people use anger to avoid dealing with painful emotions. They get a temporary boost to their self-esteem. This also happens with people who have a really good reason to be angry. But when you use anger to avoid painful emotions, the pain still exists, and it isn’t a permanent fix.


  • A person can become accustomed to using anger as a distraction from pain. This is because anger is easier to deal with than pain. It can make you feel more in control. In this way, anger becomes a chronic way of dealing with feelings of vulnerability and fear.


  • Many times, our automatic reaction to incidences have to do with the painful memories of our past. Your automatic anger reactions could be something you learned from a parent or caregiver. If you had a parent who got angry about everything and one parent who tried to keep that parent from getting angry, you have two models of dealing with anger: passive and aggressive. Both of these models are counterproductive to dealing with anger.


  • If you were a victim of child abuse and neglect, for example, you had a model of dealing with anger that is counterproductive (aggressive). While examining these feelings can be painful, understanding what you were provided when you were a child will help you understand the ways you learned to cope with stress, difficult life situations, and difficult emotions such as sadness, fear, and anger.


  • It's important to seek professional help for life traumas such as child abuse and neglect. Sometimes a person can re-traumatize himself without intending to by revisiting painful memories without the support of a clinician.
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