You Make Me So Angry

You Make Me So Angry.

As a counselor I often face the daunting task of helping people see that no one else can make them angry. No one else can make them sad. No one else, short of a disaster, can dictate my attitude at all. If I get angry, that’s my problem. I may think it’s someone else’s fault, but it’s still my problem. I am in control of me. So technically, you never make me angry.

We live in a society that has somehow enshrined in it’s mores the belief that it’s ok to yell. We grew up with yelling, we were taught yelling; and when my kids drive me insane or my wife gets snarky yelling is an acceptable option.

It’s time for a moratorium on yelling. When you consider it critically and objectively, yelling is an act of violence. I am exerting my will, forcing another to concede. When you are yelled at you probably feel somewhat violated. That may be because you were violated.

There is something cathartic, orgasmic about yelling. People who scream at others feel that sense of release. There is a subtle yet profound joyous release. You can kind of get off on yelling… Yelling is great for anxiety and frustration – just get it all out.

And then leave it on me.

Anger is about handing your pain and frustration to someone else. There is a significant sense of entitlement. There is a degree of selfishness, of lack of impulse control. Yelling is an act of weakness, not strength. It is also an act of violence. An act of control. We have all done it, from time to time but it’s time to look for other ways to deal with our frustration. Learn mindfulness, practice STOPP Therapy, breathe, go to a counselor, read about anger.

People learn in counseling that yelling is a very dysfunctional coping mechanism. They are apt to tell me they can’t help it. Or it’s not their fault. It’s just the way their family is and they grew up fine.

In the 12 Step program they are keen on wanting you to know that the first step to fixing a problem is recognizing that you do, in point of fact, have a problem.

Now you know.



6 thoughts on “You Make Me So Angry

  1. Great article. So very true. It has taken me a long time to really grab a hold of this concept but I am finally getting it, and the joy that comes with getting it is being able to teach my kids the same. Last night my 15 year old son (who has returned to live with me) went to his Dads to collect a few things such as his lap top and play station. A beautiful respectful boy who deserves praise for his character and attitude but only gets punished for his choices and good behaviour, returned to find all his belongings hidden and taken away. After a long lecture from his Dads girlfriend he returned to the car both mortified and angry, and quite frankly so was I. Yet I took a hold of myself and the concept spoken of in this article and I was able to talk him through it. Instead of phoning his father and letting fly, we went shopping, bought him new clothes, a new school uniform and grabbed some take out. We sat on the balcony together and discussed ways that we could save up to replace his belongings rather than enter into a fight and a battle that would only serve to satisfy the other party and keep him stuck and angry. The man who is rich withholds from him, but the woman rich in spirit shows him anything is possible. Instead of going to bed angry,he went to bed whistling, free of the burden of being bound to material possessions and at another mans mercy. I understand not all problems are this easily solved,but I’m proud of myself and my son for moving forward swiftly and not allowing another persons bitterness to become our own. Liberating. Learning. Constantly learning.

  2. Well said Scott,I agree with you!!It IS frustration,been there…I experienced it with my daughter too the past two weeks,as I was
    in Australia for her wedding,she was blaming me for being sad at times since her dad is a extreme narcissist ,he was there too.
    This time I didn’t yell at them(her brother was there too).They don’t know have a clue what that really means,what impact it had
    and has on my life.I wasn’t angry with/at them,it just hurt me so much,it is their frustration!!They have to work on that
    themselves,and as long as they don’t(or don’t want to)see this,it is indeed their problem,I have to let it go(hard enough,but I
    will and do manage pretty good.)Thanks for your article,a great help,seeing it written down!!

  3. I love this post, and thank-you. Once upon a time there was that great sense of relief with yelling, but now it comes with a horrible sense of remorse. Not only does it cause the person I yelled at to feel violated, but I find that I feel violated as well. Slowly the yelling is getting less and less. I had a wee victory a few weeks back when I was feeling very stressed and then my buttons got pushed and I just wanted to just rip into the first person who got in my way… turns out that person was my kid, whom I have had much struggle with, but instead of screaming… I told her “I can’t talk about it right now, I am really frustrated and need some time to calm down. so can you give me a few minutes and then we will talk.” and of course she pushed and I repeated what I said “please give me some time I do not want to yell at you it’s not you I am mad at, OK” and she said OK and we talked later, like two rational people. Yay!

  4. I love this. My boyfriend is in an anger management program (he doesn’t have a problem with anger – but certain authorities think he does – long story) and in the past 2 months – he’s been instrumental in my reduction in yelling, my reduction in my anger. He’s so positive and amazing and helps me with that every day.

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