What are you thinking when you are angry?


Anger is everywhere, anger is destructive.

Anger can be seen everywhere in life, small to quarrel because of small matters, big to all kinds of atrocities. Anger is one of the most destructive emotions. Anger can undermine intimacy with your family and undermine relationships at work. Dealing with things with anger makes us more irrational and makes things worse. Anger can trigger an act of aggression, leading to very serious consequences.

Anger brings mental pain to people and also causes a series of diseases in the gut, heart and so on.

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Where does anger come from?

Anger is a level two emotion, caused by emotions such as anxiety, fear, powerlessness, remorse, and so on. Anger is the emotion that arises after the objective world runs counter to one’s own subjective will.

A lot of people think that the objective world is against their own subjective will, I can not change the objective world, so I am incompetent, this is also a kind of anger.

Anger is often thought to be the result of external events. For example, during the traffic jam, the unreasonable demands of customers, your employer did not notice your hard work and made unfair decisions, colleagues’ accusations, friends bail on you and cause you losses and so on.

However, if external events make us angry, the reaction of different people should be the same.

But in real life, someone can be comfortable in a traffic jam, while others are furious, honking their horns, shouting, and even making more aggressive behavior.

Cognitive psychology holds that, in most cases, it is your perception of things and the way they are interpreted that determine your emotional response.

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Common ways to deal with anger

When some people face anger, they will become negative, non-rebellious attitude when they are treated unfairly.

But in this competitive society, becomes negative, did not resist, will only harm your own interests, others will not be grateful and sometimes get even worse.

Some people suggested that anger should be expressed boldly, cathartic, reduced anger and control the other side. However, venting anger can lead to more anger and violence. Often venting anger is the practice of anger behavior, the more you practice, the stronger the effect. Anger can also lead to arterial damage.

There are also some people suggest taking an angry pause strategy, controlling themselves when they are angry, and deciding again the next day. For the short-term pause of anger, there is indeed some effect, but the root cause of the problem is still there, improve anger should cure the symptoms and root causes. A long pause in anger will only allow us to avoid emotions.

Theory: Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, ABC Model

The fundamental way to control anger is to allow the objective world and subjective coexist peacefully. The objective world is hard to change, so controlling anger starts with improving subjective will. Subjective will comes from the source, and the source is our core belief. Realize the subjective will to accept the objective world.

Use the emotional rational therapy ABCDE theory to find out the irrational cognition and belief that leads to anger emotion.

Find out the results of analyzing C, mood or behavior first, that is, feeling your anger. Negative emotions have healthy negative emotions (disappointment, regret, frustration), and unhealthy negative emotions (anger, inferiority, anxiety).

The ultimate goal is to convert unhealthy negative emotions into healthy negative emotions.

And then analyze A, that is, induced emotional events or adversity.

Excavating the belief system B, resulting in scenario A, produces the cognition and belief of scenario C, and we rely on these belief systems to make judgments or evaluations.

Question D, refute your belief system B. This is the core link.

New effect E, re-establish the correct belief facing scenario A, forming healthy emotions and behaviors.

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Practice: Analyze negative emotions with a real-life example

A (induced events)

The customer promises to give your company a project and required you to come out with a proposal. After two weeks of hard work, the customer rejected the proposal.

It was later you learned that the customer had given the project to a competitor and that your proposal had been given to competitors.

And in order to fight for this project, you gave up another project opportunity, and in the end, you lose all the project opportunities.

C (mood and behavior)

1. Anxiety, Did not able to get any of the projects, the performance in the first half is not looking good, making you stress.

2. Did not able to get this project, the proposal did not do well, I was a failure, frustrated, and low self-esteem.

3. Anger. If you can’t be sure to give us the project, why guarantee, making me too optimistic and give up other project opportunities.

Why give our proposal to our competitors regardless of business rules.

4. This customer has a very bad characteristic, should not keep in contact with him in the future.

IB (irrational cognition and belief)

1. The customer promised, so he/she must deliver the promise.

2. Customers should fully abide by the business rules, shouldn’t leak information to competitors.

3. If losing these two projects, my performance will be bad, I will be very miserable.

4. I am very incompetent, worthless, failure.

D (questioning irrational perceptions and beliefs)

1. Is it right that others do this? Everyone will be based on their interests to maximize the use of confidentiality and other strategies, this is the game theory, this is the reality.

2. Do not believe too much in the commitment of others and should be prepared for both hands, never be sure before the last moment.

3. If the customers maximize their profits based on their own interests, and make a decision that is against me and benefit them, does this make them the bad guys?

4. Have I considered why the clients choose competitors?

5. I lost to our competitor, am I incompetent, am I worthless?

Refute one by one of these irrational perceptions and beliefs.

RB (forming rational belief)

1. Everyone will make choice based on the maximum benefit for themselves, this is their reasonable behavior, can be understood.

2. We cannot indicate that the customer is a bad guy just because of the customer’s shrewd and generalization, he is a good employee for their company.

3. Stand in the customer’s point of view, face up to their shortcomings, and further enhance the proposal.

4. Even if lost both of the projects, there are 3 months away from the mid-year, might still able to catch up.

5. Even if the performance is bad, even if you lost the project, you cannot say that you are worthless.

E (New effect)

1. There are regrets, minor frustration, competition awareness and other healthy negative emotions, which is the driving force of their own promotion. Learn more and improve your proposal.

2. Throw away anger and communicate with the customers normally, show your ability or progress. Understand why you are not selected by the customers.

3. As a person, even if not able to do, you still have value, you still have your self-esteem to live.

When you are angry, what are you angry about

From the example above, when I am angry, I am not angry at the customer who does not contract and violates the business rules, but regret that I have given up other opportunities, and more fundamentally the fear of not being able to reach the performance target, started to doubt about my ability and value.

Assuming that no matter what the other person behaves, I have the unfinished project, fully able to meet the performance of the standard, fully believe in my own value, or have self-esteem, I will not be angry.

That is to say, I am angry at my imagination about the terrible consequences of this thing for me and the fear that I cannot afford these consequences.

In fact, the consequences of this matter are not terrible, and I can totally afford it.

Therefore, the objective world is not the focus of anger, and people who angry just put their innermost irrational cognition to the objective world.

Did you get angry today? Try to tap into the irrational cognition and belief behind the anger and try to change it.


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