Myths About Anger
Myth #1: Anger is inherited.
One misconception about anger is that the way people express anger is inherited and cannot be changed. Research shows, however, that people are not born with set and specific ways of expressing anger. The expression of anger is learned behavior, which means more appropriate ways of expressing anger can also be learned.
Myth #2: Anger automatically leads to aggression.
A related myth involves the misconception that the only way to express anger is through aggression. There are other more constructive and assertive ways, however, to express anger. Effective anger management involves controlling the escalation or growth of anger by learning assertive skills, changing negative and hostile "self talk," challenging irrational beliefs, and employing a variety of behavioral strategies.
Myth #3: You must be aggressive to get what you want.
Many people confuse assertiveness with aggression. The goal of aggression is to dominate, intimidate, harm, or injure another person--to win at any cost. Conversely, the goal of assertiveness is to express feelings of anger in a way that is respectful of other people. Expressing yourself in an assertive manner does not blame or threaten other people and minimizes the chance of emotional harm.
Myth #4: Venting anger is always desirable.
For many years, there was a popular belief that the aggressive expression of anger, such as screaming or beating on pillows, was therapeutic and healthy. Studies have found, however, that people who vent their anger aggressively simply get better at being angry. In other words, venting anger in an aggressive manner reinforces aggressive behavior.
For more information about anger, or for help controlling your anger, call 615.891.2922.