Before you can work with your own anger, you should be aware of what anger is really about. Unfortunately, misconceptions about anger seem to abound. These are nine myths you should debunk from the get-go:
1. Males tend to have more anger problems than females. If you think anger problem means how often someone experience anger, it is simply untrue that men are more tempestuous than women. Surveys indicate that women get angry just as often as men, approximately twice a week on average. The difference is, women tend to hang on to anger longer, while men tend to have more intense anger.
2. Anger is always bad. Anger serves many positive purposes when it can help you cope with stress. It arouses the energy inside you, improves your communication ability, promotes self-respect, and offers defense against fear. (Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr and Buddha, were all fueled by anger, but they turned it into positive social reform that made our world a far better place.)
3. Anger is always good to unload pent up mental pressure. When it leads to domestic violence, sexual abuse, drug addiction, property damage, self-mutilation and ulcers, anger is unquestionably a bad thing.
4. Anger is a problem if you express it openly. As few as ten percent of people manifest their feelings when they are angry. The other ninety percent either quietly suppress their anger or simply deny it. People who openly express their anger are thumping speakers that grab everyone’s attention; those who suppress or deny their anger also need anger management just as much.
5. We are more irritable when we get older. It is the other way around – as we age, we may have greater emotional control and fewer negative emotions. People – like cheese and wine – tend to mature with age.
6. Anger is about what happens in your mind. It won’t be farther from the truth. Our emotions are primarily emotional in nature, but if anger is just a state of mind, so why would people say, “Why my chest feels tight every time I get angry?” Believe me, when you are intensely mad, your emotion is immediately manifested throughout your whole body, your blood sugar level, your blood pressure, your respiration rate, your heart rate, and even hairs behind your neck all go up.
7. Being angry will make it easier to get even. The most likely motive behind anger is the desire to assert independence or authority, or to enhance one’s image. Retaliation is usually secondary motive. Another motive is to let off steam due to the accumulated frustrations – again it is not an intention to harm anyone else.
8. Anger is influenced by demographic segment. Psychiatrist has been helping many kinds of people with anger problems, like truck drivers, physicians, housewives, grandmothers, college professors, criminals, poor people, millionaires, children, the elderly, lawyers, policemen, regardless of ethnicity, religions and nationalities. Anger is universal!
9. Anger is always caused by human interaction. Not necessarily, we always find that people get angry while being exposed to foul scents, pains and aches, hot temperatures, thirst and hunger – none of which can be blamed on (or involve) the actions of other individuals.