Trying to manage your anger is a worthy objective – but it is difficult and doomed to ultimate failure.
Typically anger management involves you in yet another battle or struggle – an internal one where you are embattled with yourself and where one side of you is feeling angry and furious and the other sides is trying to stop feeling those feelings!
Now as well as battling with a hostile or stupid world out there you are internally battling with yourself – I must not feel angry with this stupid idiot! or I have to try and remain calm and accept this disrespectful treatment! etc. etc.
Great intentions – wrong route!
Imagine you have two routes to drive to work. Route One is smooth and safe. Route Two is littered with nails and broken bottles and normally requires you to stop at least once to change a wheel because of a puncture.
But over the years you’re used to traveling down Route Two – you’ve been doing it for so long you’ve forgotten that there is a different way! So you keep doing it and, to try and make the trip work easier and quicker you attend classes on how to change wheels and mend punctures more quickly and efficiently.
Wouldn’t it be better to learn how to take a different route?
The intention of no longer being a victim to the anger habit is wonderful. But the route of anger management implies that you first get angry and then try to stop feeling anger.
The alternative to anger management
Instead of managing anger why not learn how to avoid it in the first place!
How about developing the ability to encounter the situations that currently cause you to feel annoyed without their pressing your buttons!
The implication in anger management is that you will get angry so you examine and learn ways of feeling less angry.
The alternative is to change your attitude towards the triggers. This takes a bit longer but is also a lot more likely to free you from being a victim to the triggers.