Anger Management? - Waynesville,MO

Updated on February 17, 2011
A.C. asks from Waynesville, MO
15 answers

I have no idea where to begin, but I'm pretty sure I have anger issues and I'm pretty sure it's learned behavior. I remember growing up and my father had a quick temper and no patience. I have a four year old and I get so angry all the time and very quickly because of the things that my child or even my husband does and I don't know how to release my anger in a healthy way. I usually bottle it up until I completely explode! I hate feeling this way and I hate that I don't have a cool temper and patience like other parents I see have. I'm afriad my not being able to express my anger or my feelings is starting to affect my 4 year old and how he expresses his anger. I should also add that my husband doesn't EVER express how he's feeling about anything. I usually have to sit down with him once a year and let him know he needs to express how he feels especially about me. His not expressing how he feels affects me because I end up bottling everything up as well. I guess what I'm asking is should I seek out an anger management class of some sort? I'm at such a loss.

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answers from New York on

I can relate. I searched anger management classes in my area on the web once but didn't find anything. Counseling would be great but is sometimes too inconvenient. You might benefit from an antidepressant though. I've found it makes me easier going. In addition, try some books. One called Feeling Good is helpful. It discusses how changing thought patterns takes time and practice and I've noticed that consciously correcting how I'm reacting to things has really helped.

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answers from Kansas City on

I had an anger problem also, and while I certainly don't want to discourage you from getting professional help, I also want to let you know that you can start to turn it around yourself. I went through the same thing a year ago with my daughter, who is 8. She was throwing tantrums when she didn't get what she wanted (screaming, rolling around on the floor, the whole bit). It got to the point where I didn't even want to be around her. She seemed to do things just to push my buttons. I felt like the worst mother in the world because I was so angry all of the time and she was so out of control.

What turned it around for me was when I realized she was mimicing MY angry behavior (as you have realized as well) and needed more loving attention from me. Whenever I talked to her, it was because I wanted her to do something and then I would get angry when she didn't do it fast enough. So most of the exchanges we had were angry ones (instigated by me) and she started mimicing MY bad attitude! (duh! you wouldn't believe how long it took for me to figure that one out!)

Once I realized this, I began working on my patience. At first, I wouldn't remember to be patient until AFTER I had yelled at her. Then, gradually, I "remembered" earlier and earlier so that I was able to take a breath & remember to model the behavior I wanted HER to exhibit. This whole process only took about a week (luckily, I had plenty of opportunities to practice. ha!)

I also started making a point of giving her a LONG hug and telling her I loved her whenever the thought crossed my mind to do it (several times a day). I made sure that when I saw her for the first time in the morning and when she came home from school, I was REALLY excited to see her again. At first, I faked it a bit, I must admit (it's hard to work up excitement when you think you're in for an evening of battling it out, and even with the smiling "I love you's" I had to 'act' a bit at first). But after only a week, there was a major change in her behavior (and my attitude). I really started to FEEL the love I was dishing out to her. I've continued with this and I can't remember the last time she had a fit about something, and I just don't get as angry anymore.

I wish you both the best. You really CAN turn this around-- I know. But it really truly has to start with YOU and changing not only how you react to her bad behavior, but how you interact with her all the time. Thinking about how I want my daughter to act really helps me stay calm when things are going badly because I know now that I have to show her how to behave (not just tell her). I would love to hear from you in a week or so to see how things are going for you. I know this is a frustrating process, but you can do it!

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answers from Boca Raton on

IMHO, many times anger is actually a manifestation of fear (and the fear may go back to childhood). When your anger wells up, ask yourself what you're really afraid of.

Counseling seems silly or indulgent sometimes, but it truly helps to sort through the underlying emotions of seemingly negative behavior. It's hard to change until you know WHY you're doing what you're doing - at least imho.

I wish you lots of luck and peace with this issue - you must love your son very much to not want to be disproportionately angry with him. That is a trait of a noble person.

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answers from Erie on

First big hugs!! It's good that you recognize what you are doing.
One thing you might want to try is breathe control. Just all day long, when things are good and when things are not so good, just practice deep breathes. If you get good at it, it might help diffuse some of the explosions.
Lavendar is supposed to be a calming scent, maybe if you started to feel a little out of control you could put a drop of lavendar oil on a handerkief.
another thing you might want to check out, is the book The Five Love Languages. It sounds like ??? maybe you would like to hear your hubby say, what he likes and doesn't like and maybe some expressions of love. Maybe he is expressing his love for you in another way, other than words. LIke if he does things to help you out, or if he buys you things.
I think a class of some sort would be great and i actually disagree with a previous poster that said people need counselors to find out why they do something before they can fix it. I think simply if someone can show you a better way, you should do it instead of worring about why you didn't do it that way in the first place.

would fitting in long walks or other exercise help? would keeping a journal of what sets you off help?
Good luck, you sound like a strong woman, who can make big changes in her life!!

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answers from San Francisco on

Yes, it sounds like you need tools to learn how to control this, before you do a lot of damage to your son and marriage.

Look for an anger management class or something. You will also have to learn how to cope with a spouse who doesn't show his emotions, because that kind of personality will amplify your anger response.

Do something soon - it's critical.

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answers from Dallas on

I'm very proud you can admit this to yourself. Yes, I think you should find some sort of class to take. Also, continue to be proactive and check out some self-help books.
Maybe start a journal how you feel and let your husband read it so maybe he'll also start talking more, plus you have one way to vent and not keep it bundled up.
Counting to 10 before saying something is easier said than done, but try it.

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answers from Honolulu on

I suggest a behavioral psychologist. I have one for coping with my ADHD and it helps sooo much!

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answers from Cleveland on

I concur with MamaMay. I too had a mom that always yelled and found myself getting that "bridled up" feeling. Like you, I didn't want to be that mom and repeat what mine had done. I also found it was directly related to that time of the month ie. PMS. While I didn't see anyone (wish I would have, rather than figuring it out on my own) also do several things, get a few books on the subject and make a point of always walking away first if that feeling comes upon you, and taking a deep breath before dealing with little one. AND, smile. Laugh! Sing even. You may just distract them from the behavior that's annoying you! Good luck

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answers from St. Louis on

Wow - been there! I know that the whole counseling and finding the underlying cause etc is a good idea, but honestly - that could take me a year or more, and cost a ton of money (hence more stress), and in the end - what difference does it really make? I dont care if my parents raised me a certain way - I know it is wrong and I know I dont want to be like that. Life is too short - who knows how much more "damage" I could do to my son during that year of "working it out"? And then it starts the cycle with him - he will become like me and blame it on his upbringing etc.

I decided to ask my doctor to prescribe me cymbalta. I had been on it before for aches and things and it really did help me with little side effects. Life is too short - I can take the meds until he is old enough to leave the house, and THEN spend a year working it out ! (if i even want to). And it was like night and day - 3 weeks and I was a new person who actually liked my life and my kid (yes, it had gotten really bad!). I guess if you really want to work it out the "right way", do the meds at the same time so you get some immediate benefit.

I am not a very different person, I just have the self control now to STOP being angry after the initial burst (it used to be that the first thing to make me mad was it, and my entire day was lost... now i get mad, but I get over it very quickly by just wanting to). And I can laugh and smile and have fun without this cloud over me!

Oh - and I read that book someone below mentioned "Five Love Languages". It is a little bit "salesly" as he tries way to hard to make his ideas sound more clinical and science based, but the idea is really good. Everybody has different ways that they feel loved - some need to be told how important they are, some need to be shown by doing acts of service that have value to them, some need quality time together, some need physical touch on a regular basis, etc. If you are the kind of person who needs to be told they are loved, then your spouse should make an effort to accommodate that, even if it isnt comfortable for them. Why? Because they love you!. If you are the kind that acts of service is important, and if he vacuumed the floor for you every few days as a way to show you that he understands how important it is to you and knows it will make you happy then you will feel loved and more content with each other. He doesnt have to like vacuuming, he just does it because he loves you and knows you need him to do it. THere are some good examples in there. Its definitely worth a read for BOTH partners. You dont have to talk about your feelings - just ask him to read the book and tell you what type he is, and you tell him what type you are. And both agree to make some extra small efforts to accommodate the other.

Good luck!



answers from Phoenix on

Awesome that you recognize it and want to change. Good for you!! There are anger management classes that might help you and encourage you. You can also go to counseling. Ask your doctor or church for recommendations. Good luck!



answers from Honolulu on

Have you always been like this?
It could be due to your upbringing.

Or, do you experience this short temper, once a month? As in when PMS-ing??? And IF this temper/anger is "Cyclical"... then it is PMS.
If so, then it is hormonal based.
If you Google Search "PMS" and its symptoms... it is what you describe. As well.

Then, your Husband does not express himself. Does it cause a problem for him? Or just for you?
Maybe he does not express himself, because he doesn't want to be jumped on, by you... per your short temper. So he keeps everything inside. He walks on egg-shells.....

Yes, see Anger help, which would be beneficial.
It can, "erode" all relationships.
There are also community "anger management" support groups. Or the Counselor route. Look online for what is available in your city.

It is GOOD, you are self-reflecting.
That is a positive step.
In coping and in emotional management....



answers from Philadelphia on

Yes and or a behavoiral therapist or a sport or yoga class or maybe a family therapist.. .. Its tough bringing that to the table with some husbands but even maybe theres a book like the kazden method . That you guys can read together . Its funny how much you learn about yourself when you read those books. There is nothing wrong with taking care of yourself to cope with the stresses of being a wife and mother. It is just like eating healthy when you were pregnant. My dad was/is an impatient father loving but quick to react when things were tough. ( nam vet Marine nough said) my mother was a screamer. I know they both love me yet they did not handle stress at all and now I have been throughout my life worked on how to modify those behavoirs. on the flip side Many of my greatest traits are also from my parents example.
Find activities to help minimalize stresses exercises to help you calm down. Try to identify your behavoirs and how you may change your reaction to your son when he's driving you up the wall. I realized that my children react based apon how I handle things even more so than my husband. I even started counting down from 5.a deep cleansing breath in between. I absolutely need to be creative to keep me calm. But sometimes just taking a mutual time out and going for a walk offf to the park etc can really save the day.



answers from Charlotte on




answers from Phoenix on

I think its great that you can recognize it!
Perhaps start with a counselor and they can help you with getting set up with a class if that best suits your needs.
A journal as someone suggested is a great idea. I did this after hubby's affair and it was a great tool. I was able to express my feelings on paper rather than bottle them up and when I wanted to I could have him read it so that he knew where I was coming from and how I was feeling without me having to express it verbally which can be difficult.
It may also help your hubby to see what you are going though and open up himself some as well.


answers from Modesto on

Knowing that you have a problem means it's pretty fixable.
Make a point to do some journaling at the end of each day or first thing in the morning or whenever it is that you have a little quiet time to yourself.
Write down the date and time and what occurred that day that made you mad or sad or angry and also write down how you wished you would have reacted instead. You will learn a lot about yourself if your write things down.
Forcing someone else to open up in order to make you happy doesnt really work. Work on yourself first.
Since you were raised in a home with anger issues you dont have the skills to cope. Pay close attention to how others do it. Realize that right now you cant trust your first instincts and try to take a deep breath and not react immediately to situations. Think first, act second. You are probably reacting too soon.....Slow down a little and the world sorta slows down with ya.

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