Help for Adults

Welcome to angerchillout.com! We're very happy you've found us and have decided to spend some time determining if any of our ideas might be of help to you. The topic of anger and violence is of great importance to counselors, educators, students, parents and other concerned adults. Our hope is that the material presented on this page and in our books will be directly applicable and allow you to impact the lives of your students and children.

Let me make certain one important point gets covered before we move forward. ANGER IS NOT INHERENTLY GOOD OR BAD. It is what people do with anger that is important. As you have probably observed, anger can lead people to make poor choices such as engaging in acts of violence. But anger can also motivate individuals to speak out against injustice and attempt to right a wrong.

Anger is also a very misunderstood emotion. One of our goals with this web page is to dispel some of the myths and rumors surrounding anger. Even though this information is under the "Help for Parents" section, the next bit of text is designed to allow you to help your children or students. Please feel free to print this information to help take the first important step toward anger management. This first step involves helping kids understand where their feelings come from.

The biggest myth is that, "Anger is caused by other people and other things." It seems true but I can prove to you it's false. I'm going to use a story called "the blind man on the bus" to help me.

If you were riding on a bus and felt a sudden, sharp poke in the ribs, how would you feel? Most people say they would probably feel irritated or angry and some say they would feel scared. That's normal. Let's say, just for this example, that you would feel angry. You might be thinking something like, "That stupid jerk. He ought to be careful. You shouldn't just poke people in the ribs." Those thoughts would clearly lead you to be angry.

Now suppose you look over to see who had poked you and realize it was a blind man. He was taking off his sweater and he accidentally poked you with his elbow. Now how would you feel? Most people say they would feel sad or even embarrassed that they were angry with the man. Here's the important part…YOU STILL GOT POKED IN THE RIBS! The event (getting poked in the ribs) was exactly the same but your feelings changed from anger to sadness or embarrassment. Clearly, if events and people MADE you angry, then the same exact event couldn't immediately cause two different feelings. The feelings must be controlled by something else. That "something else" is your THOUGTHS.

When you saw it was a blind man who had poked you, your thoughts probably changed to something like, "It was an accident. He didn't mean to do it." Those thoughts would make your anger disappear. So the biggest myth about anger is that other people and other things CAUSE anger. They don't. Your THOUGHTS cause anger and that's good news because if your thoughts cause anger, you can learn to change your thoughts to manage your angry feelings.

 

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