A highly practical and easy-to-follow guide for managing anger problems...well documented and recommended for self-help collections in academic and large public libraries and for mental health practitioners.
James A. (Jim) Baker, one of America's forerunners in the field of corporate training, has received national and international acclaim for his worldwide training seminars. He specializes in conflict resolution, negotiation, and anger management.
Includes 51 Anger Busters you can use anytime, anywhere. When counting to 10 doesn't cut it anymore.
It Can happen to anyone. You get mad, really mad. Then things start happening. The shouting starts. Doors get slammed. Something gets broken. Someone gets hurt. If you--or your partner --have the kind of anger that rages out of control, you're not alone. Many people feel things deeply and react strongly to the situations around them. But anger can become a way of life.
When it starts to affect your marriage, your job, your kids, or your own sense of who you are, you know it's time to get help. If you're already visiting a therapist, facing a judge in court, or getting written up by your boss, it's still not too late. The information and techniques in this book put you in control of anger and back in charge of your life right NOW.
Win back your life -- and your wife -- in 90 days. These proven techniques have already helped thousands of men save their relationships and turn their lives around. Part One of this workbook is for men. Part Two is for the women who love them. You'll even read about other couples facing similar situations.
Be ready the next time anger strikes.The Anger Busting Workbook takes on anger in a big way. When you have weeks or only days to get your anger under control, this workbook can do it for you. Get straight talk on what you can do TODAY to shut down the boiler and give yourself a second chance.
Quickly learn how to:
- STOP anger, without having to analyze it to death
- Cut the fuel line to your anger in six simple steps
- Put a sock in it--it's OK to simply shut up
- Use body language to put the brakes on anger in less than 60 seconds
- Master words and phrases PROVEN to get you out of the doghouse
- Take care of yourself--create less stress, more success
- Create happier endings for the same old arguments
- Start living the life you really want for yourself AND your family
Quick Quiz! Are you an "Anger Addict"? Find out on page 27.
Anger Busting At It's Best
- Includes 51 Anger Busters you can use anytime, anywhere.
- Easier to rip in half than a phonebook, but so much better for you!
- Use it on your own, with your spouse, or with a therapist.
The New companion to Newton Hightower's Best Selling, Award Winning Book, Anger Busting 101.
For more information visit: www.AngerManagementSeminar.com
The Anger Busting Workbook
Publication date: Nov 2010
Imprint: Bayou Publishing
Book Format: Perfect Bound
Book Size: 8.5 x 11
James A. Baker James A. (Jim) Baker, one of America's forerunners in the field of corporate training, has received national and international acclaim for his worldwide training seminars. He specializes in conflict resolution, negotiation, and anger management. Trainees from all over the world have participated in his Anger Management Seminar. Visit him at www.AngerManagementSeminar.com
A Note to the Reader
Preface –– Face Your Anger
Part I -- A Recovery Plan for Angry Men
1. Putting on the Brakes
2. A Check-Up from the Neck-Up
3. Put a Stock In It (Really!)
Part II -- A New Strategy for the Women Coping with Angry Men. Facing Facts: Unhappily Ever After?5. The Line in the Sand6. ABCs for Your Own Recovery
Appendix -- Leading Involuntary Anger
References and Reading List
About the Author
You can change right now.
Pause for a moment and let those words sink in.
If you are holding this book in your hands, it is almost certainly because someone in your life your -- wife, your kids, your therapist, your boss or perhaps a judge -- has made it abundantly clear to you that you have to do something about your outbursts of rage, and you have to do it now!
Of course, this is not news to you; most likely, people have been telling you this for years. However, up to this very moment, you have been willing to settle for other options. For a while you could smooth things over by just apologizing and promising it would never happen again, and then sweeten the deal with flowers and a night on the town, or a new dress or, if your behavior was especially dreadful, maybe a cruise or a new car! But you can only make and break so many promises before people begin to suspect that you are just playing them; eventually, the stakes get higher and the pressure to actually change gets heavier.
Finally, you probably even agreed to get counseling, where usually one of two things happens. Very often, after about three sessions, you and your wife are yelling at each other even more because now she expects you to suddenly be Mr. Charming and see things her way all the time; nobody even gives you credit for showing up at these annoying sessions in the first place. You are very relieved when your wife, and the counselor, decide you shouldn't come back. On the other hand, sometimes counseling isn't so bad, especially if you get one of those "nice" therapist who lets you talk about what a terrible life you had growing up; one who seems to agree with you that your boss is completely unreasonable, your kids are ungrateful and your wife doesn't appreciate everything you go through to take care of everyone. Talking to this kind of therapist isn't so bad. Maybe you even start to feel safe and open up a little bit. You get in touch with some of your emotions and decide to work harder at doing better. Which would be great if you could live your whole life at the therapist's office, but eventually you have to go back home. Once you get back on the highway with those stupid, idiotic drivers and fight your way back home to a house full of unreasonable, ungrateful people it doesn't take long for all those feelings of good will to erupt into another angry outburst. Your wife says she doesn't believe you are even going to counseling. Now, that hurts.
Of course you feel bad about those outbursts most of the time; maybe you even feel guilty. After all, you don't get up in the morning intending to punch a hole in the wall or call your daughter all those awful names or shove your wife into the coffee table. Deep down, you know that you are not that kind of a guy. People just don't understand you; they don't listen to you; they don't give you the space you need or the credit you deserve. Why are they always arguing with you and trying to get you to change? Why do they make your life so hard, especially since you are trying to do the best you can? It seems so unfair. And, anyhow, most of the time you had really good excuses for blowing up. Why don't those kids ever pick up their toys? Why do we always end up having corny dogs and tater tots on Thursday nights? Why does her family always want to plan stuff on the weekends? People are always blaming stuff on you when you are hardly ever the one who starts it!
So now it comes down to thus. She says things have to change now or she is going to go on with the divorce. To make matters worse, the judge says that if you want to see your kids without supervised visitation, you have to do something about your anger immediately. Of course, this has made you pretty much a wreck at work, but no one wants to cut you any slack. They are giving you a wide berth and encouraging you to get some help. How could it have come to this? Your first marriage was bad, but you thought it was just because you were both too young. You really don't want to lose another relationship, but everything you do just seems to make matters worse. What next?
The More You Do What You Always Did, the More You Will Get What You Always Got
You can change right now. This isn't an empty promise or a therapist trick to get you to commit two more years and thousands of extra dollars to more counseling. You can begin to make major changes in your life right now -- before you put this book down and turn out the light for the night -- but you have to face facts first: you have a problem with rage. All the awful words, the screaming, the pushing and shoving, the broken relationships, the blaming, the guilt and shame, and the excuses -- lots and lots of excuses -- it all fits a pattern. Maybe you don't want to believe it is all about you, and maybe it isn't really all about you. But the part where you scream and curse and break things and hurt people you love, that part is all about you. And people who behave like this have a serious problem. Sometimes they are called "rageaholics" because they seem to be addicted to anger. No matter what they try to do about it, they always seem to come back around to another rage event.
Like most people with a rage problem, you have tried all sorts of things in an attempt to get your life back to normal. Unfortunately, none of them worked, at least not for very long. But what did you do? You kept doing them anyway, just louder, longer, harder and faster. More apologies, more make-up presents, even more counseling, more heart-to- heart talks, more excuses, more explanations, followed by more outbursts. You learned one thing: the more you do what you always did, the more you will get what you always got! Aren't you tired of getting what you always got? Then the first thing to do is to stop doing what you have always done! In other words, whatever it is you have tried to do just flat isn't working, so doesn't it just make sense to stop doing it?!
First Thing to Do If You Are Stuck In A Hole? Stop Digging!
Now, freeze right there. Before we take one step toward introducing you to the material in this workbook -- powerful stuff that is going to give you the traction you need to change your life -- stop right here and soak in this mind-boggling suggestion. Did it ever occur to you that, instead of rummaging through your childhood to find explanations for your anger, and instead of having deep discussions in the middle of the night with your wife trying to help her understand why you have a good reason to be angry (which, by the way, always leads to more fights), you could just stop doing those things that are causing everyone so much pain in the first place? Well, that is the premise on which this workbook is based.
Here's why. A long time ago, probably about the same time you were learning your ABCs, you were also learning the ABCs of anger -- and for you that meant Anger, Blame, and Criticism. How or why you learned it isn't the point here, but the fact is you developed a relationship to anger that hurts you and the people around you. So, in this workbook you are going to learn a new set of ABCs -- Abstain, Believe and Communicate. And it all begins with a commitment to immediately stop doing the things that look and sound and feel like anger. Too simplistic? Too mechanical? Too hard? Not really, especially once you consider what fuels anger in the first place.
Getting All Steamed Up
During the early years of the 20th Century, Dr. Walter Cannon first introduced the idea of the "fight or flight" response as a way of describing the body's physiological responses to stressful, threatening events. Since that time, numerous studies have documented the remarkable physical changes that go on under the surface while we are experiencing emotions such as fear or anger. During these times, your sympathetic nervous system starts arming your body for a possible physical attack. Your muscles get tense, your blood pressure and heart rate go through the roof, your digestive system shuts down, and the chemistry affecting the processes in your brain actually become altered. It is kind of like heating up steam in a boiler to produce a high-level burst of energy. This is all for the purpose of getting you ready to fight as hard as you can or run as fast as you can. These changes are very useful on the battlefield, or even on the football field, but they cause nothing but problems at home or on the job. So, the trick is to find a way to shut down the boiler that is producing all that steam and pressure.
People who have difficulty distinguishing between being attacked by a roaring mountain lion and discussing family finances with their wives eventually end up in some sort of therapy sessions. We have already alluded to the fact that most of the time the way anger is dealt with in counseling is not helpful. One standard approach is to do a lot of talk therapy or insight therapy, where you examine your childhood or other events in the hope of finding and addressing the wounds that caused you to become chronically angry in the first place. There are two problems with this approach. First of all, it can actually make you angrier as you finally face some very sad truths about your past. But the bigger problem is that this process can take a long time; months, maybe even years. In the meantime, your wife (and maybe even a judge) wants something done now. Your window of opportunity right now may be measured in a matter of days, or, at the most, weeks. You can waste a lot of time talking and yet not really do anything to alleviate the rage -- shut down the boiler -- that still comes out of nowhere without warning and overwhelms you. You need a solution now.
Another approach is the "Build-up/Blow-up Theory of Anger." Although a lot of models fit under this heading, the one thing they all have in common is encouraging angry people to "let it all out." The idea is that yelling, screaming, crying, hitting pillows and lots of other creative ways of "expressing" anger (in safe, controlled settings, of course) will help to diffuse the anger and get rid of it permanently. As it turns out, this idea rarely ever solves the problem, especially for men with genuine rage issues.
The "Build-up/Blow-up" tactic will scald those around you. What are you going to do about that steam building up in the pressure cooker? Try turning off the fire. No more steam, no more pressure.
Remember, we have an overheated boiler. Think of anger like the pressurized steam building up in a pressure cooker. The question is, how do we safely alleviate that pressure? Now, we can relieve the pressure by taking the lid off and letting all the steam come rushing out, but with what result? Anyone standing nearby is going to get scalded! But more than that, we haven't really solved the problem. The trouble isn't the lid on the top of the pan; it is the fireburning under the bottom of the pan! Turn off the fire and there is no more steam, no more pressure, no more danger.
That's why we are suggesting that the first thing you need to do is stop doing all those things you usually do when you are angry. You may not realize it yet, but all those things -- the words, the tone of voice, the body language, the explanations and excuses, the arguing -- are actually fueling the anger fire under your boiler. That fire keeps the steam building and the pressure rising. Your "fight or flight" system just keeps right on percolating. And the anger response just keeps growing. Do you want to get an immediate handle on your anger problems? Turn off the fire. Stop doing what you have always done.
Addicted to Rage
We are not suggesting that helping some people express their anger in safe, controlled ways is a bad idea; we are only saying that it doesn't help people with rage problems. Think of it like this: does it really make sense to take a keg of beer to an alcohol treatment center so that problem drinkers can "get it all out of their system?" In the same way that alcoholics are addicted to alcohol, "rageaholics" are addicted to rage. The more alcoholics drink, the more they want to keep drinking. Rage follows the same pattern: the more ragers rage, the more they want to rage. As anger builds in a rage addict, a combination of physiological processes and learned behaviors sets up a cascade effect that pushes him to harsher, more aggressive, even violent, expressions of anger. This is why the very first rule you need to learn, right now, is that when you are angry, don't say anything! When a rage addict starts talking about his anger, it only makes him angrier, like turning up the fire under the pressure cooker. Shutting up is like shutting off the flame under the pressure cooker. It can help to prevent a rage event by giving the body's physiological processes a chance to return to normal.
The Telltale Signs of Rageaholism
That's right -- we are calling this relationship with rage an addiction. In order for a behavior to be classified as addictive, it has to follow a standard pattern: self-stimulation; compulsion, obsession; denial; withdrawal and craving syndrome; and unpredictable behavior. Drug use and alcoholism both fit this pattern, and in many cases, so does anger.
Self-Stimulation -- Once a rageaholic starts to express anger, it triggers an ever-inten- sifying anger cascade.
Compulsion -- Essentially, this is the inability to stop expressing anger once you start an episode. Rageaholics continue to rage compulsively in spite of the negative consequences that will inevitably follow. Whenever we can no longer control how much or when we rage, we have crossed the line into addiction.
Obsession -- Anger addicts are very often preoccupied with resentment and fantasies about revenge. It often seems uncontrollable; thoughts of being wronged and "getting even" begin to overwhelm conscious thought, crowding out all other lines of thinking. Eventually, the focus of life becomes chronically revenge oriented. Anger is now driving the bus.
Denial -- At this point, rageaholics are trapped in their addiction by a nifty bit of mental judo called denial. You might find yourself saying, rnrn"My problem isn't anger, my problem is her!" Instead of focusing on the terrible and destructive nature of your own actions, you shift focus to what the other person did. Jesus once said, "Take the log out of your own eye before trying to take the speck out of your neighbor's eye." But a rageaholic can't do that. He can't risk letting go of his anger.
Withdrawal and Craving -- Anger addicts are so dependent on rage that they often experience symptoms of withdrawal as they go through their "detox" period. Ragers who abstain from expressions of anger for 90 days are usually then free of old anger patterns, but getting through that 90 days can be a challenge. During this detox phase, ragers report increased struggles with depression. And they also report indulging in something called "rescue fantasies." Simply put, they are hoping for an excuse to get really angry for a legitimate reason, like rescuing someone who is being threatened. Anything to get back that old exhilarating feeling.
Unpredictable Behavior -- Just as an alcoholic can't predict what is going to happen when he takes a drink, a rageaholic can't ever predict when an expression of anger will rocket out of control. For an addict, there is really no such thing as an appropriate expression of anger because you can't really predict what will happen next.
You Talkin' To Me?
Let's be clear about one thing: this workbook is designed for that small percent of the population that has rage or violence problems. Not everyone needs this program, but if you are addicted to anger, nothing else is likely to help. You already know this to be true because you have tried everything you can think of and things just keep getting worse. If you are an anger addict, expressing anger will not do anything but cause more pain and get you deeper into the doghouse. So, the only question now is: are you an anger addict? Let's find out. Answer the following questions as "true" or "false." Be more honest and more courageous than you have ever been in your whole life. There is a lot riding on your ability to tell the truth right now. You aren't going to fool anybody but yourself.
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