1. approval, acceptance, love
2. achievement, success, performance
Having the preference is not a problem; but when we demand that we have what we
want relative to these, we are likely to create an emotional disturbance for ourselves and may find ourselves behaving in a self-defeating manner. For instance: If those closest to me do not provide me the approval in the way I desire; people at the office do not recognize the good work that I am doing or I am inconvenienced by my vehicle
breaking down – I could quickly find myself angry. I could brood or worse. I could say cutting, unkind things to those closest to me or purposefully “slack” at work as though I have this authority to punish and straighten them out.
Accepting that people are not always going to behave the way we like and that the world is not always going to provide us the level of comfort we desire will go a long way to
avoiding unhealthy anger. We have the legitimate authority to ask for or work to get what we want, but no one owes it to us. As a matter of fact, we may not get what we think we deserve even having worked for a thing.
People are fallible and do not always act fairly or morally. Healthy anger would motivate us to ask for what we want, take legitimate
action to change circumstances or to accept what we cannot change.
Beliefs/ Thoughts That Predispose People to Anger
1. How awful and terrible that you treat me like this!
2. I can’t stand your irresponsible behavior!
3. You should not/ must not treat me like that!
4. Because you behave as you should not/ must not, you are a non-person and deserve severe punishment!
5. How awful for you to have treated me unfairly!
6. I can’t stand your treating me in such an unjust manner!
7. You must not behave that way toward me!
8. Because you have treated me in such a manner, you are a terrible person deserving of nothing good in life and I wish all manner of harm to come upon you.
9. How awful things have turned out so badly for me!
10. I can’t stand that things turned out this way!
11. Things should not happen this way, and so terribly inconvenience me!
12. Nothing ever works out the way I want it to! Life is always unfair to me - as it shouldn’t be!
These beliefs/ thoughts are largely not true. I may not like it, but I can stand it and it is survivable. Things may even be objectively bad, but they never become too bad. Situations may be hard, but never become too hard to survive, cope or overcome.
1. Accept that the world and other people and even yourself are not going to always come through for you and may even down right try to do you in. Accept that the goals of others may conflict with yours. Accept that circumstances will not always be to your liking.
2. Do what is in your legitimate power to change the situation.
3. Take responsibility for your life by making choices that have the potential to benefit you (exercise your self-worth).
4. Recognize that the more energy that you spend being angry, the less energy you have for #2 and #3.