Tips on how to control anger before it controls you

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Barbara Friedman

65 days ago
Tips on how to control anger before it controls you pexels.com

  • Anger management guru Shelton Kartun explains that anger is healthy in alerting us that we have an unmet need

  • Managing that anger however, is the key he explains



Do you or someone you know have a problem with anger?

Are you frequently flying off the handle, seeing red or perhaps exploding into a fit of rage behind the wheel?

Do you find your partner’s rages so frightening you’re thinking about calling time on the relationship or perhaps you yourself feel unable to control your temper?

If so, it could be that you would benefit from anger management therapy.

Sara-Jayne speaks to South Africa’s anger ‘guru’. Shelton Kartun operates one of the only specialist centres for helping people manage their anger and emotions more effectively.

Anger is our reaction to situations or to the way we think about situations, our perceptions.

Shelton Kartun, CEO, Counsellor, and Facilitator - The Anger & Stress Management Centre

Anger is one of our many normal human emotions, he says, but is often a misused emotion.

It is a very powerful emotion and people fly off the handle very, very quickly, and the problem lies in typically the knee-jerk reaction which is devoid of clever rational thinking.

Shelton Kartun, CEO, Counsellor, and Facilitator - The Anger & Stress Management Centre

When feeling anger we are also faced with two physiological problems which are very primitive he notes.

It is like a survival defense mechanism that kicks in.

Shelton Kartun, CEO, Counsellor, and Facilitator - The Anger & Stress Management Centre

One is that you go into the wrong part of the brain which I call the stupid brain - and the other part is that we get very adrenalised so we get flooded with adrenaline driving a flight response.

Shelton Kartun, CEO, Counsellor, and Facilitator - The Anger & Stress Management Centre

This is why he says in those moments we can end up doing really silly, stupid, and even aggressive things which we might regret later.

It's about slowing everything down and working things out.

Shelton Kartun, CEO, Counsellor, and Facilitator - The Anger & Stress Management Centre

Why anger is healthy is that it is just alerting you that you have an unmet need. There is something you need of a situation or of a person that would make things better for you.

Shelton Kartun, CEO, Counsellor, and Facilitator - The Anger & Stress Management Centre

The healthy aspect is that anger can drive change for the better, says Kartun.

Sometimes the anger we feel as an adult goes back to historic reasons, there is unresolved anger from childhood issues such as bullying and abuse.

Shelton Kartun, CEO, Counsellor, and Facilitator - The Anger & Stress Management Centre

This can lead to then acting out of all proportion to the nature of the current incident. Road rage is a good example of that behaviour he adds.

These are clues that you have historic anger from childhood that you have neer cleared - deflected anger.

Shelton Kartun, CEO, Counsellor, and Facilitator - The Anger & Stress Management Centre

He says anger and stress has a very detrimental impact on their body and health.

The trigger that sets you off is often not an attempt by another to invoke massive anger in you - so he says one should practice compassion and empathy for that person.

They are often in their own world. There is a bigger picture out there.

Shelton Kartun, CEO, Counsellor, and Facilitator - The Anger & Stress Management Centre

A common one is verbal abuse - shouting and swearing.

Shelton Kartun, CEO, Counsellor, and Facilitator - The Anger & Stress Management Centre

There are two types described in the anger management space he says.

One is the 'exploder' who is usually quite predictable and has a short fuse.

The second is the 'imploder', the classic 'bottle-upper' who resorts to passive aggressor behaviour.

Eventually, an imploder will become an exploder.

Shelton Kartun, CEO, Counsellor, and Facilitator - The Anger & Stress Management Centre

But many people who have an anger problem are in a state of denial.

Shelton Kartun, CEO, Counsellor, and Facilitator - The Anger & Stress Management Centre

Kartun says the centre provides people with practical tools to help manage anger. Take a listen to the interview above.

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Tips on how to control anger before it controls you

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