Is An Angry Reaction A Choice?


Can a person choose to not have an angry reaction although experiencing the feeling of anger? Yes. Is an angry reaction a choice? Yes. Is anger bad? No, anger in and of itself is not bad. It is how we respond and react to our feelings of anger in terms of our own self talk and in our interactions with others that offers a good or bad outcome. Specifically, it is the mismanagement of anger and rage that is a major cause of conflict in one’s professional and personal relationships, not the actual feeling of anger.

When working with clients with anger issues one key theme I explain to them is that although they may be feeling an anger level of ’10′ (on a scale of 0-10), they can choose to have an angry reaction of ’0′. It is that choice in and of itself that is a significant piece of the puzzle in anger management, it is that very decision to be in control of one’s reactive impulse that is of great importance if you desire to manage your anger effectively.

There is a fine line between violent words and the crossing over that very line to violent physical actions. Emotional hurt of another with one’s anger response painfully too often escalates to physical hurt of another with one’s anger. The choice to be mindful of one’s anger triggers, the choice to be mindful of one’s reaction to those triggers (i.e., with one’s words, one’s body language, one’s physicality) – it is just that – a choice. Each moment of each day we have a choice for how we choose to react to our life’s frustrations. What’s it going to be for you?

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Follow Dr. Karen on Twitter or Facebook. Media Psychotherapist Guest Expert; Relationships, Parenting, Human Behavior, Analyzes Hot Topics In The News. Has appeared on FOX News Channel's: The O'Reilly Factor, FOX & Friends, FOX & Friends FIRST, America Live, Hannity, America's Newsroom, and FOX Business Network's: Cavuto. Go–to for FOX News Boston including the regular segment; Ask Dr. Karen. Also appeared on ABC's Good Morning America, Lifetime, Discovery Network's Destination America, The Steve Harvey TV Show, and more. Sought after Radio Guest Expert. Columnist. Often quoted in various print media: FOX Business, FOX News Magazine, Boston Globe, Boston Herald,, Good Housekeeping, Yahoo Shine, Parents, Parenting, CNN, TIME, Woman's Day, Men's Health, USA Today, and more. Owner/Founder/President: Dr. Karen Ruskin & Associates, Inc. Based in Massachusetts. Author of: 9 Key Techniques For Raising Respectful Children and Dr. Karen's Marriage Manual. Copyright 2012.


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