In the last three years, I had one main goal in my personal life: To stop being so angry. was my emotional currency. I grew up in an angry home. The main means of communication were the doors and the bumping of the phone.
I brought these skills into my 20-year marriage. ̵
Three years ago, an earthquake hit our home: we had a girl. I only wanted the opposite. I wanted to grow up in a relaxed setting – to learn other ways to deal with inconvenient situations.
So I went to therapy. I kept worksheets for cognitive behavioral therapy. I breathed deeply, numb to ten, and walked out of the rooms.
These strategies helped me manage anger, but they never reduced it. It was like keeping a horse in the barn. I was detained, but not cozy.
Then, six months ago, I was talking to Lisa Feldman Barrett, a psychologist at Northeastern University. Just at the end of the one-hour interview, she rejected this suggestion: "You can increase your emotional maturity."
My emotional what?
"Over the past 30 years, Feldman Barrett has found evidence that anger is not an emotion, but rather a whole family of emotions." learning to identify different family members is a powerful tool to regulate your anger, show surveys.
Or even better, as I have discovered, go and compile your own categories of anger and start using them. What Is Anger
There is a general theory of anger. You will find it in textbooks, scholarly articles, news reports – even here in the NPR, and some scholars support this theory, says Feldman Barrett
The idea is that anger is one of the few "basic emotions" that are universal, says Feldman Barrett, which is almost like a reflex – a hard cable in the brain. "When something unfair or unjust happens," your blood pressure is often increased. Your pulse will rise. Maybe you will breathe strong or have a reddening of the skin, "she says," then you will have the desire to … strike or shout someone. This is the stereotype of what is anger, "says Feldman Barrett.
But this is not the whole story.
What you feel when you are angry depends on the situation, what are your past experiences and how your culture has taught you to react, she says.
As a result, there are huge differences in the types of anger in the United States, such as raging anger when you sweat to compete in sports or sad anger when your husband or boss does not appreciate you
When you look at other cultures, the variance explodes. a word that roughly means "a person in need of slap", or backpfeifengesicht . "You seem to be so furious with someone looking at their face and as if your face is pushing you to hit them," says Feldman Barrett "This is a great emotion."
Ancient Greeks have distinguished between short-term anger that is not around orge ) with constant anger that is permanent (19459013) menin ) .
Mandarin Chinese has a specific word of anger directed at you, [or huǐhèn . This is literally a combination of regret and hatred, says linguist Yao Yao of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. "You're sorry for something you've done so much that you're angry with yourself," she says.
The Tahitians have at least seven degrees of anger, says linguist Jufafan Hunchamlong of Hawaii University. "We do not go around and say," I'm angry. "It's too broad, she says." We can start with "I'm dissatisfied," and "I'm dissatisfied," and then raise the intensity, "she says. ] And India is the Treasure of Wrath. "There is a common form of anger. which means "when the eggplants hit the hot oil," says Abhijeet Paul, who teaches South Asian literature at College Middlebury. "Suddenly it became like, really angry, hearing something shocking or learning something that really, indeed, the Indians distinguish between the political anger you have for the ruling class or the" boss "and the personal anger you have for a friend , a family or a neighbor.You will never mix both and express political anger in personal relationships, says Paul.
"There is also a very interesting anger that loves anger," Paul says. your husband angered you, but you can not help them, only "It is a mixed bag of love, sorrow, sadness and anger."
Personalize anger to regulate it
So in many ways anger is like wine. these main varieties – like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir – but each vintage has its unique combination of flavors, tastes and potency.The more you practice in discovering – and naming – those shades, the better you understand the wine.
And if you learn to discover all the different tastes and shades of anger and mark them, you can begin to deal with your wrath better, says psychologist Maria Gendron of Yale University. "Certainly there is evidence that the very action of labeling your feelings is really a powerful regulation tool," Gendron says. It can keep your anger from striking you. She can offer clues about what to do in response to anger. And sometimes it can make anger go away.
The idea is to make a statement that is broad and general, like "I'm so angry" and make it more precise. Take the Thai: "I am dissatisfied" or German "Backpfeifengesicht!"
Psychologists call this strategy emotional granularity. Studies show that the more emotional granulation a person has, the less likely he is to shout or strike someone who has hurt them. They are also less inclined to drink when under stress. On the other hand, people who are diagnosed with major depressive disorder are more likely to have low emotional maturity than healthy adults.
Emotional granulation is like watching HDTV against ordinary TV. It allows you to see your anger with higher resolution, says Gendron. "This gives you more insight into what this anger means, whether it values this experience and chooses what to do next," she says.
This last part is key: to be granulated with anger helps you find out what is best
For example, if you feel a quick outburst of anger you know will quickly fade, then maybe nothing is the best strategy.
And you should not restrict yourself to existing labels, says Gendron. Be creative. Analyze the causes of your various anger, give them specific names, and start using your family and colleagues.
"If you practice in your family to come out in words and then use them together, it can actually regulate physiology," she says. "This can solve the ambiguity regarding the situation."
Personally, I found this strategy most useful. I began to pay attention to what usually causes my anger at work and at home. And I found three basic types I called. These emotions happen when someone at work makes a decision that seems totally illogical. Once I marked this anger and started to track down what was happening then I quickly realized that trying to convince an illogical person to logic is often meaningless – and it's a waste of time. Hurry anger: anger I feel when someone else is not doing something fast enough – yes, I'm talking about Gray Prius driver at the traffic light this morning or the three-year-old who will not put his shoes fast enough. After I marked it, I realized that cars, people and young children were eventually moving.
Disonophous anger: This is my favorite anger. And it has the greatest impact on my life.
I wanted to figure out how to reduce the cry in our house. So I began to pay attention to what was happening just before the screams began. It was quite obvious: the dog was barking and the child screamed. Basically two powerful sounds at the same time.
So my husband and I figured a disgust from Latin for "two sounds." what to do: Put the dog on the porch and take the baby.
And I know he's not angry with me. He just wants peace and silence.