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Friday, April 2, 2010

Introduction to Anger and Conflict Management

Insha'Allah in the next few posts I intend to deal with anger and conflict management. I will be adding links to questionnaires that can be taken to help you understand your own anger, and conflict style. IF YOU FEEL THAT YOU NEED FURTHER INFORMATION ON A PERSONAL BASIS OR IF YOUR ANGER LEVELS ARE DANGEROUS, PLEASE SEND ME AN E-MAIL ON

Hope that these posts are helpful!

What is anger?

Anger is the body's response to an event (e.g. road rage), to another person (colleague, boss, partner etc), or caused by anxiety - worrying about personal problems. It is the body's way of helping us to cope with either fighting, or running away. (Fight or flight response) Our body and emotions feel like a coiled spring - the body is ready now then, to fight or run - and those feelings need to be expressed. If you feel unable to express those feelings in a way that wouldn't hurt yourself or others, then you'll need to find other ways to express that anger.”

Is anger good or bad?

Some disadvantages of anger:

“Some people tend to become angry easily (a "short fuse"), and some have problems controlling their anger. Anger has consequences, and they often involve hurting other people - more usually their feelings, but sometimes physically. Anger can cause problems in your personal life, with your relationships and affect your work. The after-effects of anger often make a person feel guilty and ashamed, but anger is a normal emotion”.

“Unresolved anger can cause relationship breakdown, physical and mental health problems, criminal activity etc”. Anger can “lead to intimidating, violent or bullying behaviour which endangers other people or property. Anger can even lead to self-harm”.

A lot of negative consequences arise when we are unable to control our anger. When someone is very angry, screaming and shouting and not in control of themselves, they end up saying and doing things that they don’t necessarily mean. The things that they do might be harmful to others and to themselves. What happens sometimes is that when the fight is over, the hurt and animosity might still remain. Sometimes people always remember the things that were said during a fight and this might be the cause of continuous problems. “Uncontrolled anger can lead to arguments, physical fights, physical abuse, assault and self-harm”.

“The physical effects"

Anger triggers the body's 'fight or flight' response. Other emotions that trigger this response include fear, excitement and anxiety. The adrenal glands flood the body with stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. The brain shunts blood away from the gut and towards the muscles, in preparation for physical exertion. Heart rate, blood pressure and respiration increase, the body temperature rises and the skin perspires. The mind is sharpened and focused.

The constant flood of stress chemicals and associated metabolic changes that accompany recurrent unmanaged anger can eventually cause harm to many different systems of the body. Some of the short and long term health problems that have been linked to unmanaged anger include: Headache, Digestion problems, such as abdominal pain, Insomnia, Increased anxiety, Depression, High blood pressure, Skin problems, such as eczema, Heart attack, Stroke.”

Some advantages of anger

If anger is controlled properly then it might help to resolve things in a conflict situation. Getting angry might be a form of expression for people. Anger might also help in preventing people from taking advantage of each other. Anger provides limits and if controlled properly can be used in an assertive manner to ensure that one’s rights are not been trampled on.

It must be clearly emphasized that anger can only be a helpful emotion if it is controlled properly and used in an assertive, not aggressive manner. “Well managed anger can be a useful emotion that motivates you to make positive changes”.

Some reasons for getting angry
 Feeling helpless or unable to control a situation.
 Feeling trapped by circumstances and can’t see any way out.
 Tiredness and irritability.
 Frustration.
 Disagreeing with someone/ having a difference of opinion.
 Need to prove oneself.
 Competition.
 Feeling threatened or jealous.
 Feeling intimidated or overpowered.
 Inability to explain or express one’s feelings.
 When a person is forced to do something against their will
 When a person feels misunderstood.

To take an anger quiz click on the link below:
Please feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me if you'd like to discuss anything further with regards to the quiz or anything else related to this!
Insha'Allah in the next post we will focus on "Anger Patterns" - Until then I leave you in peace!
“When you feel angry, keep silent.” {Hadeeth of the Prophet (SAW)}

According to Hazrat Abdullah bin Umar (RA) the messenger of Allah (SAW) said, “To restrain anger in order to please Allah is more excellent in the sight of Allah than to swallow back anything”.

References for this post:
 BUPA’s Health Information Team. (2004) “Anger Management”.
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