Freedom from Anger for Men
Every person has a “Pattern of Toxic Behavior” that can significantly damage the important and intimate relationships in his or her life. Anger is one of our ten basic, God-given emotions. This emotion can be CONSTRUCTIVE or DESTRUCTIVE—depending upon our response. The focus of this group is on giving Jesus a “NANO SECOND” (just one billionth of a second!) to help us learn to use all of our emotions according to God’s design for our lives, and to appropriately change our pattern of relating to others and our responsibilities.
When most of us think of an “angry” person, we think of someone who destroys themselves and their relationships through uncontrollable outbursts of rage. We usually picture someone who goes around slamming doors, yelling loudly, and making life miserable for everyone, including themselves. Yet, this is only one part of anger, as anger has many faces. Equally as damaging and destructive is anger that is suppressed, or “stuffed.” All anger, if allowed to, will continue to destructively influence our behaviors and attitudes, and will ultimately, erupt from deep within the heart. Recognizing and accepting responsibility for toxic patterns of behavior is the first hurdle to overcome as one runs the race toward true freedom from anger.
Walking through the recovery process with Jesus Christ as our Higher Power allows us to admit our powerlessness to control our anger, as well as trust that He will help us to overcome our destructive habits. Breaking the old patterns that have kept us locked into destructive behavior takes time. What took years to bring about will take some time to change. But with Jesus Christ as our Higher Power, and the willingness to allow Him to change our life, real freedom from anger is possible!
Take a few minutes and complete the following questionnaire. It may reveal more about your anger than you realize helping you determine if your anger is reaching a destructive level in your life. It may also be the beginning of the healing that you’re looking for!
Which of these statements apply to you:
- I become impatient easily when things do not go according to my plans.
- I tend to have critical thoughts toward others who don’t agree with my opinions.
- When I am displeased with someone I may shut down any communication with them or withdraw entirely.
- I get annoyed easily when friends and family do not appear sensitive to my needs.
- I feel frustrated when I see someone else having an “easier” time than me.
- Whenever I am responsible for planning an important event, I am preoccupied with how I must manage it.
- When talking about a controversial topic, the tone of my voice is likely to become louder and more assertive.
- I can accept a person who admits his or her mistakes, but I get irritated easily at those who refuse to admit their weaknesses.
- I do not easily forget when someone “does me wrong.” When someone confronts me with a misinformed opinion, I am thinking of my comeback even while they’re still speaking.
- I find myself becoming aggressive even while playing a game for fun.
- I struggle emotionally with the things in life that “aren’t fair.”
- Although I realize that it may not be right, I sometimes blame others for my problems.
- More often than not, I use sarcasm as a way of expressing humor.
- I may act kindly toward others on the outside, yet feel bitter and frustrated on the inside.
If you checked 4 to 8 boxes, your anger is probably more constant than you would like. If you checked 9 or more boxes, there is a strong possibility that you have struggled with periods of anger or rage, whether you are aware of it or not.
DAILY QUIET TIME WITH GOD: Anger causes me to live in conflict and not in peace. I will try to remember that God is in charge of my life and He loves me unconditionally. I will commit to having a daily quiet time with God.
TAKING A “TIME-OUT”: When I feel body arousal, I need to recognize that as a sign that I am getting angry. I will use a “time-out” to isolate myself from the trigger for my anger and to prevent the anger from becoming too intense. I will ask myself, “What is making me angry? And “How is this trigger about me?” I will reappraise the situation to keep my behavior under control. I will do something physical to release the adrenaline rush and energy in a healthy way, such as going for a walk or cleaning a closet. I will avoid alcohol, caffeine, or other medicating substances during “time-out.” Looking at anger as a feeling may also reveal a larger hurt, habit or hang up that is hiding behind the anger.
CONFRONTING IN LOVE: After the time-out, I will go back and deal with what made me angry. If I leave an issue unresolved, it is likely to return later. I will not use the confrontation as an opportunity to blame, shame, seek revenge, or to rationalize my anger. Examples of confronting in love while stating my feelings are: “I love you, here’s how this action makes me feel,” or “I feel devalued when this is said or done.
”WORK THE 12 STEPS AND CONNECT WITH OTHERS: I will commit to working the 12 Steps, to attend regularly the Celebrate Recovery meetings, and to getting an Accountability Partner for my anger management. (We strongly suggest each woman obtain a Life Recovery Bible and the Participant’s Guides, which are the tools we use in Celebrate Recovery.)
FORGIVE: I will become willing to forgive myself and others. The Lord forgave you, so you must be willing to forgive others (Colossians 3:13b NLT). Forgiveness is NOT forgetting what has happened. Forgiveness IS changing the way I think. Forgiveness IS my giving up my desire for revenge.