Self Awareness: The Foundation of Anger Management

By Gregory Kyles, LPC, CEAP, CAMF

It’s a well established theory that anger is a secondary emotion. This position is consistent with the Anderson & Anderson model of anger management. We usually experience emotions such as frustration, disappointment, and jealousy right before one becomes angry.

These emotions are generally based on some form of un-met need and/or a value one perceives to have been violated.

Most people seldom realize these primary emotions due to their low level of emotional self-awareness. Understanding emotional self-awareness, one of the five principals of emotional intelligence is essential in mastering anger control and fear control skills.

According to Dr. Scott Williams, understanding your own feelings, what causes them, and how they impact your thoughts and actions is emotional self-awareness. If you were once excited about your job but not excited now, can you get excited again? To answer that question, it helps to understand the internal processes associated with getting excited. That sounds simpler than it is. Here’s an analogy: I think I know how my car starts–I put gas in the tank, put the key in the ignition, and turn the key. But, my mechanic knows a lot more about what’s involved in getting my car started than I do–he knows what happens under the hood. My mechanic is able to start my car on the occasions when I’m not because he understands the internal processes. Similarly, a person with high emotional self-awareness understands the internal process associated with emotional experiences and, therefore, has greater control over them.

The Anger Management Institute of Texas utilizes the Anderson & Anderson® curriculum. The workbooks contain exercises focusing on enhancing emotional intelligence, improving assertive communication, as well as behavior strategies for recognizing, dealing with, and managing anger and stress.

For additional information please call 281-477-9105 or visit our website http://www.ami-tx.com.

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