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Measure Your Anger

Print this page and use it as a tool for managing your anger now.

1. How am I feeling right now?

___ Anxious
___ Worthless
___ Hostile
___ Depressed
___ Mean/evil
___ Revengeful
___ Bitchy
___ Bitter
___ Rebellious
___ Paranoid
___ Victimized
___ Numb
___ Sarcastic
___ Resentful
___ Frustrated
___ Destructive

These are some of the names that we give to our feelings of anger! There is no cure for any of them. The first step in resolving our anger problem is to identify it as anger! The purpose of this step is to make our anger more specific. No one can manage anger that is vague and covered up with euphemisms.

2. What happened to make you angry?
If we can focus on the specific incident which triggered our anger, our anger becomes more understandable and more easier to manage.  __________________________________________________________________________  __________________________________________________________________________  __________________________________________________________________________  __________________________________________________________________________  __________________________________________________________________________  

3. Who am I angry at?
___ My own self
___ My spouse
___ My partner
___ My boss
___ The kids
___ God
___ The Human Race
___ My Life
___ All men
___ All women
___ Other races
___ Miscellaneous

Our anger usually will involve five (5) general areas.
(1) Our anger at others, (2) Others anger at us, (3) Our anger at self, (4) Residual anger from the past, or (5) Abstract anger. See our books and CDs on managing and coping with anger for a more detailed discussion of these five objects of anger.

Now that you have established the fact that you are angry and that your anger has an "object" in the real world, you are ready for the fourth step in working through the anger process. You are ready to factor your anger into its main components. If you can identify the specific facets of your anger, you will be in a better position to put your anger into a more moderate and more manageable perspective. You can do this by asking yourself a series of focusing questions.

4. How did the situation make me feel besides angry?
(Example #1: I resent being forced to give into them all the time. It makes me feel powerless!)
(Example #2: His criticisms of me makes me feel unappreciated and good for nothing.)  __________________________________________________________________________  __________________________________________________________________________  __________________________________________________________________________  

Now that you have pin-pointed your feelings underlying your anger, you are now ready to put your anger in a clearer perspective. The next step is to "peel" your anger down to the next layer.

5. What about this angers me the most?
For example, you have established the fact that in the above situation it made you feel powerless, unappreciated or good for nothing. You are now ready to take a closer look at these feelings underlying your anger. What is it about being made to feel powerless that angers you the most? Some examples of what you might find upon deeper analysis is:

  • "There is nothing that I can do about it."
  • "I feel so stupid!"
  • "I feel guilty for allowing it to happen."
  • "I feel inadequate to cope with this situation."

Having peeled your anger down to this level, you are ready now to penetrate your anger at its deepest level. You are ready to focus on the real issue underlying all of the prior layers and levels of your emotional distress.

6. Now, what about this angers me the MOST?
This level of self-analysis usually brings us down to bedrock. Down to the fundamental issue which underlies all the others, and which must be identified and relieved if we are to strengthen our vulnerability to mismanaging our anger -- and making our lives more miserable than it needs to be. The answer found at this level of self-analysis often turns out to be, "I feel so worthless!" It is hard for us to respect someone who is stupid, helpless, inadequate and powerless! And when we have those feelings towards ourself, they destroy our respect for our ownselves.

We lose our self respect and hold ourselves in contempt. The final step in managing our anger consists of replacing these feeling or worthlessness--even unworthy of our OWN respect -- with its specific antidote. The only antidote for self contempt is self respect.

The book "Who Am I" goes into the detailed process by which you are able to extricate yourself from this swamp of self-contempt, self doubt, and self-recrimination. You can then begin to get on with the task of coping with the ups and downs of relationships and everyday life.

Read an excerpt from the book
Who Am I? The Supreme Understanding