At what point should one consider anger management?

As always, it’s difficult to analyse one’s own shortcomings. Even if I recognise that I’m an angry person (which I am), it’s hard for me to see to what extent that anger is affecting my life.

Hence, my question (which might be better in IMHO, but I’m hoping there’s a sort of factual answer under this). It’s obviously not bad enough that I’ve been violent, or else my choice would be pretty clear. However, I tend to get frustrated incredibly easily, especially with family and particularly close friends. I haven’t been told that I need to get couseling, but that doesn’t mean anything more than that I may have overly-tactful friends.

Anyway, I’m not saying that I’m certain I need to see somebody (if I was, I wouldn’t ask!), but I’m curious what sort of signs I should be on the lookout for as I continue to grow up.

There really is no factual answer to this in all honesty. I was forced to take an anger management class two years ago because things went sour between my girl and I after a breakup. All the class did was piss me off.

All they talk about in those classes is how you’re the one with the problem and you had no right to get mad at your ex for anything she did. Oddly, the class was consisted of 15-20 men and no women and all of them were there for “domestic violence.” They act like nobody is allowed to get mad at anything.

So, to answer your question the best I can, if you feel you should go, then go before someone gets hurt emotionally or physically.

If the inability to properly manage your anger makes a negative impact on your life, and then you are still unable to change your behavior to prevent future negative impacts, then it’s time to ask for help.

If you are starting to believe that the feelings of anger you feel so much are taking over - that you’re angry “all the time”, you might want to look into seeing a counselor. And I don’t mean one of those court-mandated “anger management classes” - I don’t think very many people have found those productive. From what I have heard of them, they tell you “what” to do (you’ve got to stop being angry all the time) but don’t seem to offer much in the way of how to do it. A counselor can help you (and I mean help - they can’t do it for you) find out why you are so angry and help you develop strategies to deal with it.

Whether or not you try the counseling route at this point or not, good luck to you. You sound like you’re not happy with the way things are going and want to change, and that is always the first step in any journey.

The OP was correct that this is probably more of an IMHO rather than a GQ.

Moved. samclem

There is no check-box for when it is right or needed. It is far better to seek help before a judge forces you to. I have been through it in the worst possible way, I let my anger get out of control and ended up in front of a judge. I got some very good counseling, and at least in my case managing anger was only a slim piece of the pie. The big part was learning to live in a way that I avoid the things that trigger the anger to begin with. For example I would get all bent out of shape about money problems, the solution was to learn better money management skills. Another example is something going really bad at work. Instead of yelling at the wife, I ask her, “Hon, things are shit at work and I need to vent, will you give me an ear and know I am ranting to you and not at you?” She has never said no. In your heart and head you know what you need to do. And if that is counseling, there is no reason to be public about it. Nobody likes to admit thery are not perfect. You can give it a try, and if it doesn’t seem right, walk away. The court said I had to see a counselor, not which counselor. I went through three before I found one that I could identify with. It is alot like selecting a physician. My wife likes Dr. White, as does one of my sons. My other son likes Dr. Smith. I will not see anyone but Dr. Jones. (names made up). Same with dentists, why should it be different with a counselor? Good luck.

Half the battle is recognizing there’s a problem.

If you feel there is one, there are likely therapies that can help you overcome it. There is nothing wrong with wanting to change one’s “temperament”, as it were - it’s not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of taking control of your life and bettering yourself.

So - the question really is: Do you want to change? How do you want to accomplish that change?

People who are ordered by the courts to attend anger management classes did more than just get mad, pal.

I’m not 100% that this is the rule across the board, but IIRC from my stint on Maryland jury duty several months ago there was a case where anger mgt classes were assigned for what was essentially a yelling and screaming confrontation in a chronically dysfunctional relationship (this was not one of the jury trials, but was being handled by one of the judges) that did not include any physical person on person violence, but did include lots of threats of violence.

I’d say if you’ve got to the point where you’re wondering if you need help, and you’re posting on a forum asking if you need help, then you probably need help. However, I’d probably start with self-help first, getting some books out of the library, surfing the net for resources, that sort of thing.

I’ve never bought the excuse that some people use, claiming that they just have a bad temper and can’t control it. Many young people haven’t learned to to control their tempers and I was no exception. I was fortunate enough to have friends that made me understand just how unacceptable it was to display anger in most cases and I learned other ways to deal w/ that emotion.
If you believe that you are acting out your anger then you should address the situation. It might be possible to talk it out w/ family or friends, or you may need to seek the help of a professional, but displays of anger are most often a very ugly and harmful indugence. It rarely accomplishes anything positive and often leads to violence. It’s also very unhealthy for the person doing it. It takes a bit of practice but, for most people, it’s really not that hard to learn alternate behavior and you’ll feel much better about yourself.

[amateur psychobabble] I think you need to ask yourself who you’re getting angry at, and what form it takes. In my experience, people who claim to have a “short temper” usually permit themselves to get angry with those who can’t or won’t react: the guy who cusses out his wife and kids at home will never tell a cop, a 6’4" biker or his boss to shove it.

If you find that you exercise discrimination in the targets of your wrath then your anger is something that’s under your control: if you think it’s fucking up your relationships with the people who matter to you, it’s probably time to do something about it. [/amateur psychobabble]

Find a counsellor, keep a diary, and join a rugby team.

I’m glad to find that seenidog posted here. He has a lot of positive stuff to contribute on this topic.

Good stuff, seenidog.

I used to be angry all the time and I’m not anymore. So I’ll just post some odds and ends of what I’ve learned that’s been true for me.

I have to be the one controlling my emotions. Nobody else can get inside my head. That’s why I’m responsible for what I feel.

I stopped trying to control what other people feel and do. It’s hopeless. I can’t.

I don’t have a lot of expectations of other people. That’s the way I avoid disappointment and some of the anger.

I can choose what I feel more than I thought I could. Sometimes it depends on what I tell myself. I have this conversation going on in my head. At some point I decided to cut myself some slack and say kinder, gentler things. I found out that I was stronger than I thought.

Message boards can be a great place to practice defenselessness and anger control. I can walk away from it without really losing face. It’s easier to apologize here too.

Message boards are also a good place to learn how to express feelings without resorting to venom.

If you are making yourself or someone else miserable or damaging relationships because you can’t control your anger, it’s time to learn how to control it. If it is affecting your health with indigestion, headaches, hypertension, etc., it’s time to get some relief. You really don’t have to live like this and it is possible to change.

Really helpful and honest response. Thank you.

Just to add, I posted the above before reading the comments of QTM and Zoe. Reality always shines through.

I’ve been the recipient of out-of-control anger violence, and it’s scary. As others have said, it is within your control to a) react to adverse situations in a calm, rational manner, or 2) remove yourself from the situation.

I do have a hard-on with the “authorities” in the anger management community (at least the ones I was exposed to). They took the stand that the problem is like alcoholism in that you will always be an angry, dangerous asshole, and I don’t believe that to be true. Much like a person has been trained to react violently toward others, you can train yourself to react differently, to accept that people are all different, and to remove yourself from situations that upset you, i.e. toxic relationships.

Some threats are illegal. And abuse can be verbal, not just physical.

Who the fuck cares about this stupid shit? Stop bothering us with your petty problems, would you? I HATE questions like this. Hate, hate, hate. Do you understand, or are you really denser than a black hole? Just go pound salt up your ass already, and bug someone else, because if I see this shit again, I’m going to jam my boot up your ass so far you’ll be shitting leather for a week, you worthless cowflop motherfucker shit-for-brains, pestering us with your whiny help-me-help-me weak pathetic drivel. God, does this stuff ever burn my toast!