Pseudo-Violence

anger 9aPseudo-violence or ‘near violence’ are the behaviors that threaten, menace and seek to control others without actual physical, ‘hands-on’ aggression.  These types of behaviors seriously impact others and are forms of emotional, psychological and mental abuse.  People with anger management problems often attempt to be controlling of others through intimidation, menacing and other nonverbal threats such as:

  • Posturing in an intimidating way; using body size and presence to communicate “I’m in charge” or “I may hurt you”.  “Getting the message across” by getting too close to others, standing over others, etc.
  • Using forceful gestures such as jabbing, pounding, waving hands, pointing, clenching fists
  • Forcefully handling objects
  • Using facial expressions to communicate anger—rolling eyes, ‘smirking’, staring, clenching teeth, widening eyes
  • Driving recklessly
  • Using body movements such as pacing, moving rapidly, ‘circling’, tapping, bouncing leg, etc.
  • Using defensive body language such as crossing one’s arms, turning one’s back, shaking the head, refusing eye contact, holding up a hand to ‘stop’ the other
  •  ‘Accidently’ bumping into others, dropping things to break them, knocking things over
  • Stalking—appearing unexpectedly, following others in their daily routines, driving by their homes or in their neighborhoods in order to be seen

Such behaviors strongly communicate anger and are forms of manipulation, menacing, and intimidation. They are intended to induce fear.  They are also used to exert dominance and gain control over others and/or situations nonverbally.  While such displays of anger do not use words, they still powerfully communicate anger and threat to whoever is present.  The angry person displays such behavior while focusing upon having others witness it and respond submissively or in fear.

Anger can become obsessive as in stalking behaviors in which the angry person becomes preoccupied with the target of the anger.  Anger can also have other obsessive qualities that do not result in such extreme behavior.  Having thoughts that cannot ‘let go’ of the notion that others have wronged you, need to ‘be taught a lesson’; ‘won’t get away with that’ or other such triggers to a desire for revenge or retaliation are also obsessive.  The amount of time spent in such thoughts can interfere with other activities and eventually can lead to dysfunctional behavior such as outbursts and other confrontations, as well as self-sabotaging and self-destructive behaviors in the workplace and in significant relationships.  The thoughts that preoccupy us will determine behavior.  Frequent anger-related thoughts are a strong indication of anger management problems and a need for an anger management assessment.

Anger Management Classes in Houston, Texas

For additional information about anger control skills visit www.ami-tx.com or call 713-477-9105.

Gregory A. Kyles, LPC, CEAP, PHR, CAMF
Anger Management & Domestic Violence Institute of Texas
www.ami-tx.com
www.dvi-tx.com
www.gregorykyles.wordpress.com

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