Anger and Aggression Myths

Some popular beliefs about anger are myths.  Challenging these myths is an important aspect of learning anger management techniques and skills.  The following are some of the typical ‘anger myths’ that anger management classes can debunk.  In doing so, participants in anger management begin to better understand the nature of anger.  Consequently, with an greater understanding of what anger is and how it works, people with problematic anger can effectively manage anger and its related behaviors.  Increased knowledge of what anger is and isn’t and what aggression is and isn’t can empower people who have difficulty controlling their anger and angry behaviors.

Myths about anger and aggression:
• It’s not good to be angry.
• Anger will be eliminated if anger management classes are effective
• Anger always leads to aggression
• Anger is uncontrollable
• Others will take kindness as weakness
• Violence is always the result of anger
• It is always a good idea to vent anger
• Anger is a sign of strength
• Anger is a sign of weakness
• Anger motivates people to do well
• Anger is natural in business
• Anger is necessary in business
• If you don’t show anger others will take advantage of you
• If you don’t show anger others will harm you
• You only get angry with someone if you care about them
• People black out with anger and so it can’t be controlled
• When people black out with anger they aren’t responsible for what they do
• When people are aggressive when they are intoxicated they aren’t responsible for what they do
• If certain people didn’t use substances they wouldn’t have anger management problems
• Anger solves tough problems
• Anger just happens
• Other people make you angry
• Anger is necessary to demonstrate authority
• Anger keeps people in line
• Anger is inherited
• Domestic violence is an anger control problem
• You won’t get what you need if you don’t get angry
• Angry people are dangerous
• One should never get angry at work
• One should never be angry with parents, children or other significant others
• If you get angry with someone that means your relationship is unhealthy
• It’s better to be angry than to be sad
• Anger keeps you going when things are tough
• Sometimes you have to show them you mean business
• Men are supposed to be aggressive
• Nice women don’t get angry
• Women aren’t aggressive

For Anger Management Classes and Battering Intervention and Prevention Program – BIPP Classes in Houston, TX call 281-477-9105 and/or send an email to gregory@emote-institute.com.

Gregory Kyles, LPC
Anger Management & Domestic Violence Institute
http://www.ami-tx.com
http://www.dvi-tx.com
http://www.emote-institute.com
http://www.gregorykyles.wordpress.com

Aggression, Anger Management and Domestic Violence

Aggression is a behavior that harms, or seeks to harm, someone.  It also is behavior that does or attempts to do property damage.  Aggression includes mental, emotional and psychological abuse as well as violence such as physical assault, vandalism and other destruction of property (even one’s own).  Other aggression can also be reckless and endangering behaviors such as driving recklessly, the reckless handling of firearms or other behavior that could potentially harm another person or property. Reckless and endangering behavior conveys a strong message that the safety of others (and their property) is not important.  Furthermore, reckless and endangering behaviors ‘say’ that if others are harmed or there is property loss that is not important.  Verbal abuse—the use of words to coerce, threaten, intimidate or humiliate another person, is also considered to be aggressive behavior.  Stalking through physical presence or by technological means such as phone calls, text messaging, and emails is also aggressive behavior.

It is a myth that anger leads to aggression or that aggression is a natural expression of anger.  Many erroneously believe that the emotion of anger will, over time, build to the point that anger will be expressed through aggression.  There are some individuals who go very quickly and habitually to aggressive behavior whenever the emotion of anger is felt and for these people, aggression naturally flows from their experience of the emotion anger.  Many individuals with anger management problems never use aggression but benefit significantly from the skills and techniques taught in anger management classes. Anger without physical aggression is still an anger management problem.

Another form of aggression is used by individuals who engage in intimate partner abuse.  This type of aggression stems from a choice to exert dominance over the intimate partner.  In these situations aggression can be done without the buildup of emotion as is seen in people with anger management problems.  Although a batterer of intimate partners, if observed during aggression, may use the same behaviors as those who express anger through aggression, battering is not typically an issue of anger management.

Domestic violence has its roots in very different dynamics than does aggression that is the result of unmanaged anger.  Very specifically, domestic violence stems from beliefs and attitudes about intimate relationships and the need for dominance, power and control over partners that are considered ‘less than’ the aggressor in worth and status.  Management of battering requires treatment that is significantly different than treatment for anger management.  The issues of interpersonal power and control dynamics within intimate relationships must be addressed and corrected.  Anger management, on the other hand, addresses the ineffective and, at times, dangerous mishandling of strong emotion.

People with anger management problems can learn to use techniques that prevent aggression.  Anger management involves the controlling of anger escalation so that aggression does not occur in those who escalate emotionally to such behavior.  In contrast, domestic violence treatment focuses upon the beliefs and attitudes about intimate relationships and partners that make partner abuse and aggression an option or choice.

For Anger Management Classes and Battering Intervention and Prevention Program – BIPP Classes in Houston, TX call 281-477-9105 and/or send an email to gregory@emote-institute.com.

Gregory Kyles, LPC
Anger Management & Domestic Violence Institute
http://www.ami-tx.com
http://www.dvi-tx.com
http://www.emote-institute.com
http://www.gregorykyles.wordpress.com

What Are The Laws Concerning Domestic Violence?

Years ago, there were no laws that regulated domestic violence.  A mans home was considered to be his castle and what he did inside that home, regardless of whether he beat his wife or kids, was his own affair.  Women who sought help for spousal abuse were often told by community members and even church clergy to endure a beating and were often blamed themselves for having brought the domestic violence on themselves.  Those who did concede that this behavior was inappropriate would often blame alcohol abuse for the problem.

Today, there are laws in every state that affect how domestic violence is handled.   They vary from county to county, although police officers are required to file a report and make an arrest in the case of any domestic violence action.  In many states, there is a cooling off period where batterers are put into jail for twenty four hours, giving others in the home to go to a shelter or another place.  The batterers are usually given a certain period of time in which they have to stay away from the victim.  A victim can receive counseling and also get a restraining order against those who perpetrate domestic violence against them.   Needless to say, the laws against domestic violence have gotten stricter as time has gone on, although many victims drop the charges against the abuser.

In most cases of domestic abuse, the police are called repeatedly to a home because of this problem.  They file a report, the batterers go to jail, get out and then the couple reconcile.  A wife beater will often blame a problem for their behavior and promise to change.  This usually does not work and the violence continues  In most cases, domestic abuse will start to escalate as time goes on.  It might not only include the spouse but also children as well.  When it comes to child abuse, authorities will remove children from any dangerous situation and place them in the care of relatives or with the state.  Teachers, scout leaders and others have an obligation to report any signs they see of child abuse to authorities so that it can be investigated.

There are laws today that protect innocent people in a family from batterers.  In many states, those who are convicted of domestic battery are ordered to undergo a battering intervention and prevention program (BIPP Classes) that teaches them to modify their behavior so that they do not continue to perpetrate violence.  These programs work when the batterers realize that the fault lies within themselves, confront their past as well as their own crime and then learn behavior modification so that they do not resort to abusive behavior in the future.

For Anger Management Classes and Battering Intervention and Prevention Program – BIPP Classes in Houston, TX call 281-477-9105 and/or send an email to gregory@emote-institute.com.

Gregory Kyles, LPC
Anger Management & Domestic Violence Institute
http://www.ami-tx.com
http://www.dvi-tx.com
http://www.emote-institute.com
http://www.gregorykyles.wordpress.com

Developing Empathy through Emotional Intelligence

Empathy is an important ingredient in learning greater self-control for individuals who have anger management problems.  Empathy is the ability to identify with others through understanding how they feel.  It is increased by better understanding the thoughts, attitudes and overall experience of other people.

Emotional intelligence increases the ability to understand the experiences and feelings of others and to use this information to interact more appropriately with them.  Becoming more aware of one’s own feelings (through increasing emotional intelligence) also helps one become more aware of the feelings of others.  Self-awareness helps us to empathize with the feelings of others.

Empathy for others helps us make more appropriate decisions about how we will view others and treat them.  Empathy also helps us evaluate the motivations of others in a more realistic light.  Consequently, this type of information can be used to adjust our own perceptions and to make better, more socially-informed choices about our own behavior.

Understanding others better can dramatically decrease conflict and the perception of threat from others.  In this way, empathy helps to make sense of others’ behavior so that their experiences do not have to trigger an angry response in ourselves.  With greater empathy, communication improves and interactions have less conflict.

Learning and practicing greater empathy for others helps increase awareness of the emotional cues others give us during interactions.  Empathy helps us ‘read’ another person’s expressions and communication with a greater understanding of that person’s experience and motivations.  With better information about the other person, we are then able to make more informed choices about how we will respond to them.  Empathy helps us perceive and use emotional information so we can then reduce the stress of daily interactions.  Empathy helps us be less defensive; more in tune with what is actually being communicated by others and less stressed by any misinterpretations we may make.  Empathy also ‘allows’ others to make mistakes and we are less apt to respond defensively, take things personally or ‘hold grudges’ when mistakes are made.

For Anger Management & Domestic Violence – BIPP Classes in Houston, TX call 281-477-9105 and/or send an email to gregory@emote-institute.com.

Gregory Kyles, LPC
Anger Management & Domestic Violence Institute
http://www.ami-tx.com
http://www.dvi-tx.com
http://www.emote-institute.com
http://www.gregorykyles.wordpress.com

Managing Anger–What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is a set of skills that, when used together, increase the ability a person with problems controlling anger has to decrease stress and reduce anger.  Emotional intelligence improves the person’s social functioning.  It is an awareness of the emotions, emotional triggers, emotional cues and emotional behaviors of one’s self and others.  Learning to monitor these in one’s self increases the ability to have self-control over emotional behaviors.  Learning to monitor these in others improves interactions, relationships and one’s ability to function more appropriately when dealing with others.

Emotional intelligence can be thought of as a sort of IQ of the whole person.  Rather than just a measure of intellectual ability (IQ), emotional intelligence (EQ) takes into account the emotional and social functioning of an individual and, in doing so, gives a more holistic view of how well a person functions.  Emotional intelligence complements the intellect and helps a person make better, more informed decisions and to have better social judgment.

Emotional intelligence works in 4 areas to improve how well a person functions.  These are:

• Self-awareness
• Self-management
• Social awareness, and
• Relationship Management

Individuals in anger management classes will create and work with an emotional intelligence map (an EQ Map) that evaluates these areas of functioning.  Additionally, the EQ Map will evaluate their current environment and what stressors are presently affecting their lives.  It will also identify their coping skills as well as influential personal values and beliefs that affect coping and behavior.  In examining these things, people who have trouble controlling their anger will develop a better understanding of how stress, values, beliefs and their usual coping skills contribute to their anger management problems.  This information can then be used to better understand their social functioning and what problems occur in interactions to create an anger management problem.  As well, this information can highlight what emotionally intelligent skills are missing and should be learned to increase self-control and social functioning.  The EQ Map will help identify the individualized and specific set of skills a person with anger management problems will need to learn and practice.

Emotional intelligence empowers a person to manage emotions, behavior, interactions and relationships.  The uses of emotional intelligence decreases distress and stress.  Additionally, learning emotionally intelligent skills in anger management classes can not only dramatically improve behavior and performance in what are commonly thought of as social relationships, but also in the workplace and community at large.  Overall functioning improves as emotional intelligence and social functioning improve.  The skills are teachable and learnable.  Better self-control requires only the willingness to learn and to practice these valuable skills.

For Anger Management & Domestic Violence – BIPP Classes in Houston, TX call 281-477-9105 and/or send an email to gregory@emote-institute.com.

Gregory Kyles, LPC
Anger Management & Domestic Violence Institute
http://www.ami-tx.com
http://www.dvi-tx.com
http://www.emote-institute.com
http://www.gregorykyles.wordpress.com

Anger Management Issues vs. Domestic Violence Issues

Anger management interventions are often mistakenly recommended, or even court-ordered, for individuals who perpetrate domestic violence. This is, in the vast majority of cases, not an appropriate referral and not appropriate treatment for perpetrators of domestic violence. There are significant differences between an individual with chronic anger management problems and an individual who is aggressive with an intimate partner. People who engage in partner abuse are exerting power and control over the partner. In most cases, the behaviors seen in domestic violence situations do not generalize to persons outside that relationship.

Perpetrators of partner abuse will typically be aggressive with each intimate partner once the cycle of partner abuse has begun and so many will have serial abusive relationships with intimate partners. Anger management classes do not address the specifics of battering and other forms of domestic violence although, superficially, anger management may address certain similar issues. For example, many of the thinking patterns and behaviors seen in individuals with anger management problems will also be present in those who are involved in domestic violence perpetration; however, there are significant differences in the dynamics.

One of the reasons batterers, or perpetrators of domestic violence, continue partner abuse is that they do not obtain the proper treatment. Referral to anger management instead of to domestic violence offender treatment, or batterers’ intervention programs, fails to provide the batterer with the awareness and skills needed to break the cycle of intimate partner abuse. Further, referral to anger management can, in fact, give a batterer justification for continuing violence against a partner. This occurs when the concept of ‘out of control’ anger is used to justify behaviors of domestic violence that are choices for the batterer.

Perpetrators of domestic violence will often excuse their own behavior by saying they were ‘out of control’ or ‘blacked out in a rage’; however, these individuals demonstrate great control over their behaviors in many ways. For example, most perpetrators of domestic violence will be able to assume ‘cool, calm and collected’ demeanors if others such as the police intervene. If the individual were truly ‘out of control’ his anger would shift from his partner/victim to the police when they appear.

Domestic violence is about the choice to have and demonstrate power and control over one’s intimate partner. Anger problems involve impulsivity, poor stress management and chronic feelings of various degrees of anger. An individual with anger management issues will typically not be able to discriminate about when and where anger occurs. Additionally, someone with anger management issues will not consistently choose who is the target of anger but will likely have anger toward multiple people for multiple ‘reasons’. Domestic violence, on the other hand, typically occurs behind closed doors and has a specific and intended victim. Anger management problems, conversely, are evident wherever the individual goes.

For Anger Management & Domestic Violence (BIPP) Classes in Houston, TX call 281-477-9105 and/or send an email to gregory@emote-institute.com.

Gregory Kyles, LPC
Anger Management & Domestic Violence Institute
http://www.ami-tx.com
http://www.dvi-tx.com
http://www.emote-institute.com
http://www.gregorykyles.wordpress.com

Aggression, Anger Management and Domestic Violence

Aggression is a behavior that harms, or seeks to harm, someone. It also is behavior that does or attempts to do property damage. Aggression includes mental, emotional and psychological abuse as well as violence such as physical assault, vandalism and other destruction of property (even one’s own). Other aggression can also be reckless and endangering behaviors such as driving recklessly, the reckless handling of firearms or other behavior that could potentially harm another person or property. Reckless and endangering behavior conveys a strong message that the safety of others (and their property) is not important. Furthermore, reckless and endangering behaviors ‘say’ that if others are harmed or there is property loss that is not important. Verbal abuse—the use of words to coerce, threaten, intimidate or humiliate another person, is also considered to be aggressive behavior.

Stalking through physical presence or by technological means such as phone calls, text messaging, and emails is also aggressive behavior.
It is a myth that anger leads to aggression or that aggression is a natural expression of anger. Many erroneously believe that the emotion of anger will, over time, build to the point that anger will be expressed through aggression. There are some individuals who go very quickly and habitually to aggressive behavior whenever the emotion of anger is felt and for these people, aggression naturally flows from their experience of the emotion anger. Many individuals with anger management problems never use aggression but benefit significantly from the skills and techniques taught in anger management classes. Anger without physical aggression is still an anger management problem.

Another form of aggression is used by individuals who engage in intimate partner abuse. This type of aggression stems from a choice to exert dominance over the intimate partner. In these situations aggression can be done without the buildup of emotion as is seen in people with anger management problems. Although a batterer of intimate partners, if observed during aggression, may use the same behaviors as those who express anger through aggression, battering is not typically an issue of anger management.

Domestic violence has its roots in very different dynamics than does aggression that is the result of unmanaged anger. Very specifically, domestic violence stems from beliefs and attitudes about intimate relationships and the need for dominance, power and control over partners that are considered ‘less than’ the aggressor in worth and status. Management of battering requires treatment that is significantly different than treatment for anger management. The issues of interpersonal power and control dynamics within intimate relationships must be addressed and corrected. Anger management, on the other hand, addresses the ineffective and, at times, dangerous mishandling of strong emotion.

People with anger management problems can learn to use techniques that prevent aggression. Anger management involves the controlling of anger escalation so that aggression does not occur in those who escalate emotionally to such behavior. In contrast, domestic violence treatment focuses upon the beliefs and attitudes about intimate relationships and partners that make partner abuse and aggression an option or choice.

Anger Management & Domestic Violence (BIPP) Classes in Houston, TX

Gregory Kyles, LPC, CAMF
Anger Management & Domestic Violence Institute
http://www.ami-tx.com
http://www.dvi-tx.com
http://www.emote-institute.com
www.gregorykyles.wordpress.com