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

More on Using the EQ Map to Develop Emotional Intelligence and Manage Anger

The EQ (Emotional Intelligence Quotient) Map is an assessment tool used in anger management to help you understand why you have difficulty managing your anger.  Furthermore, the EQ Map will help you identify the origins of stress in your life since stress is directly related to anger problems.  The EQ Map also helps pinpoint what problems you have in managing that stress effectively.  It will look at the specifics of problem behaviors in relationships, how you communicate with others, what triggers your anger, stress and problematic behaviors.  By mapping out this type of valuable information about why you have difficulty controlling your anger, the EQ Map becomes a useful tool throughout your efforts in anger management classes and afterwards.

Learning what you typically do when faced with stressful situations, in relationships, in conflict and on a daily basis to manage all of these typical life occurrences empowers you to make changes.  Identifying the exact nature of your anger management problems will enable you to identify the correct and effective solutions. Overall, anger problems can be managed by reducing stress and learning coping skills that will help you in stating your needs through assertiveness, reducing interpersonal conflict by seeking compromise and managing anger by focusing upon improving communication skills and appropriate ways of expressing feelings.

The EQ Map will identify your emotional intelligence—how well you are doing in all of these areas at the time of assessment.  Once your baseline of emotional intelligence is known then you can set realistic goals for learning the necessary skills to reduce stress and improve anger management.  When emotional intelligence is improved your ability to monitor yourself as you grow more stressed will improve.  Your ability to better regulate your emotions will also improve and you will be able to de-escalate yourself before anger becomes problematic.  By learning your triggers—the things that are likely to cause stress and escalate anger—you can prepare yourself for better handling these situations and events.  As your awareness of these things increase so will your ability to have greater self-control.  For people with anger management issues, learning how to have greater self-control will dramatically decrease such problems and allow the more successful accomplishment of goals, improve relationships, improve health and improve the overall quality of daily life.

An investment in anger management classes is truly an investment in yourself, your family, your relationships, your health and your goals.  Becoming more emotionally intelligent is an education that pays off in all areas of life for people who struggle with anger management problems.

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

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

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

How Do I Know if I Need Anger Management Classes?

There are many ways to know if you need an anger management class, but only a few examples are listed here.  If you are not sure if you need an anger management class, consult a professional and get an anger management evaluation.
Some indications that you have an anger management problem are that you are controlling, use intimidation or manipulation, feel chronic hostility, have frequent interpersonal conflicts, or are known by others to be an angry employee, an angry boss or angry spouse.  If you are questioning whether your anger is problematic, the following questions may help you better decide:

Do I use anger in the workplace?
Do I have trouble expressing feelings other than anger?
Do I engage in angry behaviors to the point of harassment or abuse?
Do I confuse assertiveness with anger?
Have I ever thought that I need help to manage my anger?
Have I been told that I use intimidation or manipulation in relationships?
Have I been told that I am controlling?
Do I find myself blowing up in times of stress?
Do I have chronic stress?
Do I do property damage, make threats, get into physical fights, and yell?
Do I find myself focusing on things, situations and people and becoming angry?
Do I find myself interrupting others, becoming impatient, not able to listen?
Do I resist seeking compromise, or coming to an honest compromise, when there is conflict?
Do I have trouble stating my needs and become resentful when others do not meet them?
Do I have effective techniques for stress management?

These are some of the questions that can help you decide if you may need anger management classes.  The professional who will conduct an anger management assessment will ask similar questions to help you determine if anger management classes can decrease your stress, lower anger levels, improve your coping skills in everyday life, improve your relationships, and better equip you to meet your own personal goals. If you have problematic anger, anger management classes will help you in all these areas by increasing your emotional intelligence—your awareness of emotional states, and your knowledge of how to manage them appropriately.  As your emotional intelligence increases through anger management classes, you will find that many, many areas of your life improve.  Anger is a natural emotion, but what we do with anger can make our lives unmanageable and problematic or can create a life in which we are more successful and less stressed.
An anger management assessment will identify your current emotional intelligence—what you know about emotions in yourself and others, how to express emotions appropriately and how to manage them successfully.  Anger management classes will increase emotional intelligence giving you the tools you need to be less stressed, in more satisfying relationships, manage your workplace experience more effectively and, overall, improve your daily coping and performance.

For additional information please visit www.ami-tx.com.

Anger Management Classes and Anger Management – Executive Coaching available in Houston, Texas.

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

What is Anger: Identifying the Need for Help with Anger

Anger is an emotional state. It can be triggered by both internal and external cues. As an emotion, anger is a natural response and serves many purposes. It is based in human biology (as are other emotions) and serves us through the survival drive in its most fundamental form. Anger is a strong protective force. It creates physiological responses that signal us and prepare us to take action if needed by the drive to survive.

Apart from its basic and instinctual purpose, however, anger is also useful in protecting one’s self psychologically and emotionally. Feelings of anger can signal, for example, that one feels taken advantage of, dismissed or violated in some way. It helps us to set boundaries when such conditions have arisen.

Whatever the trigger, the presence of anger implies the perception of threat. A threat may be one that actually endangers physical well-being, giving us the energy to protect ourselves and others. Or, the perception of a threat that is potentially damaging to our emotional and psychological integrity can also ‘ramp us up’ to protect as well.

Anger is typically driven by perception and interpretation of events and situations. Do I perceive danger? Do I perceive threat? These are the unspoken, often consciously unthought-of questions that our anger will answer. Additionally, anger is a subjective, very personal response. What angers one may not even be noteworthy to another. In many important ways, personal history and how we have learned to cope with others and the world will determine whether or not anger is experienced. Similarly, personal history and coping patterns will determine how angry one will be.

Anger becomes problematic when behaviors follow that are harmful to yourself or others. Anger is also problematic when behaviors create the risk of harm to self or others. For many individuals who do not behave in anger to the point of aggression or physical self-harm, anger can be sabotaging enough to create significant problems. For example, anger is problematic if one’s goals and/or emotional and psychological wellbeing are compromised by anger. Similarly, the individual who is chronically angry may sabotage his own goals and/or emotional and psychological wellbeing.

Certainly, anger is problematic when aggression and violence are used to express anger. Harm to others through physical expressions, or threats of such, can have serious social and legal consequences. Ultimately, the feeling of anger and the use of angry behavior can control one’s life. Consequently, negative consequences occur and accumulate. While anger itself is a normal, very human emotion, aggressive behaviors are typically not, when one losses control of their anger and it becomes harmful to themselves or others – this is the behavior that needs controlled. Aggressions, and threats of aggression, are emergency responses, therefore patterns of angry behavior that are ‘out of proportion’ for the seriousness of the triggering event needs intervention.

Managing anger can be learned by attending an Anger Management Program, please visit http://www.ami-tx.com for additional information.

Anger Management Classes and Anger Management – Executive Coaching available in Houston, Texas.

Gregory A. Kyles, LPC, CEAP, CAMF
Anger Management Institute of Texas
http://www.ami-tx.com
http://www.dvi-tx.com
https://gregorykyles.wordpress.com
Houston, Texas