Anger Management Class: Cues in a Different Light A good anger management class should help you to understand your anger cues. Each of us has a different set of cues, how does that happen? The reason each of us have a different set of anger cues has to do with the way our brain works. The part of your brain that deals with anger processes all that happens to you instantaneously and unconsciously in less than the blink of an eye. Since we all had different experiences our emotional brains are going to process situations differently and because of that we each are going to experience different events as cueing anger. For instance, Joe loses it when Carolyn is running behind which she almost always is. This is no small issue to John. He feels she does this deliberately to “get” him. It completely puzzles Carolyn that Joe becomes so upset by her tardiness. From Carolyn’s point of view Joe needs to take an anger management class. The reason Joe and Carolyn can’t resolve this is because they don’t realize it’s not the tardiness, it’s what it represents to Joe. Whenever Carolyn is late Joe starts telling himself that if she valued and cared for him she would be punctual. Hold on a second, where did the love and respect come from? All he yells about is how rude she is, but what he is really feeling is unloved and disrespected? It turns out that Joe’s mother was also chronically late and he would sometimes have to wait hours for her to take him home from school. The take home message for Joe was that he wasn't important to his mother and he even wondered if she loved him as much as the moms who picked their kids up on time loved their kids. It now makes sense that a woman he loves that is not punctual would be an anger management cue for Joe because of what happened with his mom. This is a good example of why an anger management class should help you to understand why your anger management cues are so powerful for you.
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