In a recent newspaper column, “consumed by anger in Herndon, Virginia” writes for help with her “anger problem.” She speaks of being unable to concentrate after one of her roommates was “mean” to her. The writer inquires of Dear Abby, “Is it normal to get this mad?” She commented that the last time she became so angry, she punched a wall and bruised her fist.
Abby’s response to the person “consumed by anger” suggested finding a way to express anger that is “productive” and “channeling [it] in the right direction.” A far more helpful approach in this situation (and applicable to many others as well) would be to help this individual become aware of cognitive processes (errors?) that gave rise to the anger.
Anger arises largely out of fear (e.g., of not being in control) or from disappointment emanating from expectations that are unreasonable to begin with.
Instead of being consumed by anger, did she attempt to discuss the matter with the roommate if it was so important? One can be assertive and firm without being angry.
And perhaps she could ask herself why she attached such significance to the “insult” to begin with. Knowing her roommate, she can perhaps expect more of the same in the future. The issue may not be the roommate but her own perception and reaction to what her roommate says and does? In any event, she has a choice to channel or to work on becoming a less angry person to begin with.