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Test Your Knowledge
About Anger


by Dennis R. Tesdell


Answer the following questions true or false regarding anger:

1. Getting angry is not healthy for you.

2. Stable, mature people should be able to control their anger.

3. If we express our anger with someone, chances are we will make them feel angry or hurt.

4. If someone tells us they are angry with us that means we did something wrong.

5. If we express our anger toward someone and they are hurt, it is our fault.

6. If a person *really* loves someone else, they will have no need to ever be angry with them.

7. If a person throws and breaks things, or is physical when they express anger, they are just expressing it in their own intense and healthy way.

8. People who make us feel angry ought to be punished or called on it.

9. People who never express anger really have their emotional life in order!

10. Men were born with a natural tendency to display anger more than women...it's a difference between the sexes!

ANSWERS

1. False. Expressing anger is natural and can be far healthier than "holding it in." The only times when expressing anger is not healthy is if a person is continually feeling angry or expressing it in ways that hurt other people or that are destructive.

2. False. Who defines what "stable" and "mature" are anyhow?? The truth is, everyone has things happen in their lives that creates anger from time to time. Perhaps how angry a person decides to *become* and how they express or discharge it is a better gauge of their personal development and emotional "maturity."

3. False. It is important to realize that we are only in control of our own feelings and cannot "make" anyone feel one emotion or another. Certainly how we word things can tilt the scales one way or another sometimes, but each person is at choice for how they interpret and decide to feel about what someone says or does.

4. False. Just because someone is feeling anger toward or with us does not mean we did something "wrong." It means simply that to the angry person, we did or said something over which they decided to become angry. Right and wrong are moral judgments usually, and very subjective. We may have certainly done something that would cause most people to be angry with us at some level. And we may be dealing with a person who was just looking for an excuse to be angry with someone.

5. False. We are not responsible for other people's feelings...especially how they choose to interpret what we say or do. Obviously, if we hit someone or call them a nasty name they might well choose to feel angry. But each of us is always at choice as to how we decide to interpret what others say or do and to put a feeling to that. We are not responsible for other's feelings.

6. False. Everyone has bad days and everyone has times when they are more likely to be hurt or offended by something that someone else says or does. In a love relationship, it would be highly unusual for there never to be any conflict or anger expressed or displayed. Sometimes people who are together too much tend to need a little "free space," alone or apart from their loved one. If they don't get that, they can become a bit testy, agitated, or feel "penned in." Anger is a human emotion. There are healthy and unhealthy ways of expressing and displaying it, whether it is with a loved one or a stranger.

7. False. Displaying anger this way shows that the person is not in control and is likely to hurt someone or themselves, or damage property. People who display anger in this manner (more aptly called a "rage") need to learn better and less violent ways of expressing anger.

8. False. Nobody can "make" us feel anything we do not choose to feel. Likewise, we are not responsible for how others might feel. The choice is always individual how to interpret things and then how to feel about them and how to deal with those feelings.

9. False. While there are people who have become very in tune with their emotions to the point that they rarely get very upset about anything, anger is still a feeling that everyone will feel (unless they suppress/repress it) off and on in their lives and to varying degrees. The trick is in letting go of the anger after acknowledging it and expressing it in a healthy and nonviolent manner. Anger kept in is very unhealthy physically and emotionally.

10. False. Men have a bad deal here. The belief that men get angry more than women or that it is more "appropriate" is sheer myth, and is based on sex-role socialization over the centuries. Woman have as much need and right to be angry and to express it as men do. Unfortunately, as they were growing up, it was usually the girls in the family who were told that getting angry or expressing it was not "ladylike" or feminine. Because men tend to be more physical in sports and war and things of a more violent nature, they have usually been excused more when they show anger. They also have learned to use anger as a defense emotionally when they really might be feeling hurt or sad. This too is due to their socialization of what is most appropriate emotions for women and men to display and express. Fortunately, in the last 10-20 years, many parents and teachers are teaching both the males and females that it is natural and healthy to express their feelings openly and honestly when they feel them, and not to be ashamed or embarrassed by them.

SCORING

9-10 correct: Excellent
6-8: Very Good
4-5: Average
2-3: Need to Read Up On Anger
Less than 2: Need to Read The Anger Book or another book specifically on anger.


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AUTHOR BIO Dennis R. Tesdell is a professional personal development and business coach. His coaching website, "The Sky's The Limit!" can be found at http://www.coachdt.com. He has a B.A. degree in sociology from Drake University. He has studied personal development issues ranging from relationship and communication problems, to stress control, to health issues, career "burnout," and various psychological and emotional problems, for over twenty-five years. In particular, he has written, studied and taught others how learning about *healthy* physical, "spiritual," environmental, emotional and financial habits, thoughts and practices can greatly enhance and help them to create a happier and more successful personal and professional life.

In addition to writing for national publications, Dennis worked as a trainer and counselor for a Crisis Line for eight years, and was a state human services social worker. He also started and ran a successful retail business for 8 years. He received training from, and is still affiliated with, Coach University, and is a member of the International Coach Federation. He also has plans starting in February 1998 for conducting regular workshops by "teleclass" through Tele University (http://www.teleu.com) on "self care" and personal development issues. He is available for personal or business coaching consultation by emailing him at dtesdell@coachdt.com or dtesdell@selfcarecoach.com. His other newsletter and lists on personal and business development, selfcare, etc., can be obtained free by direct subscription from his
http://www.coachdt.com web site.

Dennis is a native of Des Moines, Iowa, and currently resides in West Des Moines, Iowa, where he operates his personal and business coaching business, and pursues his love of writing and teaching, primarily via the Internet.

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