From a woman in Macedonia: Hi, I feel so regretful about my actions in anger. I get angry and nervous about small things (for example if my partner go and buy something that I think we don’t need) I can get angry in a minute and obsessed over that and will make rude comments just to provoke reactions or fight. After everything escalates I feel huge regret can’t stop thinking about the situation, regret what I have said how I was acting. But the damage is done and I will going through the situation for days and feel regret and cry. How to break this cycle? Thank you
Thank you for writing. It takes a lot of courage to acknowledge that an anger problem has more to do with you than with what other people do. The fact that you are highly reactive to when things don’t go the way you think they should suggests that you are terribly anxious. Your explosions relieve the immediate feelings of anxiety but they also damage your relationships and your feelings about yourself.
As you undoubtedly know, life is full of frustrations. Some are really minor; some are huge. But you are reacting as if everything that unsettles you is going to lead to disaster. When your anger takes over, you can’t think clearly or make good choices about what to do.
The way to change your reactions is, first, to figure out why you are so afraid when things are unpredictable or, to your way of thinking, inappropriate. Then, you need to learn new skills for managing that emotional response of anger. You can learn ways to control your feelings and how to redirect them or express them in a constructive way.
I suggest you do some reading as a place to start. There are a number of self-help workbooks on anger management available at booksellers’ websites. There are also articles about anger here at Psych Central.
Some anger management classes are available on line. (I haven’t looked into them so I can’t make a recommendation. You’ll need to do your own research to learn if one of them might be helpful to you.)
If those sources don’t provide sufficient help, do consider seeing a counselor. Therapy will help you learn new ways to manage your anxiety and to express your feelings in appropriate and helpful ways.
I hope you will follow up and get the help you need. You don’t deserve to live with constant regrets. You do deserve to have the good relationships the come with knowing how to navigate conflict and how to deal with your own emotions.
I wish you well.