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robdamel's avatar

How to change my aggressive ways? (emotional help)

Asked by robdamel (786 points ) March 30th, 2011

I am aggressive and easily irritated. Some may think I am bi-polar. I am constantly getting irritated for small matters and then become aggressive with the people around me for an undetermined amount of time. I need to change this because of the way I am with my girlfriend- She seriously has a lot of patience with me, and I recognize that because of this way that I am, i might lose her. How do I go about changing myself?

I believe this aggressive state is because of various reasons. This would include heavy stress on maaany problems that constantly appear, which to name a few: my hatred against a family member of mine and how I compete against him(even though he is 7 years older than me) my tmj problem, my teeth problems (wearing braces for 6 years and still not ready), my needing to find a job or else I wont have a place to live problem, etc.
Oh, and this heavy, subconscious, importance that I give to money- my goal is to make a lot of money. I can`t simply tell myself to stop thinking this way; my mind simply doesn’t stop thinking about how to make money.

Back on topic- I just finished a conversation on the phone with my girlfriend and I noticed I was already becoming aggressive with her! She ended the conversation as fast as she could so she could turn off the phone.

Help! How do I change my life?

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13 Answers

nikipedia's avatar

Have you considered counseling?

Meditation and mindfulness practice might also help.

blueiiznh's avatar

First congratulate yourself on the awareness that something may be wrong and you want to change it.
Find a Therapist that can make a proper diagnosis. There are many things that may be going on that add up to your stress levels, but it is about what you do with it.
If you are diagnosed, then find a seperate Dr that will help decide and direct and medicine.

Do all you can to help yourself and accept who you are. Also once assessed if needed, find support groups, and stay on Therapy or Rx if that is the course.

Try to stay away from battles that you have no control over. Don’t sweat the small stuff and most everything is small stuff. This however is big stuff and is and will affect your life.

It sounds like you have a girfriend that is hanging in there so far. Explain all this to her as well. This may help your relationship more than you know.

Be good to yourself and those around you.
Again, much kudos on self awareness.

robdamel's avatar

@blueiiznh Thanks for the answer man, will consider everything.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Find a therapist specializing in emotion regulation and anger management.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Therapy is really helpful because it enables learning what’s a real problem, and what the appropriate response is for the situation. Sometimes anger is chemical, sometimes it’s learned. The solution is a little different for each.

If small things bother you, address them while they are still small and don’t let them get blown out of proportion. You also have to realize you don’t get to have the final say over other people, you can only manage yourself.

robdamel's avatar

By the way, i am in brazil and a consultant or therapist is out of the question. Tips on self help and the like would be good. Finding professional help is expensive.

All answerd are being appreciated.

JilltheTooth's avatar

When you’re calm and alone, try to make a list of the trigger situations that set off your aggressive tendencies, and practice alternate responses, whether stopping speaking for a moment and taking a deep breath to sipping some water, whatever. If you consciously practice ways to give yourself a second to diffuse some of the anger, you should be able to apply these techniques to real situations. Look into books about Cognitive Behavior Therapy, they may be of some help.

tranquilsea's avatar

I have a highly emotional child who gets quite frustrated and angry at small things. I have worked for years getting him to pay attention to what makes him mad, to recognize the first signs of when he’s getting angry, and to say, “I’m getting mad and I’m going to my room to calm down”. He needs to say this so I know what he’s doing. We have gone over many methods on how he can calm down. As others have stated taking purposeful deep breaths helps, screaming into a pillow helps, and getting some intense exercise really helps.

It sounds as though you’ve done some work on understanding why you’re so angry. Your challenge now is to accept the anger in an effort to move beyond it. One thing you may want to consider is that the only person you have control over is you. Everyone else has their own path to take. All you can ever hope to do is have some small influence and you achieve influence in people’s lives by coaching and encouraging. Anything else drives people away.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@robdamel Everyone here has given great tips. If you are looking for self-help books, Mastering Your Moods

This website has a catastrophe gauge to help you put your immediate issues into perspective (in therapy, you are taught how to do this for every occurrence you blow out of portion).

Since you won’t be seeking therapy, or outside help due to your locale, then you may want to research methods used by parents and teachers for children. Often the methods used for kids, are simple enough to easily work into your daily life and are easy enough to remember so you create healthy new habits.

tranquilsea's avatar

@SpatzieLover Great idea. This book really helped me.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@tranquilsea My husband tends to have concepts adhere better when they go through our son first. ;) @robdamel I can tell you from experience, you can learn much when the concept is clear, concise and too simple to forget.

robdamel's avatar

@everyone Thanks for the time on posting great answers.

snowberry's avatar

Another thing you can do is ask yourself if the thing you are getting upset about will matter in a few years from now. No? How about in a year from now? No? How about in 6 months from now? And so on. Keep it up right down to ten minutes from now. It helps to put stuff in perspective.

It also helps to understand that your anger/agression is taking a physical toll on you right now, and will continue to do so until you change your ways. Your body is not designed to live long term like this, and those adrenals constantly running like this can literally make you sick!

Is there a self help group for anger management in your area? In our area they are often run by the government and attendance is a very small fee, or in some cases, free.

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