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Mastering Anger/My Family And The Sources Of My Anger


Hello, Mr. DeFoore
         I do admit I have anger problems, but I feel as if the people i'm closest to don't look at things from my perspective. Recently I got into an argument with my older brother and he asked me "why are you always so quick to get angry" and said I needed anger management, etc. I thought to myself maybe it's because of the way you treated me when I was a little kid. He always picked on me even when I was really young i'm talking back to my kindergarten days. I mean how else especially at that age am I supposed to react? And it wasn't just with him I was picked on school too, now I wasn't picked that bad I can name several others that were picked on worse than me, but it definitely ocurred more than it should have and that combined with my brother picking on me at home by the time I hit middle school I didn't have the confidence to compete in sports and other extra curricular activities all I wanted to do was go home and watch TV and my dad didn't like that it was all that I did. So because of that I faced constant criticism from him that didn't make me feel any better about myself. My mom has also played a part in making me the way I am. She's a great mother I can't sit here and lie and say that she isn't. She worked hard to provide me and my brothers with all that we have, she's extremely generous and always let us know that she loved us, but unfortunate for us at times she also has an anger problem. So depending on what mood she's in we would sometimes get yelled at for asking her a simple question, I was often a victim of her outbursts and i've noticed that's what i've become. A lot of the time I find myself snapping at my parents when they ask me anything I either don't wanna answer or caught off guard with. It's weird that the people that question me about my anger problems the most are the people that I feel as if are responsible for them. My brother picking on me, my dad's harsh criticism, my mom taking her anger out on me. They tell me I get upset over small things, but with the way they sometimes treated me in the past and even the way they sometimes still do and all that I saw as a small child (won't mention what), but a lot of which someone that young shouldn't see I don't get how they don't expect me to respond with anger. I truly believe if they were in my shoes they would do the same. Now despite all of this I love my family, but the stress and the things they have put me throughout my life is just becoming too much for me to handle i'm too young (age 19) to be as mad as often as I am and I want to move out ASAP. I just need to find a way to deal with my anger because it's becoming worse and worse as time goes on.

Hello Proof

I can tell you're having a very hard time, with your anger and your family. What you have written here makes sense. I can see why you would be angry, and why you'd be frustrated by your family's criticisms of you.

When you were a child, you (as we all are) were a victim of the circumstance you lived in--children can't just pack up and look for another family. You are an adult now, and you're no longer a victim. That means you're responsible for dealing with your own emotions and the damage you carry from your the mistreatment you've had in the past. I know this is ironic...the people who did the damage are not responsible for fixing it, you are. That's just the way it is for all of us.

If someone hurts me in some way, they may or may not apologize. Either way, I walk away with the damage, and it's my job to deal with that. That's your situation--and it's actually a very good thing. Here's how it works: if it was your family's job to heal the damage they caused, you'd have to wait until they chose to do it, which might be never. But since it's your job, you can get started with your healing right now.

I strongly recommend that you follow all of the steps described on this page. These are powerful tools that will help you understand and heal your anger. You will also learn tools for creating more happiness in your life, which is a great antidote to anger.

All that said, you probably won't feel comfortable until you move out on your own. I encourage you to do that (in your words) ASAP! Living in the house with your family, the way you're feeling right now, is going to be difficult. Start with the exercises on the page I recommended right away, and get your own place as quickly as you can. It will really help.

You can do this. You're smart (I can tell from your writing). Make up your mind to create a happy, healthy life for yourself.

My best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

Mastering Anger

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William DeFoore, Ph.D.


I can answer questions about: * How to deal with your own anger * How to deal with somebody else's anger * How to help an angry spouse * How to help an angry child or adolescent * How to let go of resentment and forgive * How to keep anger from ruining your life and your relationships * How to let go and get out of abusive relationships


I have been in practice as a counselor for over 38 years. I have published two books on anger and 10 audio CD programs on anger, health and building healthy relationships. I have helped thousands of people overcome their anger by healing the cause instead of just treating the symptoms. I have a positive approach, and believe in the basic goodness of each person. Anger is basically healthy, but when it is expressed in unhealthy ways it is very destructive, and that's why most people think anger is bad. Learning to understand and accept yourself for who you are is the first step to healing and recovery from anger issues.

I am the author of: Anger: Deal With It, Heal With It, Stop It From Killing You. Health Communications, Inc. 2004. Anger Among Angels: Shedding Light On The Darkness Of The Human Soul. Health Communications, Inc. 2000. Serai: Bringing The Children Home. Wingspan Press, 2007.

B.A. Sociology; M.A. Clinical Psychology; Ph.D. Counselor Education; Licensed Professional Counselor. You can view my full resume here.

Awards and Honors
Adjunct Faculty with the Cooper Wellness Program, of the Cooper Aerobics Center in Dallas Texas.

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