I'm At My Ending Point
(Greenville, SC, USA)
Lately, I've been feeling like really hurting somebody. I had an altercation with a co-worker of mine. Come to think about it, now it seems to be childish. But let me tell you--at work, a young lady asked me to transfer a call to another co-worker of mine from another department. But she refused to transfer through me for some reason. So I let my co-worker know a call was about to be transferred to her.
Then she leans across my desk to tell me that the lady said I hung up. But I didn't. So I told her, "Didn't I tell you that she was getting ready to transfer the call to you? But then she said she would do it."
Then the girl started getting really sarcastic saying, "Okay! It's not that serious!" By that time I tried to gather my self and turn around. I just couldn't get off my mind how she had talked to me.
So I saw her behind me and I told her, "Look, I just wanted you to know that I didn't hang up on your client." She then became sarcastic again!
So, by that time, I lost it! I just went off on her, and the whole department was looking at me like I was crazy. So I had to go gather myself. I'm not even getting along with people on the road. When I'm driving I have BAD ROAD RAGE. I feel like people don't like me or understand me. I really need some help. What can I do to help control my anger on the road? And at my workplace.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello Keitha, and thanks for being smart and healthy enough to ask for help here. You are a good person who wants to get along with others, and that's why you don't like how you've been acting. Your anger has the upper hand over you, and it's really getting in your way when you try to communicate sometimes. I will try to help you with that.
I know that you want people to understand you, and that's good. But first you need to understand yourself, and figure out why you get so angry.
Here are some things I suggest for you to do:
1) Make a list of all of the people who have been a strong influence in your life, including parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, husbands, etc. Then ask yourself how many of those people were angry and showed a lot of anger around you? Did any of them take their anger out on you? Write about these experiences in full detail. The writing is key, and it's only for you, so you don't have to worry about spelling and all that.
2) Now make a list of all of the times you have felt hurt, afraid, abandoned, rejected or neglected. Write the full story of each of those experiences. This will really help you. Most likely, this is where your anger is coming from. There is nothing wrong with you, you just have some anger problems. And, you've got good reasons for your anger, and we're trying to figure out what those are.
3) Did your parents give you what you wanted when you got mad? Were they scared of your anger? If so, then you learned that anger is a good way to get what you want--but that won't work any more.
4) Have you had any major losses--deaths of loved ones, or other losses that you have not grieved over? Write in detail about those losses, who you lost, how you felt and how you feel now. Read this page on grief, and follow all of the recommendations that apply to your situation.
5) You will find full instructions on journaling (writing) on this page. I recommend you do everything that is suggested on that page.
6) Use this guided imagery process to heal emotionally from your past issues. This will be very helpful to you in understanding and controlling your anger.
You can do this, Keitha. All you have to do is make up your mind, and never give up.
My very best to you,