Cognitive Techniques For Anger Management–Part II

Cognitive Techniques For Anger Management–Part II
Please read the previous article on this subject first.
Here’s a technique. Think and act like someone is
watching you. I don’t mean act paranoid. Just imagine
someone or maybe even an aspect of yourself is looking on
from off to the side somewhere while you go about your
daily business. Someone is observing you talk to others,
sign your name on a check, drive to and from the grocery
store or while reading this Ebook. I used this example
to help my son not drive so fast. When he first learned
to drive, I asked him to imaging that there was always a
police car right behind him—a cop watching his every move.
If you drive like there’s a cop on your tail, your driving
will be very different. In general, the extent that we
think we are in a bubble and not subject to the scrutiny of
others is license to misbehave. Put another way, we behave
differently when we know there is an observer. My favorite
example is when drivers are in their car by themselves, and
then pick their noses. They think no one notices because
they are in a “bubble.” Wrong. Imagine if they only knew…
Stop judging. Right and wrong is relative and only in
rare cases is probably absolute. Stop using the Seven Deadly
Phrases and/or Words: “Always,” “Never,” “Should,” “Have To,”
“Must,” “Need to” and “Ought to.” Not only are these usually
a projection of your own expectations and attachments, they
serve to make you feel that your anger is justified and that
the only right solution to the problem is for the other person
to do what you want. Doing this will alienate and humiliate
people who might otherwise be willing to work with you on a
Instead, try evaluating rather than judging. What does
this mean? Evaluation means assessing whether something works,
whether it is efficient and does what it is supposed to do.
Is it effective and functional? This analysis can be applied
to events, things and people. Adding the extra dimension of
right or wrong, better or worse, superior or inferior starts to
offend others via your projections; hence they perceive you are
judging them. Judging something is what happens when a parent
talks down to a child, pointing out how the child “blew it,” and
that s/he “should” have done something or said something
differently. The child will feel scolded, inferior or
inadequate. If you are judged as an adult, you will also feel
belittled. No one likes to be treated that way. Evaluating
something is what happens when two adults discuss something
without getting too bothered, sticking to facts or at least
perceptions, not being so attached to their respective point of
view if they differ-—kind of like agreeing to disagree without
coming to blows. Avoid speaking in a morally condescending
way when communicating your standard-based “preferences.”
There’s lots of ways to impart information without judgment.
There’s a difference between being different and expecting
others to accept your differences with subtle or overt
condescension, and being different and communicating those
differences by stating your preferences without implied or
expressed superiority.
-Dr. Griggs

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