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Identifying distorted anger

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By Dave Henning / July 16, 2016

Dr. Gary Chapman concludes Chapter 4 of Anger as he talks about the issue of identifying distorted anger.  He repeats the one fundamental difference between distorted and definitive anger.  Definitive anger responds to an wrong someone inflicts.  In distorted anger, however, a perceived wrong leads to anger.  No actual wrongdoing occurs.

Treating all anger as definitive causes crucial errors in judgment.  Therefore, in order to grasp distorted anger, Gary returns to his basic paradigm.  All anger consists of:

  1. a provoking event
  2. an interpretation of that event
  3. the rising emotion of anger
  4. physiological changes in the body readying us for action

This model occurs applies to both types of anger.  Therefore, a wise response to anger requires discernment.  You need to decide whether or not actual sin forms the basis of your anger.  Consequently, asking two questions helps you decide the validity of anger:

  • What wrong was committed?
  • Am I sure I have all the facts?

Being aware that we may not have all the facts creates the drive to seek those facts.  As a result, that helps us avoid jumping to the wrong conclusion.

When we begin looking at our anger, we soon learn that most of our anger falls into the distorted category.  Yet, both types of anger remain equally vexing.  However, distorted anger needs unique skills to process effectively.  Therefore, Gary presents those  skills in Chapter 5.

Today’s question: What would help you to commit to singling out distorted anger responses to your job loss?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Sharing information”

About the author

Dave Henning


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