Are You Easily Offended And Quick To Anger

Dr. Purushothaman
September 23, 2013

When anger rises, think of the consequences. Confucius
Chinese Philosopher
551 BC - 479 BC

A fool gives full vent to his anger,
but a wise man keeps himself under control. Proverbs 29:11

Are You Easily Offended and Quick to Anger?
Here's Help!

Offended:To cause dislike, anger or vexation
Anger: To make angry; to become angry

Is it just me or have you noticed increased in-your-face attitude from others?

Here are some recent examples.

1. Road rage: There are daily examples of this nasty behavior.
2. An employee in Vancouver was fired. The next day, he shot his boss dead.
3. A Wal-Mart employee was killed at the mall by a stampede of angry, uncontrollable shoppers.
4. A mother was so bent on revenge, she Facebooked her daughter's perceived offender until that girl killed herself. The mother is currently serving time.
5. A hockey dad beat a teenage referee so badly, the boy had to be hospitalized. The team was comprised of 8-year-olds.
6. A woman screamed at the top of her lungs in a local grocery store because of the behavior of her two kids under 5!
7. After an alleged insult, a swarm of teenage girls beat another teen almost beyond recognition. Then they posted a video of the attack on You Tube.
8. Yesterday, our garbage man was verbally abused when he skipped a lady's garbage cans because snow blocked access to her driveway.

Easily offended and quick-to-anger individuals are out of control.

They are under the influence of the perceived offense and thus cannot make rational and appropriate decisions. That was proved in relationship research conducted by Dr. Gottman, which showed that feeling offended and angry can cause us to go into a mode of "defend or attack." Neither is beneficial.

Are you easily offended and quick to anger?
1. Allowing yourself to feel offended and angry is your choice.
2. No one can offend you or make you angry unless YOU let them!

The Lowdown on Feeling Offended and Showing Anger

Feeling offended and flashing anger are internal reactions perceived to have an external cause.
1. Offended or angry people almost always blame their response on another person or event.
2. Rarely do they realize the real reason for their reaction is their irrational perception of the world.
3. Angry people have a certain perception and expectation of the world. When reality does not meet their expectations, they become angry.
4. The gap between what they want and what is really happening leads to the manifestation of anger.

Emotional Reasoning
People who reason emotionally often misinterpret normal events and things other people say as threatening to their needs and goals. In the long run, emotional reasoning can lead to dysfunctional anger.

Low Frustration-Tolerance
All of us at some point have experienced a time where our frustration-tolerance was low. Often, stress-related anxiety lowers our tolerance levels; we begin to perceive normal occurrences as threats to our well-being or threats to our ego.

Unreasonable Expectations
When people make demands, they are seeing things the way they think they should be, not the way things really are. This lack of perfection in their world lowers their frustration-tolerance levels. People with unreasonable expectations want others to act in a certain way—and uncontrollable events to unfold in a predictable manner. When things do not go their way, they become offended, angry, and frustrated.

People-rating is type of thinking where we apply a derogatory label to a person. Rating someone as a jerk, idiot, or worse dehumanizes that individual and makes it easier to become angry without concern for that person's feelings.

Personal Attacks
Someone attacks our ideas and we take it personally.

Research links the behavior of being easily offended and quick to anger with low levels of self-worth.

Having confidence in our self helps us avoid feeling the need to defend or attack when events occur.

Another contributing factor to a person's anger level is health.

Even though we may not wish to respond negatively, our ability to manage our behavior can be diminished by a reduced level of wellness.

1. With our current busy lifestyles, more and more people are living sleep-deprived lives. Lack of sleep lowers serotonin and dopamine levels and contributes to irritability and rage.
2. Obesity and insufficient exercise can play a roll in reducing the production of serotonin and dopamine, as well as the endorphins that calm us.

Feeling easily offended and quick to anger is learned behavior.

Stop spending time around easily offended people.

I admit I need to heed all this advice. Over the past few years, I have significantly improved my anger management. I have experienced positive results by staying calm and assertive and not getting emotionally hooked on the situation.

One area where I used to become easily offended was if people did not keep their word or failed to deliver what they promised. I recall berating an innocent hotel clerk because my reservation was lost. After ranting for a couple of minutes, I learned I was at the wrong hotel. My behavior was inappropriate.

More recently, one of our suppliers revised a service contract, which is not permitted under the terms of our agreement. And he did it without notice, even though 60 days' notice is stated clearly in the contract. My old self initially wanted to respond with anger. Then, with help from the CRG team, we assertively stood our ground.
No one wants to deal with an angry person. You can choose not to be one!

Read the Action Steps below.

This Week's Action Steps

Are You Easily Offended and Quick to Anger?

Here's Help!

1. Are you easily offended or quick to anger? If Yes, what triggers you? What would others say about your responses to your life's events?
2. Nothing -- mean NOTHING -- good comes from being easily offended. Think of someone who is easily offended or quick to anger. Who enjoys hanging out or interacting with that person?! It's like walking on eggshells.
3. Being easily offended and quick to anger is dysfunctional behavior. Demanding "political correctness" falls into that category.
4. Contrary to the belief of easily offended individuals, the offense is not external. People cannot offend you or make you angry unless you let them.
5. Anger causes irrational thoughts and renders you unable to make sound decisions.
6. Take responsibility this moment for your responses to all situations. Stop using the "I am offended" mechanism and the spontaneous anger reaction. I have seen individuals hit equipment and walls and fly into rage at inert objects. There is no benefit in that.
7. Responses are learned. Stop spending time around easily offended people.
8. You can stand up for yourself by being calm and assertive.
9. To understand how your level of self-worth is affecting your success and anger management, complete the Self-Worth Inventory. Your responses to 40 questions categorize your self-worth into 5 specific areas -- what we call situational self-worth. The assessment includes 12 precise Action Steps for increasing your self-confidence.
10. To determine how your lifestyle is influencing your stress and wellness levels, complete the Stress Indicator and Health Planner. Your responses to its 120 questions will immediately help you target opportunities to increase your level of wellness and potentially reduce stress-related irritability.
11. Confirm your purpose and passions by completing My Source EXPERIENCE Journal. In this 88-page book, I outline the exact steps you can take to discover what really is important to you, so you can enjoy a calm, determined life'instead of a frustrated existence.
12. Being easily offended and angry at others is self-centered behavior with destructive consequences. Focus calmly on what can be done -- instead of what was not done --to your liking! Get over yourself. You will be surprised by the positive responses you'll experience. I know I have been.

Until next time, keep Living On Purpose!

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