By William Davies
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Extra info for Overcoming Anger and Irritability
We feel that our response was out of all proportion to the event; it was not justified. These are themes that will run throughout this book. How do we get ourselves always – or nearly always – to respond to negative events in a way that is in proportion to them? In a way that we, and others, would say is justified? It is worth lingering a little on these questions of definition. The word ‘irritability’ implies a minor kind of response on the part of the irritable person, probably verbal, usually not physically aggressive.
What holds us back? Now we have seen how inhibitions operate, perhaps we can work out what holds people back in each of the situations we have looked at. Why doesn’t the person who hears loud music from next door immediately go round and complain angrily? ’ Why didn’t Pam get angrier with her noisy-eating husband? ’ When people coughing during my talks used to annoy me, why did I not get angry with them and tell them to shut up or clear off? ’ Why did Nigel not snap back angrily when his wife contradicted him in public?
Inhibitions are of two main types: internal and external. Internal inhibitions are the thoughts and moral guidelines we have for ourselves. External inhibitions are the awareness of the consequences that would happen if you were to respond out of proportion to provocation. 4 Constructing a system to explain irritability and anger The ‘leaky bucket’ If we can put all that we have worked out so far into a diagram, it will help us predict when we are going to be irritable or angry and, more to the point, prevent it happening.
Overcoming Anger and Irritability by William Davies