A Lesson on Anger Management
Oct 10 2017

A Lesson on Anger Management

By: Keith John Paul Horcasitas

Using the analogy of a traffic light to understand human behavior - especially when we need to appropriately use anger, which seems to be so rampantly inappropriately expressed nowadays, especially in social media...
 
When I was a kid, my late aunt, Sr. Mary Joselia Kleinpeter, SSND (a School Sister of Notre Dame who lived 99+ years at St. Mary of the Pines in Chatawa, Mississippi) taught me a neat song to remember what a Traffic Light meant: 
 
Red, Yellow, Green 
Stop, Change, Go 
Red, Yellow, Green 
Stop, Change Go 
 
Red means stop 
Green means go 
Yellow means, Caution! everybody's standing in a row 
 
Red, Yellow, Green 
Stop, Change, Go 
Red, Yellow, Green 
Stop, Change Go 
 
We can learn some great truths to following rules and managing anger by using a Traffic Light. 
 
And this can also be applied to how we communicate with those of divergent opinions. 
 
Red = feeling anger or other feelings that are normal but using Aggression, which can be behaviors that express our feelings in a way that may hurt others or ourselves. 
 
We need to “STOP” and reconsider our responses. 
 
Yellow = we need to “CHANGE” our initial impulsive response options - one or two behavioral emphasis: 
 
1) Caution – feeling uncertain and being appropriately careful about the decisions we have to make about what behaviors we do next based upon how we think, not just feel - this can be helpful in difficult situations like from peer pressure to do something that may be unlawful or not line with what we would want done to us (especially with Social Media), OR 
 
2) Passive – feeling out of control and allowing others to take advantage of us in ways that are not appropriate and making us feel like our needs are not important; for teens this may also involve not following the directions of the appropriate authorities in our lives. 
 
Green = Assertive – “GO!” - being in touch with our feelings and being honest about what behaviors that we will consider doing, using caution, as noted above, and understanding, as well as taking responsibility for the consequences that will be involved.  
 
John Rosemond, PhD, a Parent Geru, has some great tips on practical tips for emotional stability and anger management.

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