- Albert Ellis, Ph.D.
In REBT I teach that anger is an extremely self-defeating emotion. It is easy for humans to experience anger but this does not make it a good emotion to indulge oneself in as it leads to many negative outcomes. See that you make yourself angry about what other people do or fail to do. Not only do you demand that they do what you absolutely know is "better'' but you then, when angry, condemn what they do AND condemn them as people.
What makes taking control of your anger so difficult is that by the time you seek help for it you have practiced your angry reaction many, many times over the course of your lifetime. This does not mean you cannot unlearn this response but it does mean you will have to work hard and consistently at changing your automatic reaction when others misbehave. REBT encourages you to be responsible for your angry reactions. See that you make yourself angry and rageful even when others misbehave. Adopt a self-helping philosophy that is based on these ideas:
1. Fallible humans have a right to misbehave.
2. You have a right not to like their misbehavior and to try to influence them.
3. Their misbehavior does not make you angry, but you make yourself angry by holding rigid, idealistic, demanding beliefs of how your will must be done.
4. First work on controlling you and your response to other people before you open your mouth or take action in response to their misbehavior.
5. Commit to assertive behavior not aggressive, demanding behavior. Bear in mind asserting yourself may help but it does not guarentee that people will change their behavior.
6. Be realistic in your goals for yourself and for the fallible humans who give you the opportunity to make yourself upset.
7. Remind yourself that people do not have to do what is right, fair, efficient, or effective although it would be lovely if they did.
8. Accept that humans can change their self-defeating ways but it takes work, practice and effort over time.