I have tried to figure myself out but I simply can’t and I believe I need help. I tend to snap very often at my husband over little stuff such as him not putting out the garbage on time for pick up or him forgetting to buy groceries that I asked for. I snap over things that usually can be discussed in normal tone. I just get angry too easily and get to a level that I shouldn’t have. That upsets my husband of, course, and it just leads to an argument and tense feelings.
I blame part of this developed personality of mine on my parents who argued openly in front of me and my brother. It reminds me of my mom picking arguments over nothing. I’ve become like that. I need to stop. I don’t want that for my kid, that is why I think I need to learn how to control myself and I just don’t know how. I used to express myself like that with my parents, too, because it seemed ok when it was not. Since I witnessed disrespectful behavior from my parents I started being disrespectful to them, too, and arguing with them.
I feel like I am overly argumentative. Lately, I am finding myself slowly being overly angry at work too and sometimes exploding at people who don’t follow my instructions thoroughly. I want to be able to restrain my anger and speak softly even when I don’t agree with things. I have tried training my mind and thinking next time my husband doesn’t do whatever he is supposed to that I should let it go and be fine with it, it’s not the end of the world. But then the next moment I hear myself being irrational and raising my tone.
I am desperate for help as I don’t want to raise my child with a raised voices around him.
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Essentially, you have figured yourself out but do not know how to control your angry reactions. Let’s explore the roots of your problem.
One of the most powerful ways we learn during childhood, and continues in adulthood, is what is called, “observational learning” Another way of stating this is learning from role models. Your parents role modelled bickering and arguing over trivial things. You learned through observing your parents, that the only way to express needs is through confrontation and conflict. Its likely that one or both of your parents learned the same thing and in the same way during their childhoods. Yes, it gets passed down from generation to generation unless the cycle is broken. Breaking the cycle is what you want to do so that your son learns a better way of coping.
However, this does not answer the question of what the source of your anger may be? What comes across loud and clear is that you experience strong feelings of helplessness when it comes to what you want and expect from others. For example, you expect your husband to do certain domestic chores. When he fails to carry them out you experience enormous frustration out of feeling helpless to influence his behavior. So, you lash out and the argument begins. This cycle is repeated at work where you become so irritated that you explode at certain people.
All of this ends in feelings of futility because it is human nature to resist being yelled at. Instead of getting what you want and need, people continue to disappoint you, adding fuel to your fire. They might not be consciously aware that this is what they are doing but, many of our behaviors are just outside of full awareness.
Feeling helpless is part of what we call the “helpless and hopeless’ syndrome. That syndrome is either a result of depression or cause of depression. So, in addition to external factors that makes your anger explode is the possibility that you are depressed. Depression and anger often accompany one another.
I suggest you enter psychotherapy as a way of breaking up this entire unsatisfactory way of living. Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is a good way to go because it is an excellent way to learn new and healthier patterns of behavior to replace the old, maladaptive ways. This can also help you relieve depression and enable you to feel more in control of your life.
Best of Luck