Some of the common beliefs and misconceptions about anger are:
- Have you sometimes felt that the feeling of anger is unavoidable and that youâ€™d better find a way to let off steam before the anger turns into aggression?
- Have you ever had a therapist tell you to stop holding in your anger?
- Have you ever gotten really mad and had a friend tell you that itâ€™s good to get it all out?
- Have you ever found yourself in situations thinking such things as â€œIf I hadnâ€™t gotten angry and fought back, this guy would have continued to walk all over meâ€ or â€œIf they had treated me with respect, I wouldnâ€™t have yelled at themâ€?
Even some mental health professionals accept them. Yet, none of them are true. Each is based on a myth. They are harmful because they keep you stuck in self-destructive patterns.
The five basic myths of anger are:
Myth 1: Anger and aggression are natural for humans.
Myth 2: Frustration certainly leads to aggression.
Myth 3: Venting your anger is healthy.
Myth 4: Anger is always beneficial.
Myth 5: A personâ€™s anger is caused by others.
All myths of anger justify the expression of anger and aggressive behavior.
Suggestions from the myths of anger:
- Each myth suggests that anger is an unavoidable part of being human. This inevitability makes anger seem inescapable – and perhaps even gives it value as a human attribute.
- All of us have heard, in one form or another, that expressing anger; letting it all out; is the best road to physical and mental health.
However, you may already know from your own experience that something is wrong with this way of thinking.
Has letting out anger really worked for you? Has it helped you live the life you want, or has it brought destruction to important areas of your life. Letting anger out does not work for most of us, and it probably has caused you, as well as others in your life, a lot of pain.
Through the research of experts, weâ€™ve learned that expressing anger isnâ€™t unavoidable or necessary, and certainly isnâ€™t helpful.