Myths about Anger

Myth #1: Anger Is Inherited.
One misconception or myth about anger is that the way people express anger is inherited and cannot be changed. Evidence from research studies, however, indicates that people are not born with set and specific ways of expressing anger. Rather, these studies show that the expression of anger is learned behavior and that more appropriate ways of expressing anger can also be learned.

Myth #2: Anger Automatically Leads to Aggression.
A related myth involves the misconception that the only effective way to express anger is through aggression. There are other more constructive and assertive ways, however, to express anger. Effective anger management involves controlling the escalation of anger by learning assertiveness skills, changing negative and hostile “self-talk,” challenging irrational beliefs, and employing a variety of behavioural strategies. These skills, techniques, and strategies will be discussed during all of the courses.

Myth #3: You Must Be Aggressive To Get What You Want.
Many people confuse assertiveness with aggression. The goal of aggression is to dominate, intimidate, harm, or injure another person – to win at any cost. Conversely, the goal of assertiveness is to express feelings of anger in a way that is respectful of other people. Expressing yourself in an assertive manner does not blame or threaten other people and minimizes the chance of emotional harm. You will learn about the topic of assertiveness skills in more detail during the training.

Myth #4: Venting Anger Is Always Desirable.
For many years, there was a popular belief that the aggressive expression of anger, such as screaming or beating on pillows, was therapeutic and healthy. Research studies have found, however, that people who vent their anger aggressively simply get better at being angry. In other words, venting anger in an aggressive manner reinforces aggressive behaviour.