Check for Dysfunctional Thinking
If you are regularly irritable, annoyed, angry, or resentful – in other words, if you are struggling with your anger – the fault may partially lie in your thinking. Many Anger Management Specialist consider dysfunctional thinking a primary source of these negative emotions. You can learn to identify your specific dysfunctional thoughts, understand what is inaccurate about them, and then correct them allowing for more effective anger management.
For example, a person might tell themselves, “She doesn’t agree with me on this issue, so she’s a completely non-supportive person.” They seem to act as if there is no gray area in between total support and total non-support, total adequacy and total worthlessness. This is “all or nothing” thinking. It ignores the fact that a person can be somewhat supportive or supportive some of the time. The thinking includes only the extremes of “all or nothing” and the category of “some” is completely missing. This type of dysfunctional thinking can be applied to yourself as well causing you to become self judgmental and critical. A person with ‘all or nothing’ thinking is like a person who is in an elevator with access only to the top and bottom floors. It is an if there is no floors in between.
Write down an example of ‘all or nothing’ thinking which you may use from time to time (See Printout)
You may refer back to Module 6 – Dysfunctional Thinking to review and more suggestions.