Have you noticed an increased “in-your-face” attitude from others? Here are some examples:
- Road rage—there are daily examples of this nasty behavior.
- A Walmart employee was killed at the mall by a stampede of angry, desperate, uncontrollable shoppers.
- A mother was so bent on revenge, she Facebooked her daughter’s perceived offender until that girl killed herself. The mother is currently serving time in prison.
- A “hockey dad” beat up a teenage referee so badly, the young man had to be hospitalized. (The team was comprised of eight-year-olds.)
- A woman screamed at the top of her lungs in a local grocery store because of the behavior of her two children under the age of five.
- After an alleged insult, a swarm of teenage girls beat up another teen almost beyond recognition. Then they actually posted a video of the attack on YouTube.
- Our family’s garbage truck driver was verbally abused when he skipped a woman’s garbage cans because snow blocked access to her driveway.
Easily offended and quick-to-anger individuals are out of control.
They are under the influence of the perceived offense, and, as a result, cannot make rational and appropriate decisions. That was proved in relationship research conducted by Dr. Gottman (The Gottman Institute), which showed that feeling offended and angry can cause people to go into a mode of “defend or attack.” But neither is beneficial.
Are you easily offended and quick to anger? Then keep this mind:
- Allowing yourself to feel offended and angry is your choice.
- No one can offend you or make you angry unless you let them.
The Lowdown on Feeling Offended and Showing Anger
1. Feeling offended and blinding anger are internal reactions perceived to have an external cause.
- Offended or angry people tend to blame their response on another person or event.
- Rarely do these people realize the real reason for their reaction is their irrational perception of the world.
- Angry people have a certain perception and expectation of the world. When reality does not meet their expectations, they become angry.
- The gap between what they want and what is really happening leads to the manifestation of anger.
People often misinterpret normal events and things other people say as threatening to their needs and goals. In the long run, emotional reasoning can lead to dysfunctional anger.
Everyone, at some point, has experienced a time when frustration-tolerance was low. Often, stress-related anxiety lowers tolerance levels; people begin to perceive normal occurrences as threats to their well-being or threats to their ego.
When people make demands, they are seeing things the way they think they should be, not the way things really are. This lack of ideal situations in their world lowers their frustration-tolerance levels. People with unreasonable expectations want others to act in a certain way—and uncontrollable events to unfold in a predictable manner. When things do not go their way, they become offended, angry, and frustrated.
“People-rating” is type of thinking in which you would apply a derogatory label to a person. Rating someone as a jerk, idiot, or worse, dehumanizes that individual, and makes it easier for you to become angry without concern for that person’s feelings.
This occurs when someone attacks your ideas (not you, yourself), but you take it personally.
2. Research links the behavior of being easily offended and quick to anger with low levels of self-worth.
Having confidence in yourself will help you avoid feeling the need to defend or attack when negative events or perceived negative situations occur.
3. Health is another contributing factor to a person’s anger level.
Even though you may not wish to respond negatively, your ability to manage your behavior can be diminished by a reduced level of wellness.
- With today’s current busy lifestyles, more people live sleep-deprived lives. Lack of sleep lowers serotonin and dopamine levels, and contributes to irritability and rage.
- Obesity and insufficient exercise can play a significant role in reducing the production of serotonin and dopamine, as well as calming endorphins.
4. Feeling easily offended and quick to anger is a learned behavior.
Stop spending time around easily offended and angered people—it will eventually rub off on you.
I admit that I need to heed my own advice. But over the past few years, I have significantly improved my anger management. I have experienced positive results by remaining calm and assertive and not becoming emotionally hooked on a situation.
One area in which I used to become easily offended and angry involved other people not keeping their word or failing to deliver what they promised, especially on my terms, even if I was in the wrong.
For example, I remember berating an innocent hotel clerk because my reservation was lost. After ranting for a couple of minutes, I learned I was at the wrong hotel. My behavior was completely inappropriate.
To help you in your journey to more effective self-management and stronger personal success, I recommend three CRG resources:
- To understand how your level of self-worth is affecting your anger management and overall success, complete the Self-Worth Inventory. Your responses to 40 questions will position your self-worth into 5 specific areas—situational self-worth. Then you receive 12 precise Action Steps to increase your level of self-confidence.
- To determine how your lifestyle is influencing your stress and wellness levels, complete the Stress Indicator and Health Planner. Your responses to the 120 questions in this assessment will immediately help you target opportunities to increase your level of wellness.
No one wants to deal with an offended, angry person. You can choose not to be one of them!
Read the Action Steps below:
Ask yourself whether you are easily offended and/or quick to anger. If Yes, what triggers you? What would others say about your responses to your life’s events?
- Think of someone who is easily offended and/or quick to anger. Do you enjoy hanging out or interacting with that person?! It’s like walking on eggshells. Nothing positive comes from those who are easily offended or angered.
- Keep this in mind: Being easily offended and quick to anger is dysfunctional behavior; demanding “political correctness” falls into that category. Anger also causes irrational thoughts and renders you unable to make sound decisions.
- Remember that other people cannot offend you or make you angry unless you let them. The offense is not external, but internal.
- Take responsibility this moment for your responses to all situations. Stop using the “I am offended!” automatic mechanism and the spontaneous anger reaction. (I have seen individuals hit equipment and walls and fly into rage at inert objects. There is no benefit in that.)
- Stop spending time around easily offended people. Responses and reactions are learned and imitated.
- Stand up for yourself by remaining calm and assertive.
- Complete CRG’s Self-Worth Inventory to understand how your level of self-worth is affecting your anger management and success. Your responses to 40 questions categorize your self-worth into 5 specific areas—situational self-worth. The assessment includes 12 precise Action Steps for increasing your self-confidence.
- Complete CRG’s Stress Indicator and Health Planner to determine how your lifestyle is influencing your stress and wellness levels. Your responses to its 120 questions will immediately help you target opportunities to increase your level of wellness and potentially reduce stress-related irritability.
- Focus calmly on what can be done (future), rather than what was not done (past). You will be surprised by the positive responses you’ll experience. I know I have been.
Until next time, keep Living on Purpose,
Ken Keis, Ph.D.
CRG Consulting Resource Group International, Inc.
Ken Keis, Ph.D., President of CRG, is a global expert on leadership, wellness, behavioral assessments, and life purpose. In 28 years, he has conducted over 3000 presentations and invested 10,000+ hours in consulting and coaching. Ken Keis is considered a foremost global authority on the way assessment strategies and processes increase and multiply success rates. He co-created CRG’s proprietary development models and has written over 4 million words of content for 40 business training programs and 400+ articles. His latest book, The Quest For Purpose: A Self-Discovery Process To Find It And Live It!,is available at crgleader.com.