How did your family influence how you deal with anger? Most of us have experienced some form of anger in the family. Your family might have had a lot of aggression or the opposite. You might have had a lot of passivity in your family. Even passive families have moments where they blow up!
Aggression, passive, and assertive behaviors are all learned, so it is beneficial to talk about how your family might have influenced how you respond to stressful events. If your family was aggressive in stressful situations, you might have learned how to be aggressive.
In the following series of questions, reflect on them to further understand your anger. If you feel overwhelmed while answering these questions, move on to the next question until you can give more attention to the skipped questions.
Did you live with both parents?
Did you have siblings?
Where did you grow up?
How was anger expressed in your family?
How did your father express anger?
How did your mother express anger?
Were you ever threatened with physical violence?
Was your father ever abusive to you?
Was your mother ever abusive to you?
How were emotions such as happiness and sadness expressed in your family?
Were warm emotions expressed frequently?
Was emotional expression restricted to feelings of anger and frustration?
Were pleasant emotions expressed at birthdays and holidays?
How were you disciplined, and by whom?
Did this discipline include being spanked or hit with belts, switches, etc.?
What role did you take in your family? Were you the hero, victim, rescuer, or scapegoat?
Did you receive specific messages about your father and men in general?
How did you believe that women should act/ what roles should they play?
Do any of these behaviors, thoughts, or feelings carry over into your relationships today?
What purpose do these behaviors serve? What would happen if you give up these behaviors?
Section 8 Exercise
Now that you have explored and reflected on your past experiences with anger in your family write a paragraph about how the anger management you observed influenced your life as an adult.
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