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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5517
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Hi, I am finding it difficult to get along with people at the

Resolved Question:

Hi, I am finding it difficult to get along with people at the moment and it is having an effect on my family life and my own well being. I can't be around my family without getting angry or being rude to my father's girlfriend or my sister's boyfriend. We don't spend much time together but if I want to see my father or my sister I am forced to spend quite an intense amount of time with these two people. I get really agitated and angry and I get upset about very trivial things but I can't stop myself from feeling like this. Is there anything you can suggest?

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

It sounds like there is either something bothering you about your father's girlfriend and your sister's boyfriend or there are some unresolved issues you have from your past.

When someone feels angry a lot as you describe you do, it is usually because of a need to protect yourself from being hurt. Anger issues are often seen in people who have been abused as children or hurt in some other way by other people. Anger is a natural response to repeatedly being hurt and feeling out of control. Being angry also creates a "barrier" between you and other people, helping you maintain control over how much someone else interacts with you and at what level.

It helps to know where your anger might come from so you can get to the root of the issue and resolve it once and for all. Therapy is an excellent option for exploring why you feel as you do and how to resolve it for good. But for now, it helps to recognize that your anger is probably due to feeling vulnerable and wanting to keep distance between you and the other people.

To deal with your anger, it helps to use psychological tools to keep yourself calm. One way to do that is to focus on your breathing. Deep, consistent breathing keeps you relax and feeling less agitated. Another way to help yourself is to change your thoughts when confronted with someone you don't want to see. For example, instead of feeling agitated when you see the other person, try imagery. Think of things that relax you such as a beach. Listen for the waves, think of how the sand feels. By "escaping" you can feel more in control and pull yourself out of the situation emotionally and mentally.

You can also put a time limit on how much time you spend with others that you feel agitated around. So if you are going to visit your father for example and his girlfriend is there, only stay for a 30 minute time. Plan another activity so you can say you really need to leave after 30 minutes. That allows you to focus on a short visit and helps you stay calmer. It also help you feel more in control and sets boundaries.

Try getting out your anger through healthy means such as exercise. Kickboxing, running or sports can help expend your energy and you will feel calmer. Plus you can picture anyone that agitates you as you work out, helping you express some of those angry feelings.

Here is a resource to help you:

Beyond Anger: A Guide for Men: How to Free Yourself from the Grip of Anger and Get More Out of Life by Thomas J. Harbin

I hope this has helped you,
Kate
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5517
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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