The brain when it gets over whelmed goes either to chaos or to being rigid. The latter can be anger,””I have to make you listen”. It (the brain) freezes up and doesn’t see any options. Men in anger management constantly go to this position. They see themselves in some dilemma where there is no way out. So when in doubt “Attack”.
The challenge for our clients is to realize that the problem is not “Out there” but inside “My head” His interpretation of what she is doing or saying generates his anger. Unfortunately he has been well trained by himself to think this way and the unlearning takes time. At some point in any dispute there is a place where somehow the pieces fall into place. When ever there is some reflection usually the morning after “I shouldn’t have done….” The perspective has changed.
Life is about making connections work. Unless the other person has a gun in their hand the dispute is not life threatening, but no one except the angry person has the power to make that interpretation. Being able to observe oneself in its automatic knee jerk thinking is a first step. Our neural wiring likes us to look at the negative. It was a process that worked back in the stone age because the danger was real. But now if she doesn’t respond exactly the way he expects he sees it as a life threatening experience and blows his cool.