How we interact with others and deal with irritations can have an impact on mental health and well being. Transactional analysis seeks to enable clients to explore their world and find how irritations can take many forms.
The causes of stress and anger
Most people would admit to having something that pushes their buttons, from small irritations to being passionate about a cause.
- Stress can be a big trigger, and until the person becomes aware of it, a build up can lead to not coping well.
- Unexpressed anger can be an irritation that is held onto and either not recognised or expressed at the time.
- Residual anger is similar in how it is held, and can be something from the past or a theme that always happens for a person that causes an irritation, not always related to the here and now.
Inappropriate ways of dealing with anger
Repression of anger and a passive approach can sometimes cause a person to implode and be under stress, leading to many health problems over time.
Outbursts/rage. This can be seen when another driver makes a mistake and cuts into the line of traffic, resulting in inappropriate anger in the case of road rage. It can also emerge from witnessing someone pushing into the line of people waiting to be served with what appears to be no thought for the others waiting.
Transference. Sometimes people can express anger at the wrong person; this is known in T.A. terms as 'transference', where anger is expressed onto another and often doesn’t relate to the moment.
How to take control over this when this becomes a problem for yourself and others
Self regulation is key to understanding emotions and anger and how to best take care of the self. By knowing your triggers and how they set off emotional discord in the body, and by knowing how to be more proactive and less reactive, it's possible to move to a healthier way of being.
Psychotherapy provides a space for reflection, self-awareness and for clients to explore how taking steps in a more appropriate way to dealing with anger and irritations can be the start of maintaining friendships and relationships - which is one of the integral parts of being human.