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Understanding Anger

Date: 07-24-09
Host: Ian Punnett
Guests: Dr. Les Carter

Filling in for George, Ian Punnett welcomed Dr. Les Carter, during the first two and a half hours of the program, for a discussion on the nature of anger, how to use it constructively and avoid being consumed by it. Despite the negative connotations surrounding the emotion, Carter noted that "anger prompts us to get tapped into our sense of self-preservation." If channeled in a positive way, he suggested that one can have "anger working on their behalf" and, thus, diffuse the situation which originally drew their ire.

However, he said, it is when one does not know how to constructively use that anger that things can go awry. He lamented that "the mismanaged anger just perpetuates and creates more and more reasons for the emotion to be there." Compounding the issue is that, when a person gets angry, certain physiological effects occur such as a rush of adrenaline and changes in their respiratory or digestive systems. People who are "rageaholics" can suffer from physical ailments related to repeated bouts of anger and addiction to the "rush" of being angry.

Carter stressed the importance of parents teaching young people how to both recognize and cope with anger. He advised that adults respond to an angry child by saying "let's discuss the options you have." They should then weigh the outcomes of each potential reaction and help steer them towards a positive solution. While one such instance may not change their perspective on anger, he emphasized that there are "hundreds and hundreds of opportunities" throughout a child's life to instill this pragmatic mindset. Sadly, he speculated that only 15 to 20% of children get this kind of guidance and even that figure is "probably being generous."

The final 90 minutes of the program featured Open Lines.

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Bumper music from Friday July 24, 2009

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