Anger is a secondary emotion, meaning that behind anger is another root emotion, such as pain, humiliation or fear. Thus, before something triggers a loss of control due to anger, you are already setting the stage for that loss of control by letting yourself feel all those other negative, primary emotions. For instance, you may feel humiliation because your wife constantly puts you down in small ways, or you may fear for your job because your boss criticizes you for not getting to work on time. Except in the case of people with certain kinds of psychiatric problems, loss of control is usually triggered by a specific event. If the build-up wasn’t present, the trigger may not actually lead to a loss of control. For instance, if your wife never puts you down but does so on one isolated occasion, or your boss never harps on you for getting to work late except on one particular day when you are supposed to prepare for a big presentation, you’re likely to ignore the trigger and remain in control. But when other primary emotions from build-up are already present, the trigger can set off a loss of control. When you’ve finally had enough, your blood pressure and heart rate rise and your body releases fight-or-flight hormones. This is when you’ve actually lost all control. You may scream, insult and even hit. People who lose control often do and say things that they later regret, but they can’t help themselves from doing and saying those things at this stage because they are not thinking clearly. That lack of clarity is a result of the loss of control. By Cynthia Gomez,

“It is wise to direct your anger towards problems, not people; to focus your energies on answers; not excuses.” – William Arthur Ward

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