Anger awareness week is fast approaching (1st-7th December) so let’s talk a little bit about anger management.
Everyone gets angry at some point (especially if you have teenage children), but some people get angry more than they should. It doesn’t matter where or when, sometimes something happens that just really grinds your gears. But is it down to a single instance or a bigger problem?
Recently there has been a big push on improving mental health awareness. However, one type of mental health that hasn’t really been spoken about is anger management. It’s probably not what most people think of when they hear the term ‘mental health’ which is why the British Association of Anger Management created anger awareness week – to bring attention to anger management problems and help those who struggle with it.
You give me road rage…
A recent study of 1,000 UK road users found that 1-in-5 drivers (which equates to 8 million) admit to having road rage at least once a week with 6% experiencing anger behind the wheel every single day. Yes, that’s every single day. Road rage was most common among younger drivers aged 18-24, with almost half (42%) admitting they got angry at the wheel every day. So is this down to youthful impatience, feeling bullet proof in our vehicle’s metal isolation or do we have a little tackled issue with mental health?
Driving instructors, who are obviously on the road all day, and for the best part with learner drivers, are therefore subject to a lot of road related anger. It’s easy for seasoned and busy drivers to forget that we all had to start somewhere, however we need to ask how this reflects on the human condition. Most of those who display road rage wouldn’t dream of behaving like this when they’re blocked by a trolley doing the weekly shop! Apart from how these angry outbursts affect learner drivers there is also the knock on effect it has on the instructors themselves, with some becoming angrier towards inconsiderate drivers even out of working hours.
The road is not the only place that sees anger every day, it’s common in the workplace too. Although it’s obviously in companies’ best interests to keep employees happy, the cause of anger is not always work related, or easy to solve.
Back in 2006 it was reported that 64% of Brits working in an office have had office rage, which is described as ‘extreme or violent anger shown by someone at their place of work’. A further 45% of us regularly lose our temper at work.
These extremely high statistics lead to up to 60% of all absences from work being stress related. It’s unclear how these stats have changed over the past decade but we’d bet our bottom dollar they don’t look any more promising. However with anger awareness becoming part of the new zeitgeist, it’s possible that things may improve both on and off the road.
If you, or someone you know suffers from anger management issues then The British Association of Anger Management website is full of tips, kits and resources which can help.