So another frequently asked question oftentimes by clients enrolled in an anger management program is, "If I change my anger, aren't I changing who I am or my personality?" Now I certainly talk to clients about this quite a bit and I'm open to their take, but my stance is that anger, in fact, the feeling is an emotion that we experience. And, in fact, it's independent from the self. So it doesn't mean that I don't experience it frequently. It doesn't mean that I don't experience it intensely, but it's an experience. Just like fear or embarrassment or something else. It's something that I feel and it comes and it goes. It's not who I am and it certainly doesn't have to indicate what I do or how I behave.
Now if someone decides that part of who they are is yelling and screaming, they can certainly adopt that view, but I would encourage them as much as possible to try to create an identity that has less to do with yelling and screaming and more to do with accepting themselves and deciding what behaviors, in fact, help them live the kind of life they want to live. And to be able to recognize that their emotional experiences and their behaviors are, in fact, independent from the self.