Barb had been trying for years to improve her relationship with her mother, Sandra. Barb tried everything. She would go over there for a quiet dinner with Sandra and then find herself being criticized for neglecting her husband and son. Barb tried staying away. She caught hell for that too. Her mom would lash out: “You don’t care about me. You don’t care about anyone but yourself.”
Many people who have to live or work with the chronically angry feel unprepared to cope with their titanic temper tantrums. When we don't know what to do when faced with anger, we have an unfortunate tendency to make up our own interventions. This DIY approach to cope with someone's monumental rage is usually counter-productive and ineffective. They only prolong the pain and magnify its destructive consequences. We are pouring salt in his wound. Here are some common mistakes:
Anger is like fire: it cannot survive without fuel.
We all have a running inner dialogue of thoughts. Sometimes this inner self talk is pessimistic, critical or blaming.