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Anger out of Proportion

I get very angry over small things.

(this is raw unedited text, computer transcribed directly from the audio, without voice inflection, pauses etc. Sometimes this results in the text implying the opposite of the intended meaning.)

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This is from Kelly. Dear Dr. Kenner often I get very angry or overwhelmed over small problems and situations. What could this be?

So we've all had that moment when we're minding our own business. And all of a sudden that car in front of you pulls in when you didn't expect it, and you just feel real angry. But the anger isn't proportional to the situation. It isn't just Geez, why they do that? You know, I'm so glad I'm safe now. And but man, they weren't paying attention. I wonder if they were texting and and you're frustrated with them. But you're not it's not quite hitting the road rage? Point, the breaking point. But what if you do have road rage? What if it's one of those moments when you just say no, but he does that to me. And you're off and you're, you're on a tear, you're giving them the finger, you're honking at them, you're getting in front of them and slamming on your brakes. And you know, it's a small thing. It isn't the end of the world, nobody got hurt. Everybody said their moments of saying Oh, that was the exit I wanted and getting on it. And if you're saying if you're having explosive anger like that, you want to learn how to introspect. Now in that moment, you're not going to do therapy work with yourself, you know, your your, your psychological temperature is just way too high, to be able to ask some very productive questions. But when you're more relaxed, when you're in a calmer mood, not beating up on yourself, say where did that come from. And you may ask you it, you may discover that you have some images or some memories that come back. Maybe you remember a sibling who was always cutting you off, or somebody who was always putting you down at school. And you realize that the anger is not from some random stranger who cut you off on the road. But the anger is from things such much deeper, a wound that's deep that you will need to deal with because it is going to pop up again in your life. So what are some examples of the times when we feel I'll talk about the anger first angry, I mentioned road rage. Maybe you're at a restaurant and the waitress made your meal, it was a little undercooked. And you just go ballistic on her. Why? Ask yourself why you want to uncover the mystery that is you. You want to follow your internal leads. When have I felt this way before when have I not felt this way? When have I dealt with this type of situation differently, then you eventually want to get what's called a sense of proportion, the skill of keeping sense, a sense of perspective, and exploring those with a quote out of context, emotions, emotions, it's way too strong for the situation at hand. Maybe your dog pees on the carpet, and it's just a puppy, and you lose it and you feel really badly later. And you don't know why you get so explosive or your kids won't get in the car, and you need to go in you're screaming at them in a way that is just not good for them. It's not good for you either your blood pressure is going up. You need to figure out where that comes from.

And there are many books on cognitive therapy and anger. Opening one right now and it talks about different styles of anger. There are masked anger styles, sneaky anger, paranoid anger, and anger avoidance, you know, people Oh, I'm not angry. I'm not you know, they're ripping mad because my voice didn't sound at that time. There are explosive anger styles that sudden anger or shame based anger or deliberate anger. Another type is the chronic anger. You know, people who are just chronically kind of you see it in their mouth, you see it in their face where they're just habitually unhappy people and they're angry at the world. How do you let go with that anger? First, you have to understand it. So one of the books is letting go of anger. But there are many other books. You can go to my website, Dr. and see what I have there.

The other question you ask is What about when you get feel overwhelmed when something really small happens . . .

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Hey, I got to interrupt this because we've got to pay some bills. 30 seconds. That's it. A very quick and then Ellen will be back.

Romance. Oh, I wish guys knew more about what we want from a relationship. Boy, I wish I knew more about what I want. Where's that ad I saw? Here it is - the selfish path to romance. A serious romance guidebook. Download chapter one for free at selfish and buy it at Hmm, the selfish path to romance. That is interesting.

The other question you ask is What about when you get feel overwhelmed when something really small happens. So your coffee is not quite hot enough, and you just feel overwhelmed. Or maybe you didn't water some plants and they need some water and you just feel like oh my god, you know, I kill everything. Well, this is one of the problems if you're telling yourself you kill everything. Or if when you feel overwhelmed, you're you're thinking of many other things that are flooding your mind when that small thing happens, like, Oh, I forgot to put the I forgot to hang up my coat today. And you feel overwhelmed and you realize that your whole house is cluttered? Well, the assurance or, again, the skill that you want to give yourself is how to introspect how to look inward and understand yourself. Now, here's a very quick question I received from Joe. It's Hi, I have delusions sometimes I deeply believe in and other times, I'm confident enough to consider that these may not be true. One such reoccurring delusion is that some of my family members may be aliens, or gods from outer space or cyborgs. I don't even know what a cyborg is. So what do you do if you have these? Cognitive therapy would help you out tremendously, because you want to know that you're a delusion is not 100% True. And you know that because you emailed me. Now, if you're a sci fi watcher, maybe you need to watch a lot less sci fi because if you're believing it, that isn't fair to you, that's not a good outcome. I know people watch a lot of horror movies sometimes. And then they wonder why they have nightmares. Well, don't watch the horror movies. So it's I would definitely get some good cognitive therapy for yourself to help you with the delusions.

And here's a little more from Dr. Kenner . . .

My density has brought me to you.
What I meant to say was
Wait a minute, don't I know you from somewhere?
Yes. Yes. I'm George. George McFly. I'm your density. I mean your destiny.

And have you had ever had a moment in your life where you got tongue tied, and you went to say something romantic to someone, and it came out all garbled your density and this was from Back to the Future? Part one an older movie real really fun. Or maybe you were about to say something to your boss and you slipped in you fumbled and said something really weird is really out of context? Or you said something in front of your kids and it's just like too much information mom or you just didn't? You just got really tongue tied? How do you deal with situations like that? If you dig yourself into a hole, or if you are shy, and as you are trying to meet someone new whether it's a romantic, a potential romantic partner, or just some maybe a new boss, you're what's going through your mind is not Oh, I wonder if they're interesting. I can't wait to meet them and find out about them. Instead of that going through your mind you have oh my god word of says I say something weird. What if I stumble? What if I don't know what to say? I don't know if I can handle it. I don't know if I'll be able to manage the situation. If your mind is flooded with self criticism, how are you going to flow? How is the conversation going to flow? You want to learn not to do that to yourself? If you have communication problems, you can always learn skills you can get practice and you can give yourself a new lease on life.

For more Dr. Kenner podcasts, go to Dr. And please listen to this ad . . .

Here's an excerpt from the selfish path to romance the serious romance guide book by clinical psychologist Dr. Ellen Kenner and co author Dr. Edwin Locke, who is world famous for his theories on goal setting:

What destroys love, and how can you prevent it? Several problems can undermine love. Many people are aware of them and yet they don't know how important they are to fix or how to fix them. Here are six broad categories of actions you can take and which we elaborate on in chapter 16 of our book. Number one, correct bad manners and bad habits. Number two, replace anger with positives. Three, replace repression with the ability to feel and express emotions. Four, replace white lies with the truth. Five don't let red relatives or children undermine the relationship six don't let money issues undermine love.

You can download chapter one for free by going to, and you can buy The Selfish Path to Romance at