Prevent Rage


Rage: out of control anger

Rage is that state where we are so angry, we can’t think straight. Then, we end up doing something we shouldn’t and regret it later. While it may seem like you get enraged in a flash, there are likely warning signs that you are building toward that point. Being able to recognize those signs and applying the brakes early makes a big difference.

Lizard brain

Most of us don’t want to hurt our partner. Our anger gets out of control and we end up doing something we regret. This state of out-of-control anger is called rage. When rage happens, the rational parts of our brain stop working and the “lizard brain” part takes over, leaving a very limited set of possible reactions. Mostly, we either fight or flee. This reflex-type reaction is good if there is a real life-or-death threat, like a charging bear. But most situations with our partners don’t justify a response that strong or immediate. We’re much better off if we think about the outcome we want and how we can best respond to the situation to get that better outcome. Flying off the handle is never the best response. To learn more about what goes on inside our brain, click on the Brain Anatomy button below.

Warning signs

Maintaining emotional control is easy to say but much harder to do. It seems like “losing it” happens so fast. Recognizing the warning signs that our emotions are building toward rage helps us change direction before we get there. It’s possible to learn to identify those signs by replaying past incidents of rage in slow motion. Warning signs can then be used to catch ourselves before becoming completely infuriated. Tuning in takes some time and practice, but we know you can do it. Use the buttons below to learn more about Rage Warnings and the Slow Motion process that will help you identify them.

Insert time

As we get better at recognizing anger building, then what? Insert time. Putting some space between the incident and our reaction can keep the amygdala and adrenaline from hijacking our brain. Time allows us to gain access to the thinking parts of our mind, which in turn equips us to respond more appropriately for better outcomes. Time-outs are a great tool for draining the emotions, letting the adrenaline burn off, and creating the pause we need to think sensibly. Click the link below to learn more about time-outs.

Read more about Step 2 – Prevent Rage here.