How to Overcome Anger (At Others)

Masterclass with Insights from Ellen J. Biros (Clinical Social Work/Therapist, MS, LCSW, C-PD)

It’s common to experience anger (at others) after narcissistic abuse.

It occurs when you feel someone has wronged you, violated your expectations, or caused you harm, deliberately or accidentally. 

Some common thoughts you might have if you’re experiencing this are:

  • “They did this on purpose to hurt me.”
  • “This isn’t fair; I don’t deserve this.”
  • “They always/never do this.”
  • “I can’t believe they would do this.”
  • “They need to pay for what they’ve done.”

If you can relate to those thoughts, this masterclass could be for you.

Meet Ellen J. Biros.

She is a Licenced Clinical Social Work and Therapist from Georgia.

Today, she will guide you through five strategies to help you overcome the challenges associated with anger (at others).

Watch Now

  • Warning: This content discusses narcissism and narcissistic abuse. This subject may be triggering for some people. If you find yourself feeling triggered, please click here to watch our Trigger/Flashback Protocol.

If you struggle to stay focused when consuming long-form content, you’re not alone. We’ve found that listening to our content as you read the transcript is the easiest way to stay focused because the audio will keep you on pace with the text. In addition, when you do this, the information is processed by two different parts of your brain, which can give you a more comprehensive understanding and memory of the material.

In this video, Ellen J. Biros references “How to Overcome Anger (At Yourself).” You can click here to visit that masterclass.

Ellen J. Biros’ Strategies

We recommend using If/When-Then Plans to implement Ellen J. Biros’ advice effectively. Please click here to learn more about this research-backed approach.

First Strategy: Embrace the Anger

Attention

We strongly recommend you visit [1:48] and rewatch Ellen J. Biros’ advice to get the information you need to implement this strategy effectively.

Resource Alert

To help you put this strategy into practice, we’ve created “Writing Activity: Embracing and Identifying Anger.”

Give it a try – it’s designed to support your journey.

MATERIALS NEEDED: A notebook or journal and a pen.

STEPS:

1.) Date and Time Notation:

Start by writing the date and time at the top of the page. This helps in tracking your emotional journey over time.

2) Setting the Scene:

Briefly describe the situation causing you to feel angry. For example, “Waking up knowing the narcissist is in the house.”

3) Identifying Feelings:

Ask yourself, “How am I feeling right now?” Write down all the emotions you’re experiencing, not just anger. Be as honest and comprehensive as you can.

4) Physical Sensations:

Note any physical sensations associated with your feelings. For instance, “My chest feels tight,” or “I have a headache.”

5) Triggers:

Reflect on what specifically triggered your anger. It could be a particular action, a word, or even just the person’s presence.

6) Deeper Exploration:

Delve deeper into your feelings with questions like:

  • “Why does this situation make me feel this way?”
  • “What am I worried might happen?”
  • “What does this anger remind me of?”

7) Positive Affirmations:

End your session with a positive affirmation acknowledging your right to feel and validating your emotions. For example, “It’s okay to feel angry in this situation,” or “My feelings are valid and important.”

8) Reflection and Closure:

After writing, take a few minutes to breathe deeply and reflect on what you’ve written. Acknowledge the effort you’re making in understanding your emotions.

TIPS:

  • Aim for consistency in your writing practice.
  • Don’t censor your thoughts; the goal is to be as honest with yourself as possible.
  • Over time, look back on previous entries to observe patterns or changes in your feelings and reactions.

This activity is designed to help you embrace your anger, understand its roots, and use it as a signal for needed changes. 

Remember, this is a personal tool for your healing journey, so adapt it as needed to fit your comfort and needs.


Get Support

If you need help with this strategy, click here to join our community discussion. You don’t have to go through this alone; we’re here to support you.

Second Strategy: Let Go of the “Wronged” or “Victim” Identity

Attention

We strongly recommend you visit [10:25] and rewatch Ellen J. Biros’ advice to get the information you need to implement this strategy effectively.

Deeper Dive

Ellen J. Biros highlighted the importance of protecting your vulnerability while explaining this strategy. Here’s a course that will help you do this.

Get Support

If you need help with this strategy, click here to join our community discussion. You don’t have to go through this alone; we’re here to support you.

Third Strategy: Practice Radical Acceptance

Attention

We strongly recommend you visit [16:58] and rewatch Ellen J. Biros’ advice to get the information you need to implement this strategy effectively.

Resource Alert

To help you put this strategy into practice, we’ve created “Writing Activity: Radical Acceptance and Transforming Anger”.

Give it a try – it’s designed to support your journey.

MATERIALS NEEDED: Journal or digital document, pen or keyboard.

Step 1: Identifying and Expressing Emotions

Begin by writing down how you’re feeling about the narcissistic abuse. This is your space to freely express your emotions, whether it’s anger, sadness, frustration, or anything else you’re experiencing.

Step 2: Acknowledging Reality

Reflect on the concept of accepting reality as it is. Write down statements that represent your acceptance of the situation. For example:

  • “The reality is that the narcissist won’t change their behavior for me.”
  • “I cannot control their actions, only my response to them.”

Step 3: Integrating Ellen’s Advice

Revisit the advice given by Ellen J. Biros. Write down key points she mentioned, such as:

  • “When we reject reality, it doesn’t change reality.”
  • “Pain can’t be avoided in life, but suffering can.”
  • “Holding onto anger leads to suffering.”

Reflect on these statements and how they apply to your current situation.

Step 4: Shifting Focus Inward

Shift your focus from the narcissist to yourself. Write about what you can control – your thoughts, expectations, and reactions. 

Challenge yourself to redirect your thoughts from the narcissist’s actions to your own healing and well-being.

Step 5: Practicing Radical Acceptance

Engage in radical acceptance by writing statements that show you are coming to terms with the situation. Use phrases like:

  • “I radically accept that the narcissist is who they are.”
  • “I choose to focus on my healing and not on changing someone else.”

Step 6: Future-Oriented Thinking

Write about your future without the burden of this anger. How does it look? What are you doing differently? Visualize a life where you’ve moved past the anger and found peace.

Step 7: Positive Self-Talk

End this session by writing down positive affirmations or self-talk. For example:

  • “I am capable of moving past this anger.”
  • “I deserve peace and am working towards it every day.”

ADDITIONAL TIPS:

  • Be patient with yourself. Acceptance is a process, not a one-time event.
  • If you find certain steps particularly challenging, spend more time on them or return to them as needed.
  • Consider sharing your writings with your mentor for further discussion and insight.

This activity is designed to help you process your emotions, accept the reality of your situation, and focus on self-healing. Remember, seeking additional support and taking this journey at your own pace is okay.


Deeper Dive

Ellen J. Biros highlighted the importance of overcoming rumination while explaining this strategy. Here’s a masterclass that will help you do this.

Get Support

If you need help with this strategy, click here to join our community discussion. You don’t have to go through this alone; we’re here to support you.

Fourth Strategy: Stay Away from All-or-Nothing Thinking

Attention

We strongly recommend you visit [36:33] and rewatch Ellen J. Biros’ advice to get the information you need to implement this strategy effectively.

Resource Alert

To help you put this strategy into practice, we’ve created “Writing Activity: Addressing All-or-Nothing Thinking”.

Give it a try – it’s designed to support your journey.

FREQUENCY: When you catch yourself having strong, polarized thoughts.

MATERIALS NEEDED: A journal or notebook and a pen.

STEPS:

1.) Date and Time Notation:

Start each entry with the date and time.

2) Identifying the Thought:

Write down the specific thought or belief you are having about the situation or person. Be as precise as possible.

3) Questioning the Thought:

Ask yourself, “Is this thought an example of all-or-nothing thinking?”

4) Analysis:

  • If All-or-Nothing: Proceed to step 5.
  • If Moderate Thinking: Skip to step 7.

5) Reframing the Thought:

If the thought is all-or-nothing, challenge yourself to find a more balanced perspective. Write down a more moderate, nuanced version of the same thought. For example, instead of “I always fail in dealing with them,” try “Sometimes I struggle, but other times I handle situations well.”

6) Identifying Evidence:

Write down evidence that supports your more moderate thought. This helps to reinforce the new perspective.

7) Congratulation or Acknowledgment:

  • If you reframed an all-or-nothing thought, acknowledge your effort in challenging and changing your thought process.
  • If you are already thinking moderately, congratulations on maintaining a balanced perspective.

8) Reflection and Closure:

Reflect on the exercise and how it felt to challenge your thoughts. Acknowledge any difficulties and the progress you’ve made.

TIPS:

  • Be patient and non-judgmental with yourself during this process.
  • Practice regularly to enhance your ability to recognize and alter all-or-nothing thinking.
  • Keep in mind that change takes time, and occasional lapses into old thinking patterns are normal.

This activity aims to help you identify extreme thought patterns, encourage more balanced thinking, and reinforce your efforts and successes in doing so. 

Remember, the goal is to develop a more flexible and realistic way of thinking, which is a crucial step in managing emotions and reactions effectively.


Deeper Dive

Ellen J. Biros highlighted the importance of allowing yourself to grieve while explaining this strategy. Here’s a masterclass that will help you do this.

Get Support

If you need help with this strategy, click here to join our community discussion. You don’t have to go through this alone; we’re here to support you.

Fifth Strategy: Avoid Winner or Loser Distinctions

Attention

We strongly recommend you visit [45:25] and rewatch Ellen J. Biros’ advice to get the information you need to implement this strategy effectively.

Get Support

If you need help with this strategy, click here to join our community discussion. You don’t have to go through this alone; we’re here to support you.

Closing Remarks

Thank you for watching this masterclass!

We hope you found it informative and empowering.

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Take care and see you next time.

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