MODULE SEVEN: HOW WE FEEL, HOW WE DEAL
In this module the focus is on providing participants strategies to acknowledge and communicate their feelings in a healthy manner. Participants will explore the importance of acknowledging and communicating their feelings and will identify different methods to respond to anger. In addition, they will learn nonviolent approaches to express anger. The purpose of this module is to discuss anger, what triggers anger, to understand that anger and violence are not synonymous, and to describe healthy techniques to deal with anger.
- Participants will describe the importance of acknowledging and communicating their feelings and demonstrate examples of healthy, non-violent communication.
- Participants will identify different ways of responding to anger and establish standards for themselves for how they will respond in the future when they are angry.
- Sign-In Sheet
Activity One: Hot Buttons
- Chart paper
- Stress ball
Activity Two: Anger Triggers
- What Are Your Anger Triggers Worksheet
- Teen Dating Violence Wheel Poster
- Group Process Notes
INTRODUCTION: (5 MINUTES)
Have the participants sign in. Ask the participants how their week is going. Review agreements established during Module One. Remind them of the importance of these agreements given the personal nature of the information that will be discussed.
- What is the difference between a feeling and a behavior?
Discuss times that you might feel a certain way but act another way and why. Some examples might be when your feelings are hurt by someone, but you pretend they are not. Or if you get hurt playing a sport but you feel like you should be tough and stay in the game. Ask the participants if they have any examples of their own.
Review previous conversations about boundaries. Remind participants about when emotional boundaries were discussed. A sign or signal someone may have crossed their boundaries is when we get angry. Anger is like any other emotion and there are times it is appropriate to feel angry. How we decide to deal with that feeling is our responsibility.
ACTIVITY ONE: HOT BUTTONS (10 MINUTES)
THE PURPOSE OF THIS ACTIVITY IS TO DECONSTRUCT DIFFERENT TYPES OF ANGER AND HAVE PARTICIPANTS IDENTIFY WHAT MAKES THEM ANGRY AND IN WHAT WAYS ANGER AFFECTS THEM.
- Does anyone know what an anger trigger, or a hot button in?
Define “hot buttons” as behaviors or actions that make a person irritated, angry, or even enraged. They may be a behavior or a statement.
Write “Cues to Anger”. Explain there will be two types of cues, immediate anger and pent-up anger (anger that builds up inside, but not demonstrated).
Encourage participants to brainstorm what makes them angry.
After they brainstorm for a few minutes, ask participants by randomly tossing a stress ball to them one at a time, what their anger cues are. You are the first participant. One mentor can facilitate the activity and the other can chart the responses. State a personal anger cue and then toss the stress ball to one of the participants. As the participants catch the ball and state their response, write the response under either “immediate anger” or “pent-up anger.” After each participant answers, they then toss the stress ball at random to the next participant. One mentor will participate and the other will write down participants’ answers. Keep the list created to be used in Activity Three.
Mentor: Losing my car keys makes me really angry.
For me I would say that’s immediate anger. Writes “losing car keys” under the column for immediate anger and then tosses the ball to a participant.
Participant One: Being lied to makes me mad, but I don’t say anything when someone lies to me. It just makes me mad so it is pent-up. The mentor writes, “Being lied to” under the pent-up column on the chart paper. Participant tosses the ball back to the mentor who then answers, writes his answer on the chart paper, and tosses the ball to another participant.
Participant Two: Being late makes me angry.
Mentor: When you’re running late you’re immediately angry? Participant Two: Yes.
Mentor: (Writes “running late” under immediate anger.)
SUMMARY DISCUSSION: (5 MINUTES)
Explain that anger is a feeling that as the group just demonstrated, everyone experiences sometimes. It is possible to be angry at yourself, at a situation, or at another person. As we discussed previously, anger is a normal human feeling. But anger has to be addressed and how you choose to deal with anger is important. For example, using violence to show anger is not a positive way to deal with the feeling of anger. It is important to stress that everyone gets angry, but not everyone abuses their partner. This discussion is meant to help participants distinguish between healthy anger and abuse. While anger is a normal emotion and it is different
than abuse. Violence as a result of anger can be about losing control while abuse is about making a choice to assert control over another person.
Review the Teen Dating Violence Wheel. There are several areas such as anger/emotional abuse, intimidation, and threats that are part of teen dating violence and could be connected to anger for a teen. Ask the participants for examples. If the participants are having trouble, provide examples like being angry at someone and calling them a name, or using an angry outburst to scare or intimidate someone. This discussion will shift the conversation to how to handle anger.
THE PURPOSE OF THIS ACTIVITY IS TO DISCUSS WHAT COMMON TRIGGERS TO ANGER AND WAYS TO DIFFUSE ANGER.
ACTIVITY THREE: ANGER TRIGGERS (10 MINUTES)
Distribute the What are your Anger Triggers? handout. Ask participants to review the list of common anger triggers and check the ones that might apply to them. If the participants have other triggers not listed, add them on Part Two. After everyone has filled out the sheet, discuss how each anger trigger has an equally effective diffuser.
DISCUSSION: (10-15 MINUTES)
Go back to the list on the chart paper (from the stress ball game) and discuss with participants first unhealthy and then healthy ways to deal with the feeling of anger. Ask each participant to revisit the list of things that made them angry and ask for some ideas of unhealthy and healthy ways to deal with the feeling of anger.
Talking with someone you trust about being angry and asking for healthy ideas of how to address the anger can be helpful, especially if you are overwhelmed. Remind the participants about the boundary picture they drew. Discuss how being physical or aggressive with another person is crossing someone’s boundaries. They may also break boundaries by trying to control the behavior or actions of another person. It is important to respect everyone’s boundaries. Explain that anger is different than using violence in a relationship and that you will be discussing the use of violence in relationships soon. Clearly communicate to the participants that when someone uses violence in a relationship it is not because that person was angry; it is because they chose to be violent. The participants should know that abuse is never okay and that anger is not a reason for violence. Angry feelings are not a reason to exert power over someone and if participants see this kind of behavior they should alert a trusted adult.
CLOSING: (5-10 MINUTES)
Anger is controllable. We all choose the actions we will take when we’re angry. Controlling anger is easier when you recognize what makes you angry (your hot buttons), when you can identify your own physical and psychological cues to anger, and when you have a plan to deal with anger. If appropriate share a technique you use to manage anger. (Example: I go for a walk around the block, I count to ten, or I take three deep breaths).
PEAK AND PIT OF THE SESSION:
As part of the closing you will to ask participants to say what was the peak and the pit of the session. Go around the group and ask everyone to say what they thought the best part of the session was and what the worst part of it was. Record the information in the Group Process Notes.
HANDOUTS AND ADDITIONAL MATERIALS: MODULE SEVEN
Anger Triggers Worksheet
An anger trigger is a behavior or action that makes us angry. Circle any of the triggers below that make you angry.
- Working on a group project and a member of the group is not doing their share of the work
- Finding out a classmate took your idea for a project
- Finding a movie you want to go to is sold out
- Being wrongly accused
- Getting shoved while you’re in line
- Accidentally breaking your mom’s favorite mug
- When a cashier is rude
- When a teacher is unfair
- Getting called names
- Missing the bus
- Losing a game
- Being late
Next, add some of your own anger triggers:
- Module One: What’s Up?
- Module Two: Who Has the Power?
- Module Three: Healthy Relationships
- Module Four: Dynamics of Teen Dating Violence and How to Help a Friend
- Module Five: Being an Ally
- Module Six: Boundaries
- Module Seven: How We Feel, How We Deal
- Module Eight The Man Box
- Module Nine: Creating a Community Tool
- Module Ten: What can you Do?
- Mentor’s Toolbox