Effective Tips To Help Students and Teachers Manage Anger Associated With Self-Doubt

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Four Reasons Why People Get Angry When They Don’t Know Something

As humans, we are wired to seek knowledge and understand the world around us constantly. So when we encounter a situation without knowing or understanding something, it can trigger anxiety, frustration and anger. Here are some reasons why:

  1. Fear of the unknown: When we encounter something unfamiliar, our brain signals a threat response, activating anxiety and thus the fight, flight, or freeze instinct. It’s because we are unsure how to react or handle the situation. We may also feel frustrated that we can’t understand or control the problem, which can lead to feelings of anger.
  2. Sense of incompetence: Humans naturally want to feel competent. When we don’t know or understand something, we can feel like we are falling short of our expectations or those of others. So, it can be incredibly frustrating if we see other people easily grasp the concept or knowledge of a topic, which, again, leads us to feel angry emotions.
  3. High expectations: In today’s fast-paced world, there is a pressure to be knowledgeable and up-to-date on everything constantly. When we don’t understand or know something, it can feel like we are failing ourselves or others who expect us to be knowledgeable. Therefore, feelings of anxiety and frustration can turn into outrage.
  4. Lack of control: We like to feel in control of our lives and the world around us. When we don’t know or understand something, it can feel like we have lost autonomy and are at the mercy of others to help us deal with the situation. This can lead to anxiety and frustration, which can boil over into anger.

In conclusion, feeling anxious, frustrated or angry when we don’t know or understand something is a natural response. However, it is essential to recognise these feelings, acknowledge them and address them. It’s because anxiety and frustration can lead to constantly feeling angry and out of control. For instance, suppose you do not know something or do not understand a concept. In that case, imagine it leads to simmering anger or outbursts. What you can do is learn how to deal with this heated emotion in the here and now. Let’s see how.

Some Effective Ways To Deal With Anger

First, anger is a natural human emotion that arises in response to various situations, as mentioned in the examples earlier. However, when rooted in the lack of understanding or knowledge, it can take a toll on your emotional well-being. Moreover, it can have a negative impact on your relationships with others. Hence, it is important to address the issue and find ways to deal with the anger resulting from not understanding or having knowledge. Here are some practical strategies that you can do to deal with anger in such situations:

1. Identify the source of the anger: It is essential to identify the cause before addressing anger. Take some time to think about what is causing it. For example, is it a lack of understanding of a particular situation, a knowledge gap regarding one specific topic, or just frustration with something confusing or complicated? Once you have identified the source of your anger, you can start to deal with it more effectively.

2. Seek out knowledge: One of the most effective ways to deal with the anger arising from not understanding or having knowledge is to seek out details about the situation causing the anger. Whether reading, researching, or seeking expert advice, gaining knowledge about the issue can help alleviate the emotion.

3. Practice empathy: Another way to deal with anger is to practice compassion. When we try to understand things from another person’s perspective, we can often see the situation differently. It helps us empathise with them and, as a result, deal with our own problems better. In short, it can lead to greater understanding and help dissipate angry feelings.

4. Take a break: If the anger is causing too much stress, take a break from the situation. Find some exercises that calm you down, such as going for a walk, listening to your favourite music, or meditating. Such activities can help you relax and gain a fresh perspective.

5. Communicate clearly: Often, our anger arises from a lack of communication or understanding. Therefore, we can deal with this by asserting ourselves, for example, by asking for clarification or more information about the topic or situation that makes us angry. When we have all the information we need, we may find that the problem is not as frustrating as we initially thought.

6. Seek professional help: If you find that the anger arising from a lack of understanding or knowledge is becoming pervasive and impacting your life, seek the help of a mental health professional. They can help you develop appropriate coping strategies to manage your emotions better.

In summary, a lack of understanding or knowledge can be difficult to deal with and stir angry emotions. Still, it can be managed effectively with the right strategies (see the abovementioned examples). Incorporating these approaches into daily life can help alleviate anger and lead to a happier, more fulfilling life. A mental health professional can also help with anger management.

Teachers Can Rise To Anger Due To Self-Doubt

Sometimes, teachers struggle with self-doubt and anxiety when preparing to teach complex concepts to their students. Below are some practical and effective solutions for this. But first, these tips offer specific strategies to help teachers overcome their fears and build their confidence, such as breaking down complex concepts into more manageable parts, seeking feedback from colleagues or mentors, and engaging students in hands-on activities or discussions. These solutions advise drawing on personal experiences and research-based evidence to support their suggestions. Finally, it offers inspiring and motivational language to help them feel empowered and supported in their teaching endeavours.

Five Effective Strategies For Teachers

1. Break it down: One effective strategy for teaching complex concepts is to break them down into smaller, more manageable parts. This allows students to focus on the details without feeling overwhelmed by the big picture. As a teacher, you can start by identifying the essential elements of the concept and presenting them in a logical sequence. This approach helps students build a solid foundation of knowledge that they can apply to more complex concepts later on.

2. Seek feedback: Don’t hesitate to seek feedback from colleagues or mentors. They may have insights, strategies, or resources to help you develop your teaching skills and confidence. Engage in conversations with other teachers to learn how they approach challenging concepts and how they overcome their fears.

3. Engage students: Engage your one-on-one student or class in hands-on activities, two-way or group discussions, and other interactive experiences that allow them to explore the concept in a more tangible way. Encourage them to share their ideas and perspectives on the concept and provide feedback on their progress.

4. Identify your strengths: Recognise and capitalise on your strengths as a teacher. For example, you may be a gifted storyteller, a skilled facilitator, or a creative problem solver. Use your strengths to help students understand complex concepts. Focusing on what you do well will build confidence and make you feel more empowered in your teaching.

5. Practice self-care: Finally, make sure to practice self-care. Teaching complex concepts can be stressful and exhausting, so taking care of yourself physically and emotionally is essential. Get enough sleep, eat healthy food, exercise regularly, and find ways to de-stress. Taking care of yourself will help you be a more effective teacher and feel more confident in your abilities.

In conclusion, teaching complex concepts can be a challenging but rewarding experience. By breaking down the concept, seeking feedback, engaging students, identifying your strengths, and practising self-care, you can overcome your fears, build confidence, and become an influential and inspiring teacher. Remember that teaching is a journey, so with time and practice, you will develop the skills you need to succeed.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Obsessive Tendencies

However, if, after using the resources noted so far, you still feel anger. Suppose it runs into repeated behaviours due to obsessive thoughts of not being good enough or something else. Then, it might be time to consider obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or obsessive tendencies.

First, OCD is a mental health condition that causes repeated unwanted thoughts and repetitive behaviours. People with OCD may feel an intense urge to perform certain rituals or routines to reduce anxiety or prevent a perceived danger. However, some individuals may also exhibit obsessive-compulsive tendencies without meeting the diagnostic criteria for OCD.

One such scenario is when people feel anxious, frustrated, or angry when they don’t know or understand something, as noted already. As a result, they may relentlessly seek clarity or control over the situation, often to the point of obsessiveness. This behaviour can stem from various underlying factors, such as perfectionism, fear of failure, or a need for certainty.

At Work

For instance, imagine a teacher (or other employer or employee) who has to follow a complicated set of instructions for a task at work. If they don’t comprehend one of the steps, they may get stuck and feel overwhelmed by what they believe is the inability to move forward. This sense of uncertainty can trigger their obsessive-compulsive tendencies, prompting them to reread the instructions several times, ask multiple questions, or even redo the steps they’ve already completed. The need for reassurance or confirmation can become an all-consuming problem, leading to heightened anxiety and irritability.

When Studying

Similarly, students who struggle with a particular subject may exhibit obsessive-compulsive behaviours in their attempts to understand it. For example, they may spend hours studying, taking notes, and researching the topic but still feel unsatisfied with their knowledge. They may also avoid any situation that might expose their lack of understanding, such as asking questions in class or participating in discussions. This avoidance can exacerbate their anxiety and frustration, fuelling their obsessive-compulsive tendencies.

Treatment Options

It’s essential to note that not everyone who exhibits obsessive-compulsive tendencies is diagnosed with OCD. However, if these behaviours significantly impact their daily functioning, relationships, or mental health, seeking professional help is advisable. Treatment options for OCD and established patterns of behaviour may include cognitive-behavioural therapy, medication or a combination, and mindfulness.

To summarise, feeling anxious, frustrated, or angry when we don’t know or understand something can trigger obsessive-compulsive problems in some individuals. The need for control, certainty, or clarification can lead to repetitive behaviours that may interfere with their daily lives. Seeking help from a mental health professional can offer solutions to manage these tendencies effectively.

The British Association of Anger Management (BAAM) say: Take Our Anger Test Now!

When we’re under pressure, it can be difficult to take an objective view. So take our free Anger Test right now and get an impression of your temper issues. At BAAM, we tackle the causes of anger and teach rage control methods. Often these causes are linked to uncertainty, anxiety and stress. According to the UK Health and Safety Executive, 55% of all working days lost to illness in 2019 were down to the same reasons. So take action now for a healthier life – and a happier future.

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