Archive for the ‘The Anger Habit Handouts’ Category

Whining is a form of #anger that is designed to take advantage of other people’s good will. We make their good will their duty to help us.

January 12, 2016

Carl Semmelroth

The Anger Habit Workbook


The pain of discipline or the pain of regret. Choose. Rinse. Repeat.

January 11, 2015

Pain is our jailor, jail, and liberator in this world.


Props to Allan Tsang for title inspiration.

The RADD solution gets at the root of anger – Four Steps

March 29, 2014

Any solution to the very tough problem of anger can’t be either overly simple or complicated. Building on Dr. Carl Semmelroth’s work, I came up with four steps that resulted in an acronym that I hope will help users get to the root of the anger problem. RAD(D) is short for ‘radical’ which also means ‘root’. RAD(D) also refers to something kind of cool and appealing in a way that startles you, though it was in more common use in the 80’s. I hope RADD helps you and your clients break your anger trance and make progress in being more calm, confident and effective. It is well worth the effort. Memorize it and be RADD ūüėČ


Recognition of the anger you feel

Acceptance that you are mentally impaired when angry

Determination to solve the problem that provoked the anger later when you are unimpaired

Diversion of your thinking from ‚Äėfuel for anger thoughts‚Äô to anything else until you are unimpaired (15 minutes)

Do you think you’re better than me?

March 7, 2014

Doesn’t all human anger come down to this? Even if someone steps on your foot by accident, and you get angry, it comes down to you wanting to make sure that they don’t think they can get away with it. After all, anyone who thinks they can get away with hurting someone, even by accident, without some kind of contrition, must feel superior. Or so we tell ourselves, and so we get angry about all kinds of dumb shit.

” Do you think you are better than me?!”

Of course, if you are caught up in this kind of thinking , you are easy to bait, and people will get the better of you, because you care if they think they are better than you.

And that is funny, sometimes. Other times it is sad because you use it as an excuse to be abusive, like Happy Gilmore.

Here’s the thing. The problem isn’t that people think they are better than you. The problem is that you care.

Thoughts on George Zimmerman’s true intentions the day he shot Treyvon Martin

July 15, 2013

¬†I’d like to say the following to George Zimmerman:

“When you follow a stranger, you know you¬† are going to be seen as a threat. It is reasonable for them to be afraid of you. You know it is also reasonable for them¬† to choose¬† force to end the threat. You know that may happen. And if it does, if you have a gun, to defend yourself, you know you will shoot the person you followed and scared to the point¬† that they assaulted you. You had to know ahead of time that you would shoot them¬†if they defended themselves¬† from a threat any reasonable person would feel in the situation you put them in by following them.¬† But were you really interested in safety, in defending yourself, ¬†when you decided to follow them? Of course not. If you weren’t interested in safety, what motivated your decision? You wanted something else.¬†You must have. You wanted to scare them, ¬†and if they didn’t¬† run away or stand down, but dealt with the threat they felt with force, ¬†you planned to shoot them . Why else would you follow a stranger with a gun other than to be¬† absolutely sure you would ¬†get them to submit ¬†to your¬†will for them?¬† There was an easy way and a hard way,and it turned out to be the hard way, ¬†but you were going to get your way George, ¬†no matter what, ¬†that day. ¬†You were tired of feeling like a victim.¬† You had had it. ¬†”

Is there any reasonable doubt that GZ was aware of all of the above. None at all. He knew all that I just wrote beyond a reasonable doubt. Anyone knows this stuff beyond a reasonable doubt. It is common sense.  That is why only predators  follow strangers. Regular folk never follow strangers.

¬†The victim mentality turns people into predators. That’s what ¬†it did to George Zimmerman.

Why we treat the ones we love the worst

January 31, 2013

You need to feel safe , so you let your guard down. Seems like it should be the opposite, right, you need to feel safe, so put your guard up?

But think¬†about it –¬†having your guard up is work¬†. It takes energy and effort.¬†You¬†do it because¬†you are in a situation where you are not feeling¬†safe. But as you expend more¬†energy, you begin to just want it all to be over, to not have to work so hard. You look for ways to get yourself into a position where you feel safe, where nothing dangerous is supposed to happen, and you let your guard down. Big time negotiations have been won and lost in the bathroom of all places¬†because someone spills some information critical to the negotiation.¬†They thought they could put their guard down. They needed to feel safe so they acted like they were and ended up blowing it.

Think about road rage. Why does it happen? When you are in your car, you feel safe and you let your guard down. As a result, when something happens on the road that feels unsafe or unfair, your emotions explode. You would never act that way while walking or standing in line at a store register.

And who do we treat the worst? People we love. Why? Because when we are around them we relax and our guard goes down so if something happens that we don’t like, our emotions explode. If a stranger does the same thing, we have our guard up, and we don’t give it a second thought, unless you are in a car ūüôā

But the key point is that our need, our belief that we need to feel safe, is dangerous to us. I think what we want to try to do is be very selective about putting our guard down, and when we put it down,  be ready to put our guard back up so we are not at the mercy of our emotions.

Nearly everyone has a problem with self-importance and this is how we get that way

July 7, 2012

More from Carl¬†Smmelroth’s¬†Anger Habit Workbook:

From birth most of us are surrounded by a multitude of things that we didn’t¬†earn and didn’t arrange – the air we breathe, the car we are given, the food made available to us, the concern of others about us. It is very difficult to understand why. So we are apt to assume it because we deserve people’s concern and attention. We deserve everything we get just because we exist, because we are who and what we are. We don’t easily see that what we receive is given to us as a gift. Instead of an attitude of gratitude for what we get from others, we are apt to develop an attitude of entitlement.

This phenomenon has a lot to do with why we prefer learning about leadership over negotiation. We love to appoint ourselves as leaders, but seeing ourselves as negotiators strips us of any sense of privilege. The false sense of security that self-importance gives us is hard to relinquish. Very hard.  It actually is ultimately very freeing, but initially scary to decide to put effort into mastering negotiation

And naturally, it helps you earn your way to leadership.

Wim Chase  LICSW  

 Academic Coach

The crucial difference between self-importance and self-esteem

July 5, 2012

I love Carl Semmelroth’s¬†work. This is from his book – The Anger Habit Workbook:

A major source of anger is a person’s sense of self-importance. Self-importance is quite different from self-esteem. In fact, it is a major barrier to the development of self-esteem. Your self-esteem assures you that you have the ability to deal with whatever occurs in your life with competence and grace. Self-importance leads you to assume that whatever you want or need is owed to you because of who or what you are.

People with high self-importance assume what they want is owed to them due to the fact that they want it. People with high self-esteem do not hesitate to attempt to earn their way in the world.

I will add that one of the symptoms of self-importance is that it hides from the person in whom it  resides.

Self-importance makes it very difficult to hear no, and that is a major problem since negotiations begin with no.  The Camp system of negotiation requires that all self-importance be addressed and eliminated before the negotiation.   If you become a student at CNI,   you will be taught how to eliminate it. 


Wim Chase  LICSW

Academic Coach –

Anger leaves us 3 options

April 18, 2012

1. Smother it. Problem with this approach is the anger may build in you internally so much that you will lose it one day and do a lot of damage to yourself and/or others.

2. Express it. This sounds fine – sometimes it is referred to as ‘being assertive’. Reality tends to be though that it often leads to arguments, as well-intentioned as you may be.

3. Refocus on  your goal:  Anger is a behavior that has as its goal the solution to a problem. Having a problem with your anger means you use or fantasize about attack as the tool to solve too many problems in your life.

( Dr Carl Semmelroth)

The performance delusion – reflections on boo

April 16, 2012

How are you performing?¬† You would naturally want to know what the venue is before answering . Am I talking about ballet or a concert, or some sport. or an academic test? We don’t use the word performance unless an activity has a certain status..¬† But we are often guilty of being the most horrible of spectators to ordinary human actions.

Take me for example. This morning my 5 yo Josie had something she was playing with, and my 4 yo Clara Rose wanted to play with it too. She started angling for it. Josie wasn’t ready to give it up, and she smacked Clara Rose who started to cry. I got upset. ¬†I sent Josie to her room for hitting, and I interrogated Clara Rose to make sure she knew that I knew that her performance wasn’t good either – she had been impatient and grabby. I was harsh to both of them.

So what am I doing? These two girls encounter a problem related to sharing and negotiating, and they have a hard time, and I freak out.        BOOOOOO! BAD JOB!

And later on, I began to harp on my performance as a Dad. I suck. BOOOOOOO!

It seems so silly to write about it, but I do it and others do it all the time. Examples:  

You didn’t clean the garage. BOOOOOOOO!

You criticized me about not cleaning the garage. BOOOOOOO!

You used a tone of voice I find displeasing.  BOOOOO!

Maybe if I boo my loved ones like I would Manny Ramirez when he was dogging it in Boston, they would perform better. Maybe not idiot! BOOOOOOO!


People booo each other all the time without literally saying boo.  

I can’t ¬†imagine myself saying to a displeased spouse or child of mine:¬† Are you booing me?¬†, ¬†but that is what they are doing, booing, ¬†and that is what I frequently do to them.¬†


Hard to stop  РI am a compulsive booo- er.

Ease up boo-er. 

( I expanded here on an idea I read in a book by Carl Semmelroth called The Anger Habit Workbook)

%d bloggers like this: