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Chapter 15. Surviving Aggression > Further Reading - Pg. 112

Surviving Aggression 112 Kent went into therapy. He began learning anger control techniques. He tried to count to ten and take some slow breaths before yelling or breaking something. He tried to think about the consequences of yelling or breaking something before he did it. He tried to decrease some of the pressure he was under and exercised in the morning to burn off some tension. He tried to recognize what things upset him and to think about new ways of looking at them. All of these helped, but the process of figuring out what upset him and learning to see them in new ways was going more slowly than he wished. He wanted medicine to make it better immediately before his relationship collapsed. He was prescribed an SSRI, one of the new-generation antidepressants that works by increasing serotonin levels in the brain. In addition to being good for depression, it helps decrease several types of anxiety and decreases irritability and impulsivity in some people. Within a few days, he was doing much better. He agreed to keep looking at the things that upset him, the reasons they upset him, and to try to look at them in new ways. Always enjoying a challenge, he accepted a new one: staying in control. Over time, it became easier and easier, and the medication was no longer necessary. He not only saved his rela- tionship, but his newfound self-control helped his career, his health, and his happiness. Conclusion A number of factors can drive aggression. Some are internal to the person, including vulnerable self-esteem, pleasure in dominating and hurting, a reservoir of frustration, depression, poor impulse control, high stress, or an image of the world as hostile. Organizational factors can also drive ag- gression. These include cultures in which aggressive actions are sanctioned, and organizational problems fostering conflict between groups within the organization. An Emotional Intelligence approach to aggression begins with understanding what lies underneath someone's aggression, what is motivating it, and what decreases the person's inhibitions. You can then design interventions to decrease the person's motivation to be violent and increase his inhib- itions and ability to control his behavior.