Born to Rage: All

Fight or Flight
Lori, Bryan and Scott together join Dr. Phil onstage.

"Let me say a couple things that I want you to think about," Dr. Phil begins. "One thing I think is a common denominator for all people is, what upsets you, is when your expectations are violated. You have an expectation of how the world is supposed to work. When that's violated, you have a reaction to it. You have this expectation that usually comes with a degree of arrogance."

Joining the show is Shannon Munford, an anger management and court-approved counselor. "One of the things that you said that bears repeating is assertiveness is different than being aggressive," Shannon tells Dr. Phil and the three guests. He says Lori's tone is condescending and arrogant. "I would love to teach Lori how to get her needs met, without pushing people away," he says. "If Lori is a warrior and has the warrior gene, why does she need to be a warrior with the sandwich maker?"

[AD]"Do you want me to answer that?" Lori asks. She tells Shannon when she gives someone instructions for how to fix something, she expects they will, in fact, do that.

"Would you like to understand how to let this individual know to fix it, without putting yourself at risk with having your food spit on? There is a way to be assertive without hurting people's feelings and without pushing people away," Shannon says. 

Lori says she'd like those tools.

"I believe in the principle of reciprocity."

"We've given our guests the DNA test to determine if they have a gene that scientists say can lead to aggressive behavior," Dr. Phil says. Dr. Phil says Lori, Bryan and Scott do want to control their frustration and rage. "All three are about to find out if they have the warrior gene."

Dr. Rose McDermott is a political scientist at Brown University and co-author of the research study into the warrior gene. Dr. McDermott joins the panel of guests onstage.

"In the work that we've done, we've explored the relationship between this gene and having bad environmental effects, especially traumatic events in childhood, making it more likely people will engage in physical aggression as an adult," Dr. McDermott explains. She says it's also less likely, due to the nature of the gene, for it to appear as often in women.

"We tested each of you for the warrior gene," Dr. Phil tells the three guests. "Do you think you have it?"

"I want to hope that I do," Scott says.

"I think it would be a good thing," Bryan says. "You wouldn't have to look so hard to see what's troubling me."

[AD]Lori says she doesn't think she has it.

Even though the warrior gene is rarer in women, test results reveal that Lori does have the gene.

"Well, it's an answer for me," Lori says. "It helps me understand why I get as angry as I do. It's a relief there's something linked to this anger, and it's not brought on because I want to do it."

Bryan and Scott also carry the warrior gene.

"I wish it did explain everything," Dr. Phil says. "I want all three of you to know that when you have a gene, and you have the trigger from the environment, that means you're more likely, or more susceptible; it doesn't mean you have to. It doesn't mean you can't control it. You may be a bit more reactive than other people."

Dr. McDermott says that much can be contributed to lack of impulse control, as well. "You have the reaction before you even have the time to think about it," she says of those with the warrior gene.

"You agree you can stretch that time out," Dr. Phil says to Dr. McDermott. "You can learn impulse control. Because I don't want to suggest to anyone the gene is an excuse to run wild in your life. It just means you're on a more slippery slope than someone else."

[AD]"You can have the warrior gene and be a complete pussy cat," Dr. Phil says. "This is information to know that you are more susceptible, at risk for and predisposed " like someone who is fair-skinned and will burn more readily in the sun. It doesn't mean they need to go through life sun-burned. They take precautions to protect against that. This is not an excuse to go out and rage against people."

"Children sometimes don't listen, but they always watch."

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