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25 Anger Management Tips to (Immediately!) Control Yourself

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According to a poll by NPR, 42% of people say they were angrier in the past year1 than before. If you’re tired of managing your anger, learn to reduce and re-channel your emotions for a healthier lifestyle. 

What is Anger Management?

Anger management is a technique devised to help you control anger rather than letting anger control you. With anger management, one can learn to control their anger and become less angry or be controlled less by rage.

Disclaimer: We are honored to help you get control of your anger! Please note that all content on this website should not be considered professional medical advice. It is always best to consult a doctor or licensed therapist2 with questions or concerns about your physical or mental health. If you feel you could harm yourself or others, please get immediate help. In the US, text HOME to 741741, get international support on WhatsApp3 , or visit the Crisis Text Line4 .

What is Anger?

Anger is a fight-or-flight survival response that activates in response to having your boundaries violated somehow. This can include betrayal, disrespect, a threat to safety, and neglectful or demeaning behavior. 

Anger isn’t always an intensely strong emotion. It turns from anger to rage when it becomes out of control. Anger can be a positive emotion, and it’s a natural and necessary method your body uses to protect you. It’s ok to be angry, but healthy anger should be appropriate to the situation and dissipate rather than burn.

What Does Anger Do to Your Body? 

Anger sets off a chain reaction in your body where your amygdala (the emotional region of your brain) jumps into overdrive. Once your amygdala takes over it, it instantly activates your adrenal glands, and your body floods with stress hormones—cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline. 

This is all good if you’re preparing to fight off a lion in a snowy pit. But not so great if your body remains in this state for a prolonged period. 

As you can imagine, stress hormones wear down the body. Anger triggers chemicals that widen pupils, quicken heart rate, sharpen focus, and boost blood flow. This can lead to hypertension, mental health issues, and risk of heart attack or stroke.

Uncontrolled anger is serious business! 

Signs You May Need to Try Anger Management

  • You are constantly angry
  • When you get mad, you stay that way for hours, days, or even longer
  • Anger quickly becomes rage
  • You suppress anger because you feel like you’ll lose control 
  • You have trouble controlling your emotions
  • Other people show signs of being afraid or unhappy around you
  • You lash out quickly at people 
  • Small things make you angry
  • You become easily irritated 
  • You are regularly critical and judgmental 
  • You never get angry

Top 10 Tips to Get Control of Anger

Unmet needs fuel persistent out-of-control anger. 

A need to be heard. To express loss. To protect the people you love. 

Anger isn’t a shameful character flaw; it’s simply the sign of a more profound need. The question is, what do you need? 

Use these steps to incrementally build your tolerance for emotions, gain mastery of yourself, and retrain your brain to express feelings without losing control. 

Identify and name the emotion with as much specificity as possible

This technique may seem simple, but it’s pretty challenging! Yet, its impact can revolutionize your worldview.

Several studies have shown the importance of identifying and naming your emotions. Most importantly, those who can talk and think about experiences with a descriptive vocabulary can regulate their feelings.

Anger is a broad term! Can you get more specific about how you feel?

Pro Tip: Embracing nuance in your emotions helps you move from black-and-white thinking5 to see things more clearly for what they are.  

Action Step: Move past adjectives like sad, angry, or afraid and dig into the nuances of what you feel. Next time you explode or repress your anger, pause and internally look for what you are feeling. With time, verbalize or write down those feelings.

Here are some words to expand on how you define your anger. 

  • Resentful
  • Disappointed
  • Betrayed
  • Jealous
  • Provoked
  • Frustrated
  • Withdrawn
  • Numb
  • Skeptical
  • Dismissive
  • Revolted
  • Nauseated
  • Hesitant
  • Disrespected
  • Overwhelmed
  • Embarrassed
  • Let down
  • Out of control

Need more ideas? Learn about emotions in our ultimate guide: The Emotion Wheel: How to Use it And Master Your Emotions.

Look for the needs behind the emotion.

Once you’ve started to identify and describe your emotions, you’ll naturally see needs emerging.

For example, if you regularly feel disrespected, you need respect. Is this need rooted in past experiences or current conflicts? Talk with a trusted friend for fresh insights on how your behavior affects your unmet needs.

Start by exploring this before or after you lose your temper. When you’re calm (at least relatively so!), you’ll have the clarity to explore what is behind the anger and what you can do about it.

Pro Tip: If you’re in a safe relationship, talk to your partner and ask for their support and patience. Consider apologizing for any harm your anger may have caused.

Action Step: Find a way to meet or even let go of the need—this will eventually remove (or reduce) the trigger causing constant anger. 

For example, if you need respect, start with self-respect. This week, identify one behavior you can practice out of respect for yourself. Here are some examples: 

  • Say no to a request you’d normally (resentfully) say yes to. 
  • Get enough sleep
  • Show up to a meeting on time
  • Reply to emails in a timely fashion
  • Wear something that makes you feel attractive
  • Respond to another person’s anger with kindness

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Look for the pain behind the need

As you discover your needs, you’ll likely uncover pain. The pain that comes from unmet needs and violated boundaries is legitimate. It may feel overwhelming to face that, but when you do, it begins to lose its power to undermine and control you.

When you identify the pain, you can recognize you have the power to change your behavior. 

When anger strikes, pause and ask yourself, “What is a better response right now?”

Pro Tip: Emotions are good. But suppressed emotions are still there, and undealt with, they become toxic.

Action Step: How do you respond when you are angry? Do you withdraw, verbally lash out, or act aggressively? Think about how you can better respond to a recurring situation that makes you angry. 

Here are some examples:

  • Instead of withdrawing in anger when my brother makes me feel stupid, I will tell him (without being accusatory) how his behavior makes me think. 
  • Instead of verbally lashing out at my employees when they make a mistake, I will ask them to share what they feel they could have done differently to avoid this mistake. 
  • Instead of acting aggressively, I will leave the room to give myself space to calm down. 

Use the RAIN method 

While some may recommend activating anger in a controlled environment (punching a pillow, throwing things, rage rooms, etc.), this is not a healthy or productive way to resolve or deal with anger because it connects “the internal emotion of anger6 with problematic verbal behaviors or aggressive behaviors.” 

Instead, Dr. Gabor Maté advocates using Tara Brach’s RAIN method—Recognize, Allow, Investigate, Nurture. 

This method allows you to look at your anger without suppressing or dangerously fueling it. All of this happens with compassion and kindness towards the self. 

Ultimately, this method takes the first three tips and combines them all with an attitude of compassion and self-discovery. 

Action Step: When anger arises, acknowledge it, feel the emotions, and analyze why it’s there. Approach yourself with compassion to understand and nurture your feelings.

Critical Mental Health Note: Start small. We get it—you want to deal with this and be done with it. While there are short-term coping mechanisms to manage anger, it will take time and work to reduce the anger. Moving too fast may be counterproductive. 

Also, as you address anger, expect it to intensify initially. Develop resilience to your emotions and give yourself permission to step back if needed.

Your safety and the safety of others are paramount. You don’t have to do this alone; reach out to a therapist or coach who has experience with anger. 

Emergency Tips to Get Control Immediately

Use these three emergency techniques when anger broadsides you. 

Try Box Breathing

Take a break 

Sometimes you need to walk away. Go for a walk outside or sit in a quiet space to calm your emotions.

Walking is ideal, especially in nature (rather than a city environment), as it can lower blood pressure and ease anger.  

Pro Tips: 

  • Before stepping away, communicate with your loved one. Let them know you need space to process. Try this, “I love you, and I’m not shutting you out, but I need some space right now.” 
  • If you’re at work and need time to gather your thoughts, politely excuse yourself or ask to continue the conversation later. Try this, “I need some time to think. I’ll respond this afternoon/tomorrow/end of the week.”
  • Don’t slam doors or make one last parting shot as you leave the room.
  • Step away to cool down, but ensure you return and address the issue when both parties are calmer.

In relationships, leaving conflicts unresolved can erode them over time. At work, unaddressed anger can contribute to burnout and health issues.

Think before you react

This sounds like a simple solution, but it is easier said than done.

While it may seem straightforward, the practice of pausing7 might be more challenging than it appears. Breaking compulsive habits takes intentional, practiced effort, especially if you’re used to quick, thoughtless responses.

Action Steps:

  • Spot impulsive reactions (e.g., snapping back when criticized)
  • Identify triggers (e.g., negative feedback from a supervisor)
  • Taking a deep breath before replying in a heated argument.
  • Weigh consequences (e.g., consider how words might affect relationships)
  • Choose words carefully for empathy during conflicts.

For more helpful tips, try 5 Stress Management Techniques to Relieve Stress Fast.

Redirect, don’t suppress

Distracting and suppressing anger is effective for immediate relief. The only problem? The offense is still there.

So, while it may relieve you at the moment, it will only worsen the anger problem over time. 

“Healthy anger is in the moment. It protects your boundaries, and then it’s gone. It’s not there anymore.”

Dr. Gabor Maté, Author & Physician

Most techniques for suppressing anger rely on the body—going for a run, boxing, taking a shower, etc. As a result, that suppressed anger may manifest in your body. 

Research has found that suppressing anger can lead to hypertension, emotional numbness, depression, anxiety, disordered eating, and skin disorders. 

Instead of suppressing the emotion of anger, redirect it. You can use some of the coping mechanisms customarily used to suppress but in a more intentional, focused way. 

Your goal isn’t to avoid or deny the anger. Instead, your goal is to experience physical and emotional release. You can try to:

  • Channel anger into running, envision it pounding into the pavement.
  • While cleaning, focus on describing emotions and discard unhelpful ones.
  • Incorporate a boundary-building exercise during dance or exercise by pushing arms away and firmly saying “no” to relieve anger or as a daily routine.

Pro Tip: If you have a spiritual practice, incorporate prayer into any of these activities. Instead of trying to process the anger silently, give voice to what you feel and then verbally release those emotions.

Use humor

Disarm yourself with humor if you’re angry and can’t see the other person’s perspective. It might feel strange and take intentional focus, but it can immediately deflect and calm the situation. 

Laughter is so unique because it can change the energy in a room!

Research has shown that humor can significantly reduce stress and tension in interpersonal interactions, indicating a stress-buffering effect by helping individuals reappraise stressful events as challenges, release endorphins8 through laughter to relieve stress physiologically, and cope better with stressors.

Pro Tip: This is especially effective if you’re angry or annoyed and the other person doesn’t realize it. If you’re in the middle of an argument, please don’t randomly tell a Dad joke! And please, please don’t use sarcasm, mockery, or jokes that target individuals or sensitive topics. 

You’re looking for something to make both of you laugh. Remember, the goal is to lighten the mood and build rapport, not to cause further distress or offense.

Action Step: Next time you’re silently fuming and don’t know what to do with the anger, tell a joke or a funny story. When you laugh, observe how it feels in your body after being angry.

Count to 10

Counting might not just be an effective way to calm your nerves before you react to something; it can also serve as a distraction.

When confronted with a situation that triggers anger, taking a moment to count can effectively mitigate the intensity of your emotional response.

Neuroscience research suggests that counting engages the prefrontal cortex, the brain region responsible for decision-making and emotional regulation. By focusing on counting, individuals activate this area, allowing them to exert control over their emotions.

Action Steps:

  • When confronted with a situation provoking anger, close your eyes to tune out distractions.
  • Count slowly, focusing on each number.
  • Do it at your preference: a quick 1 to 10 or a longer 1 to 50.
  • Once you hit your target count, check your feelings and opt for a positive step, like calmly communicating.

Pro Tip: Try adding mindfulness activities to your daily routine for better emotional strength and self-awareness.

How to Manage Anger in Interpersonal Relationships

Both you and the person you care about deserve better! Use these tips to start managing anger toward people you love. 

Communicate instead of jumping to conclusions.

Miscommunication and misunderstanding breed anger, particularly in relationships.

You know what we’re talking about! 

Whether verbal or nonverbal, our words and intentions can mismatch. If you and your partner find it hard to talk openly, it can lead to unresolved anger.

Action Step: Next time you get angry or annoyed with your loved one, pause and take three slow, deep breaths. Think about why you are angry and then verbalize it. But please don’t accuse! Try, “When you did/said that, I felt like you were (belittling me, disrespecting me, not listening to me, etc.).” or even, “It seems like you’re upset about something. Do you want to talk about it?” 

Pro Tip: If you don’t normally communicate openly, don’t suddenly spring this on the other person! Have a conversation that you’d like to work on strengthening your communication. 

Start an anger diary.

One study found that journaling about emotions led to future employment for laid-off workers, while countless studies have documented the positive impact of gratitude journals9 .

The benefits of journaling are immense!

While we are advocates of the gratitude journal, we’d also like to recommend writing down some of your darker emotions.  

Benefits of an anger journal:

  • Identify what you’re angry about
  • See what other emotions are involved
  • Gain control through self-awareness
  • Track triggers 
  • Process through the anger
  • Have a record of where you started and how you’re growing

Before discussing your anger with your partner, it’s essential to manage it first. Try processing your anger privately, like in an anger journal, to prevent blaming your partner during discussions.

Action Steps:

  1. Use this template from Therapist Aid to get started on an anger journal.
  2. Schedule time each evening to review your day and identify when and why you got angry.
  3. Don’t miss the review on page 2 of the Therapist Aid template. 

Set boundaries with your family.

If you’re constantly angry with your family, there’s probably a history of boundary violations. Or maybe, just maybe, you’ve been the one who doesn’t respect others’ boundaries. 

Either way, boundary violations inherently create anger. 

Anger and resentment because you can’t stand up for yourself. Or even anger and resentment because the other person lets you trample on them. 

Setting boundaries helps to remove those feelings of helplessness and gives you control. That can go a long way in reducing anger. 

Action Steps:

  1. Think about one family member that makes you angry.
  2. Write down what they do that infuriates you—you’re looking for the trigger. If you don’t know, get curious and look for patterns in how you interact with each other.
  3. Write down one boundary you’d like to implement with them. 
  4. If you identify a boundary you violate, apologize to the other person and tell them you’d like to work on respecting their boundaries. 

Pro Tip: Start small, and don’t discuss your grievances with this person. Sometimes, communicating verbally is helpful. In other situations, it’s more effective to casually implement the boundary without making a big fuss. Do what resonates with you and your history with the other person.

Example Boundary: If talking to someone consistently leaves you upset, avoid answering their calls before bedtime or during enjoyable activities. You don’t have to cut them off entirely; just set boundaries for when you’re emotionally prepared to engage in a call. This way, you won’t get angry with them for spoiling your free time or disrupting your sleep.

Physical exercise

Physical exercise offers a potent and widely accessible means of managing anger and stress. 

Research10 has shown that regular physical activity, whether it’s intense, like running or boxing, or mundane, like cleaning, can significantly improve mood and reduce stress by providing a cathartic release11 for pent-up emotions.

Action Steps:

  • Try cardio exercises or yoga.
  • Commit to 30 minutes of regular exercise to improve moods.
  • Channel emotions into chores such as washing dishes, clothes, etc.

Pro Tip: Whether intense workouts for an adrenaline rush or relaxed strolls for tranquility, aim for what leaves you refreshed and centered.

Example Activity: When anger strikes, put on your sneakers! A brisk walk or jog around your surroundings can ease the tension, leaving you centered and calm.

Seek compromise and find win-win solutions to conflicts

When conflicts arise, it’s easy to get caught up in a zero-sum game mentality, where one person’s gain is perceived as another’s loss. But often, there’s a middle ground waiting to be discovered through compromise and collaboration.

Action Steps: Practice active listening to understand the perspectives and concerns of others, which can defuse anger.

For example, Suppose you and your roommate disagree on the temperature setting for the thermostat. Instead of constantly battling over the ideal temperature, agree to set it slightly lower during the day and higher at night, accommodating both preferences and promoting comfort for both parties.

Remember: Understand that compromise doesn’t mean sacrificing your needs or values but finding creative ways to meet them while also considering the needs of others.

Quick Tips for Handling Anger in Specific Scenarios

Handling stress at work and other scenarios can feel like an uphill battle. We all feel the impact of global stress, and the workplace shows us how hard it is to manage accumulated stress. Here are some tips that can give you some peace.

The 24-Hour Email Rule

When emotions run high, especially in a professional setting, our immediate reactions can often lead to not-so-positive outcomes. When not managed properly, anger can tarnish your reputation and contribute to a detrimental work environment. 

Instead, ALWAYS make it a habit to wait 24 hours when you’re outraged:

Upon receiving an email that sparks anger or frustration, commit to a 24-hour waiting period before you respond. This time allows emotions to settle and prevents impulsive, potentially damaging replies.

Pro Tip: Draft, don’t send. If you feel compelled to articulate your thoughts immediately, draft your response, but do not send it. Save it as a draft and step away. This act alone can be cathartic and help you process your feelings without committing to an immediate response.

meme with a woman drinking soda with caption "me after sending out my passive aggressive email for the day"

Reduce triggers on the way to work.

If you show up to work already disgruntled and annoyed, it won’t take much to tip you into the rage territory.

Whether skipping the morning news, taking a different route to work or developing a morning grounding practice, do what you need to to start the day feeling more emotionally centered. 

Action Step: On a normal day at work, keep track of what makes you tick—before work, on the way to work, during work, and until you get home. Note these triggers and strategize how you can minimize them. Starting your work day frustrated makes staying in a lousy mood easier.

Speak up

This one comes with a big caveat. Don’t speak up with anger. But do speak up. Much of workplace stress builds anger because you suppress feelings of frustration and injustice.

If a coworker drives you crazy by constantly interrupting you—ask them to respect your working time. If a boss continually gives you tasks that should belong to another (full-time!) role, let them know you’re working overtime and discuss hiring another person for those tasks. 

Take Note: Bottling up frustration and anger raises stress. When dealing with a coworker or boss, address the issue politely. For instance, if interrupted often, request respect for your time. If overwhelmed with tasks, talk to your boss about distributing the workload to prevent burnout.

Of course, it’s not easy to speak up gracefully. But there is a way: 9 Conflict Resolution Tips to Win An Argument Like a Jedi.

Implement a reward system for managing anger effectively

Introducing a reward system for successfully managing anger can be a powerful motivator for behavioral change.

Scientific research has supported the idea that reward systems effectively encourage positive behaviors. Rewarding individuals for displaying practical anger management skills strengthens these behaviors, making them habitual over time.

Action Steps:

  • Choose incentives that motivate, such as enjoyable activities or treats.
  • Use a journal app to track progress and improve.
  • Reward consistently, reinforcing positive behavior.

Pro Tip: Incorporate internal rewards, such as feelings of pride or accomplishment, alongside external rewards, such as certificates or verbal recognition, to boost lasting behavioral changes and promote healthier anger management strategies.

Use positive self-talk to boost confidence and manage stress

Positive self-talk is scientifically proven to boost confidence, aid in handling anger, and manage stress effectively.

This study has demonstrated that how individuals perceive and interpret their internal dialogue significantly influences their emotional well-being and performance. This technique involves an internal dialogue12 that promotes positivity, such as encouragement, motivation, and optimism.

Action Steps:

  • Be aware of negative thoughts during tough times.
  • Replace negative talk with realistic, empowering affirmations.
  • Make positive self-talk a habit, especially in stressful moments!

For example…

Negative self-talk: “I’ll never be able to handle this presentation. I always mess things up.”

Positive self-talk: “I’ve prepared thoroughly for this presentation and have valuable insights to share. I’ve overcome challenges before and can deliver a successful presentation.”

Over time, your internal voice will start to turn positive. Remember, it takes patience and practice! Learn more: 417 Daily Positive Affirmations For Personal Growth.

Address conflicts directly and constructively

In the workplace, conflicts are inevitable, but how we manage them can make all the difference.

Action Steps:

  • Pick a peaceful environment, avoiding heated moments like a quiet café, garden, or meeting room.
  • Listen actively and validate feelings before expressing your own.
  • Use “I” statements, owning emotions without blame, and say “I feel hurt when…” instead.
  • Practice active listening without interrupting.
  • Stay respectful and avoid personal attacks or hostile language, even during disagreements.

For example: Disagreement over household chores

  • Direct and constructive Approach: “I’ve noticed some tension about chores lately. Considering our busy schedules, let’s talk openly about finding a fair way to split them up. Sounds good?”
  • Passive-Aggressive Approach: “I’ve been feeling swamped with chores lately, but I guess it’s how things are. It would be nice if someone else could step up occasionally, but whatever.”

Want to be an expert communicator? Try these: 15 Ways To Solve the Most Common Communication Issues

Handling Anger With Kids

Raising children can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re struggling with anger. It is a big responsibility, but it’s a beautiful gift! Here’s how to stay calm even around kids:

Apply workplace techniques at home

Managing anger effectively is crucial, not just in the workplace but also in personal settings, particularly when interacting with children. If you’ve developed successful strategies for handling triggers and maintaining composure at work, these can also be invaluable tools for home life. 

Here’s how to elevate your Approach:

  • Transfer skills: Reflect on the anger management techniques that serve you well in professional settings, such as deep breathing, stepping away from the situation, or rationalizing your emotions. These same techniques can be applied when dealing with challenging moments with your children. The key is consistency in practice, whether in a boardroom or the living room.
  • Maintain composure: Recognize the similarities in managing triggers in different areas of your life. Just as raising your voice can escalate a situation at work, the same can happen at home. Make a conscious effort to maintain the same level of composure and respect with your family as your colleagues.
  • Cultivate a Nurturing Relationship: Understand that building a nurturing relationship with your child, grounded in respect and understanding, is fundamental. This approach helps manage anger at the moment and strengthens the overall bond between you and your child, setting a foundation for healthy emotional development.

Remember: If changing your Approach is tough, you can turn to parenting books13 , online resources14,Tip%20Tool%20…%206%206.%20Magination%20Press%20 , or therapy15 for help.

Teach the proper social skills.

Instilling proper social skills in children is not only about teaching them to behave well in public; it’s about shaping individuals who can empathize, communicate, and interact effectively with others throughout their lives. Here’s how to approach this essential aspect of child development:

  • Model Positive Behavior: Children learn social cues and behaviors by watching those around them, especially their parents. Model the behavior you wish to see: use polite language, demonstrate patience, and show respect in your interactions with others. Children who see positive social interactions in action are more likely to emulate them.
  • Teach Empathy: Understanding and sharing the feelings of another is a cornerstone of good social skills. Discuss emotions openly with your child, labeling feelings and explaining situations from different perspectives. Ask them how their actions make others feel, and share how specific actions make you think. This dialogue builds empathy and better prepares them for social interactions.
  • Practice Communication Skills: Engage your child in conversations beyond daily routines. Please encourage them to express their thoughts and listen attentively to theirs. Introduce the concept of active listening—listening to understand rather than to respond. This can be done through simple games or storytelling activities where they must recall details or understand the characters’ emotions.

The truth is that children aren’t born models. They often need to learn the best social skills for them to thrive. Here’s our guide on how to do that: Social Skills Training for Kids: 8 Super Steps to Success

Avoid yelling or using physical discipline.

There’s no shortage of research that shows yelling and physical abuse lead to adverse effects on children.

Yet, while it might feel like the quickest way to regain control, yelling and physical punishment often perpetuates a cycle of fear and resentment, damaging trust and undermining your relationship with your child. Instead:

  • Recall moments when you were tempted to yell or punish (e.g., messy room, rule-breaking).
  • Consider the impact on your child’s emotions and your bond (e.g., it may lead to fear or resentment).
  • Brainstorm alternatives, such as creating a chore chart with clear expectations, praising them for completing tasks, or giving a time-out for misbehavior.

Remember: Discipline is about teaching and guiding, not punishing. Show patience, empathy, and respect to create a safe environment where your child can learn and flourish.

Want more powerful parenting tips? Try this: How to Be a Better Parent (using Science)

What to Do With Anger Towards Students

Do you find yourself getting angry with your students? Try implementing these tips, but if you continue to struggle with anger, you may need a break! 

Cultivate unshakeable confidence

The perception of a power struggle between a teacher and a student can often stem from the student’s belief in such a dynamic. Follow these three steps to maintain your ground:

  • Visualize Stability: Before the confrontation, ground yourself. Imagine your authority as an anchored, impenetrable fortress. This mental image fortifies your mindset, transforming you into an unwavering, calm, and respectful figure.
  • Maintain Composure: In moments of defiance, remain composed. Breathe deeply and maintain an even tone. Your calm demeanor is your most vital asset, deflecting provocation and maintaining control of the situation.
  • Redirect Energy: Instead of meeting confrontation with resistance, redirect the energy. Acknowledge the student’s feelings, then steer the interaction towards constructive dialogue. Your Approach should convey understanding without relinquishing your authoritative stance.

Elevate your listening skills.

If you’re angry at your students, you might not be listening to them. When strong emotions arise, anything the other student might say can sound like a jumbled mess!

How do we go from angry noise to compassionate listening?

  • Embrace Curiosity: Replace frustration with curiosity. Approach each student’s behavior as a puzzle to be understood, not a threat to be countered. Ask open-ended questions to delve deeper into their feelings and viewpoints.
  • Stay Centered: Maintain your calm. If a student’s words trigger a strong reaction, take a deep breath to center yourself. This pause allows you to respond thoughtfully rather than react impulsively.

Reflect and Validate: Listen actively and reflect on your hearing without judgment. This validation can diffuse tension and show the students they are being heard, paving the way for a more constructive dialogue.

But Are You Angry?

If your definition of anger only includes punching in walls and red-faced fury, think again. Overt aggression isn’t the only indication you are angry. Anger is often expressed in some covert (but no-less harmful) ways.

  • Withdrawing: Withdrawal can serve as a defense mechanism against further pain, often intertwined with anger. Anger is invariably involved when withdrawal turns passive-aggressive, aimed at punishing the other—actions like silence, physical departure, or emotional disengagement signal this dynamic.

*Important note: Withdrawal can be vital for safety, whether yours or others. It might mean sensing potential harm or needing space to cool down. In these moments, withdrawing helps manage anger rather than dodging the issue.

  • Criticizing and belittling: Verbally cutting others down is undeniably anger. And that includes sarcasm. While your verbal barbs may be clever and give you a sense of control, they are a sign anger is controlling you. 
  • Punishing behavior: Recognizing your response to hurt can be tricky. Do you address it promptly or save it for later arguments? You may resort to passive-aggressiveness. However it manifests, it stems from unresolved pain turning into anger.
  • Self-sabotage: When you repress anger, it can turn into anger at yourself. As a result, this can create an environment where you default to self-sabotage. 
  • Passivity: If people have regularly taken away your right to choose, you may withdraw in anger and avoid making decisions. This type of anger quickly grows into bitterness and is a coping mechanism you may use to feel in control of your life. 

While all of these behaviors may make you feel in control, the sad reality is they only harm you and those around you—especially those you love. 

Anger can feel frightening, and you may have developed these coping mechanisms to protect yourself and others from the depth of your emotions. It’s doing the opposite.

As you work to handle your anger, realize the old coping methods aren’t helpful.

Mental Health Resources for Managing Anger

Check out these resources to help you get extra support for your mental health. 

Root Causes of Anger

Anger is a good emotion, but like any emotion, it can cause harm when it is out of control. 

Because anger is often a masking emotion, it’s a sign that other emotions have been repressed or are too big to handle.

While this isn’t an extensive list, it will help you see anger in a new light by identifying some root causes. 

  • Trauma
  • PTSD
  • Loss
  • Fear of loss
  • Not feeling heard
  • Feeling helpless
  • Feeling stupid or humiliated
  • Frustration
  • Inability to accomplish your goals
  • Loss of a dream
  • Feelings of rejection or exclusion
  • Being nervous 
  • Feeling overwhelmed or worried
  • Repressed sadness or grief
  • Having boundaries violated
  • Not being able to say no
  • Not having your “no” respected
  • Fear of intimacy and connection
  • Injustice (personal experiences of injustice or witnessing others experience injustice)

Explore what is behind the anger. 

Do you feel anger, or do you feel disrespected? 

Is your core emotion fear and helplessness? 

Or, maybe you feel anger because you don’t know how to process feeling vulnerable.

Emotions are complex. Finding what causes the anger will give you insight into what you need to deal with that anger.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) To Control Anger

What is Anger Management?

Anger management is a technique designed to help individuals control their anger rather than allowing anger to control them. Through anger management, one can learn strategies to regulate their emotions and reduce the impact of anger on their behavior and well-being.

How can I manage my anger effectively?

Manage anger by recognizing emotions, understanding underlying needs, practicing techniques like RAIN for self-reflection, and seeking guidance from experienced therapists or coaches.

What are the signs that I may need anger management?

Signs that you may benefit from anger management include frequently feeling angry, experiencing prolonged periods of anger, difficulty controlling emotions, lashing out at others, constantly irritable or critical, and noticing others expressing fear or discomfort around you.

What are some immediate techniques to control anger?

Immediate techniques to control anger include taking a break to calm down, practicing deep breathing, counting to ten, redirecting emotions through physical activity or creative outlets, using humor to defuse tense situations, and engaging in positive self-talk to manage stress and boost confidence.

What are some common root causes of anger?

Anger stems from different sources, such as trauma, loss, rejection, or unmet needs, alongside fear, frustration, and suppressed emotions. Individuals can better control their anger by delving into these underlying feelings and triggers.

8 Key Takeaways To Control Anger

  1. Identify and name the emotions you’re experiencing. Challenge yourself to use different words to describe those emotions. 
  2. Identify what your unmet needs are and what pain is behind those needs.
  3. Use the RAIN method. Reflect on anger, Allow yourself to feel the emotion, Investigate why you think this way, and Nurture yourself with compassion and understanding. 
  4. Physically withdraw from the environment you’re in to manage anger. Use this as an emergency technique when you can’t get a handle on the rage. 
  5. Don’t repress or ignore anger. Studies show this causes physical harm, such as hypertension and digestion problems, and harms your mental health.
  6. Give the other person the benefit of the doubt. Communicate openly so you can avoid anger that comes from miscommunication. 
  7. Write about it! Start an anger diary to keep a record of and process your emotions.
  8. Give yourself time. Managing anger is a growth process; learning new ways of responding and coping with situations takes time. 

If you struggle with anger, you probably have a mean inner critic. Learn how to take control of your life by silencing your inner critic

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