I used to have an anger problem. It wasn’t all over the place, I wasn’t a “rage-a-holic”, and I didn’t cause awful amounts of destruction. There were times, though, where I honestly “blew a gasket”. I simply didn’t know what else to do at the moment, that I used words or actions that I absolutely regretted afterward.
NOTE: If you are truly being threatened, treat the situation seriously: learn how to protect yourself, learn to avoid dangerous situations, and get help as soon as possible.
Thankfully, I learned and practiced my way out of my anger problem. Here are some helpful tips:
- Anger is healthy: feeling angry is a natural, biologic response to feeling threatened. There is nothing wrong with the feeling of anger.
- The reason I feel angry may be distorted: I may have misunderstood something, and clarifying that is essential, otherwise I’m reacting to something that simply isn’t true.
- Feeling threatened is all about personal boundaries: if my boundaries have been impinged upon, either I haven’t been clear about the extent of my boundaries, or the person in front of me isn’t. Regardless, it’s up to me to make sure that the boundaries are clearly defined.
- If a person doesn’t respect my boundaries, RUN! Why would you want to deal with someone that doesn’t respect you? Maybe you won’t literally run away, but disrespect is a clear indication that you need to treat the relationship appropriately.
- In society, there are almost zero situations that are actual emergencies: you can almost always excuse yourself to cool down. Every single emotion you feel will pass, without exception. Our bodies literally can not maintain an emotional state forever. If your emotions are in control, you can choose to remove yourself in order to regain composure.
- Your actions are all your responsibility: acting out of anger is almost never helpful. There are far more options available to you once you regain composure.
This is not the be-all-end-all primer on anger management. There are numerous resources available for finding ways to better manage anger. If you have other helpful hints, leave them in the comments.