10 Anger Management Tips

What to do with our angry feelings is a topic that causes us all concern from time to time; it comes up often in my personal coaching sessions. Anger is one of the most primal and complex feelings in the range of human emotions. Although in itself it’s neither good nor bad, its misuse causes a great deal of problems, particularly if it surfaces inappropriately in the workplace.

Aristotle

The problem with anger, as Aristotle said, is that it’s quite easy to become angry. Getting angry at the right time, with the right person, at the right level, and doing it in the right way is much more difficult!

Difficult Conversations

If you’ve signed up to the newsletter you will have received my free download on handling difficult situations and if anger is a problem for you it’s worth looking at it again.

Anger is not bad per se as it is sending us a clear signal that something isn’t right for us. But if you think it sometimes becomes an issue for you I have a few tips for managing it that may help.

Tips for Managing Anger

  1. If you can, try and be really specific about what makes you angry. It can help to write it out as a statement ‘I am angry because….’
  2. Look at this statement. Now try and analyse the reasons why this makes you angry. Sometimes you may discover that the reasons are not really to do with an individual; they may stem from old hurts in the past such as being bullied at school, or feeling belittled and not valued within your family. Or you may find your anger is perfectly reasonable. It’s important to give it some thought first before giving vent to it.
  3. Think about what you want to say. Really see and hear the conversation happening in your imagination. Now write down the main points. What kind of language were you using in your imaginary conversation? Were you saying things like: “You make me so angry”? If you were, stop there and reread point one. What is that they do which makes you cross, upsets you? That is what you need to describe, the behaviour. Be careful not to rubbish them as a person.
  4. Having checked your ‘I am angry because’ statement does it still look O.K.? Reflect seriously on what you want the outcome of that conversation to be. Presumably you don’t want open warfare, but for them to stop whatever it is they do that angers you? And you may want to have a reasonable relationship with them post discussion. This is almost certainly true in the workplace where you want to behave professionally.
  5. A core principle of managing your relationship is to treat the other person as you would wish to be treated. Don’t speak to them in front of others and when you are still angry, but arrange to talk privately when it’s a good time for both of you.
  6. Similarly, try hard not to get into blaming them with statements that begin ‘You make me so mad…’ Use ‘I’ statements, such as ‘I feel upset when…’
  7. Don’t send an e mail in anger. A letter can be fine but always wait at least 24 hours before sending it. E mails can fly off in a click but the damage can be much longer lasting.
  8. If you can resolve your issues, great, if not you’ll need to agree to disagree in some way and then find an outlet for your strong feelings. Physical activity is good, like exercise. A good brisk walk can be beneficial on many levels.
  9. Remember the power of the way you talk to yourself. If you consistently stoke your own anger with an internal dialogue about it you can become ill and stressed. Instead, try and replace any angry talk with something more calming and positive which allows you to move on.
  10. And finally, sometimes we find ourselves angry about situations over which it seems we have no control, like world poverty, or the issue of global warming. Direct your anger well and it can become a force for good. Join a political organisation, or a charity; maybe become a volunteer or a campaigner. Some of the most amazing things we humans have ever done have been borne out of a sense of anger leading people to take action!
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Posted on July 25th, 2009 by

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