The Smart Way to Deal with Anger

November 28, 2015

Anger and irritation are normal emotions, and part of our daily lives. But sometimes we don’t know what to do with our anger. So, I’m angry…what do I do now? We may express it negatively or positively; regardless, anger is an emotion that is difficult to control. Some people know how to keep their anger under control, while others may let themselves get carried away by it.

He who dominates his anger, dominates his worst enemy.

Man and woman yelling at each other

The first thing we should do is think about what we should do with our anger, how we should act regarding this difficult emotion. To begin, we have to know what kind of person we are and what attitude we have when we are angry.

1. The Passive Approach 

Many people hide their anger without being aware that they are repressing it. This can lead to anxiety from not venting their frustrations. The positive side is that they do not get worked up and overexcited easily, which gives them the opportunity to reflect on their anger instead of expressing it aggressively. This approach is often that of people who suffer from depression.

2. The Passive-Aggressive Approach 

This is the “bomb” approach, in which anger is repressed, but deep down the person knows that sooner or later, it will explode. Also, anger may be expressed in indirect ways, or shown through subtle sarcasm.

3. The Explosive Approach 

Explosive people may burst with anger in any situation and do not contain themselves at all. Their level of tolerance is very low, and when faced with any frustrating situation, they strike out and wound until they feel eased and relieved. These are the people who need to hit a table, punch a wall, or shout out hurtful words

4. The Winner’s Approach 

Those who take the winner’s approach verbally express their anger. They do it after fully understanding what made them mad and why, so that they can then express themselves in the right way to the right person, without being aggressive.

Man yelling at a woman through a megaphone

What is your approach? Once you know that, you can think about what kind of strategy you want to take when you get angry. Don’t forget that when we are angry, we act without thinking. That is why it is necessary to reflect first. Once you know your approach you can set about designing your strategy based on these steps:

1. Interrogate your anger 

Why am I angry? Do I have a good reason? What should I do now? These are the questions you should ask of your anger. If you think about it thoroughly, maybe there isn’t a good reason behind it, or, at least, not one that can give it such importance. Many times, we can move past what makes us angry, but if not, we will see in the next step what the best way is to continue.

2. Let your anger go

Don’t repress it! This is not good and will only lead you to eventually being unable to contain you anger, and you will end up externalizing it. Talking to someone, shouting out loud, going for a run, among other things, are a few ways to let your anger go. Find your way! We are all different; what is your way to let your anger go? 

3. Express your anger in words 

If we speak with someone about what makes us mad, we will be able to calm down. We will be able to vent. We shouldn’t keep our anger pent up inside, just for ourselves, because maybe we are wrong! The person who listens to us might be able to see the situation from a different perspective, and help us see how they really are.

4. Pick the moment and the place 

When we get angry, the worst thing someone can tell us is to calm down. So, if someone else is angry, give them space! Anger is very contagious, and if you try to fix it, you may end up getting mad, too. For that reason, exit the situation and in another moment, in another place, when the time is right, you will be able to talk to that person so they can release some of their frustration.

5. Your body also fights! 

Even if when we have left our anger behind mentally, our bodies may not have. Our body also communicates our emotions, and takes longer to disconnect. That is why, although we aren’t angry anymore, our face or our posture might still display signs of anger. When this happens, we should walk, run, or do some kind of activity so we can physically disperse our anger and let it leave our bodies, in every way.

And now… do you know what you can do with your anger? The first thing you should do is determined your approach. Which is it? Then, you can choose your strategy to follow. The most effective strategy is to be able to talk to someone, but keep in mind that you should do it once you have calmed down. In the middle of your angry state of mind, you are pure tension, and you can cause the people you love to feel pain, even if you don’t mean to.