The Challenge of Learning How to Be Angry

The feeling of annoyance or anger is very recurrent in all people. However, not many have the ability to identify its causes.
The Challenge of Learning How to Be Angry
Adriana Díez

Written and verified by the psychologist Adriana Díez.

Last update: 19 March, 2024

We all know how to identify times we were annoyed or acted bitterly and vindictively. But do any of us know how to spot situations that make us angry? Is there any way to learn how to be angry and show it at the right time and to the right person? Yes, but as always you have to do some work on yourself first.

Learning how to be angry is a difficult challenge that most people never overcome. Learning how to be angry means learning how to put up with frustration and channel it properly.

That way it won’t go in the wrong direction, affect anyone it shouldn’t, or last any longer than it needs to. Being angry takes a lot of intrapersonal work (with yourself) and interpersonal work (with other people).

An example

We’re going to give you an example of why it’s important to know how to be angry. A couple has an argument at home. They both scream what they think and leave it at that. One partner goes to work and at some point in the day, a subordinates makes a small mistake. He yells at him and gives him no chance to answer for himself.

The one who got yelled at then goes home. He ends up getting angry with his daughter for not listening and so he punishes her. Then she goes to school and gets in an argument with a classmate because he’s being rude.

So what we get is an endless cycle that could have just ended with the couple. If they’d talked through the problem and listened to each other, none of it would have happened.

Learning how to be angry.

Identifying situations that make you angry

Your mistake might be that you think it’s external things or other people that make you angry. But what’s actually making you angry is something to do with you. Not everyone gets angry about the same things, and not everything makes everyone angry. So the first thing you have to do is identify what specific actions or words set you off.

If you can identify it, then you can work on it and put a stop to it. Knowing yourself well will give you tools to understand yourself and realize that there are some things you can’t stand because they affect a part of you that you don’t like, don’t know, and need to keep working on.

Being angry is totally normal and healthy. But it is your responsibility to know how to be angry with the right person, at the right time. Never let the anger last any longer than it needs to. Always communicate what you don’t like. Being quiet about things that make you angry isn’t a permanent solution to the problem. 

Knowing how to communicate your anger

There are to communicate about anything that you find unpleasant. The first one is to calm yourself down so that you can talk about things calmly and find some solutions. Remember that yelling rarely helps people come to any kind of agreement.

How to communicate your anger

  • Talk about how you feel. It’s important to talk about how you feel and not focus on the other person’s actions or words. It’s one thing to say, “I feel left out when you don’t make plans with me.” It’s another thing entirely to say, “it makes me angry that you only go out with your friends.”
  • Contextualize the problem. Avoid using words like always, never, everyone… Clearing delimiting a problem and being specific about what it is will also help you communicate about it and resolve it. For example, don’t say, “you’re always with them.” Instead say, “you’ve hung out with only them for the past few days.”
  • Talk about what you want. This is the time to talk about what you’d really like. For example: “I don’t want you to stop making plans with your friends. I just want you to try to make some time for us, too.”
  • Show empathy. Trying to understand why the other person acted how they did will make it harder to feel offended by their words or actions. This will make it easier to resolve the situation more effectively. You could say something like, “I know you enjoy spending time with your friends every once in a while. “
  • Put forth some solutions. This is the hardest part of the whole thing. You have to do more than just say how you feel. You also have to tell them what your goal is. For example: “let’s try to find some times where we can still do things together.”
couple that knows how to be angry talking about a problem

Accept the challenge

Learning how to be angry is a challenge. It takes a lot of effort and practice, but it’s worth it. You’ll start to feel better, and you’ll be able to improve your relationships, both with yourself and everyone else. So don’t wait any longer: start working through this challenge. Do you know how to be angry?

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.