How to manage anger effectively
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Sally Klinkenborg, (MNCS (Acc.), Ad Prof Dip PC, MBACP
1st August, 2010
The best way to deal with anger is to avoid it. This does not mean avoiding confrontation, but making your feelings and needs known before you lose your temper. This is known as being assertive.
In order to be assertive, it is necessary to value yourself and to believe that you are entitled to have rights and opinions. What you are not saying is that your rights are more important than other people's, but that you are aware of the other person's rights as well. You will find it easier to say "no" when necessary, without feeling unduly guilty or embarrassed.
In order to be assertive, you will need to take the following steps:
- Consider exactly what it is that you want.
- Practise on your own.
- It is important to use the word "I" and not "you", as the latter gives blame to the other person, who may then go on the defensive. Try using "we" when seeking a solution. For example, try saying "I need you to..." or "it would help if we..."
- Be clear to the other person about what you want.
- Speak firmly, but be polite.
- If the person is not helpful, continue repeating your request, whilst remaining calm and polite.
- Sometimes it is necessary to reach a compromise - it may be helpful to have a possible compromise in mind to suggest if this situation should arise.
Unresolved anger, that is either suppressed or expressed inappropriately, can lead to anxiety and depression. Through being able to be assertive, unnecessary confrontation will be avoided, confidence will increase and you will have more control of your life. This will lead to you achieving whatever it is that you really want in your life.
This change will not happen overnight, but with determination and practice you can become more assertive. You will find that other people respect you and your wishes in a positive way.
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